An article on surviving outsourcing arrived in my e-mail. Following are some extracts.
... increasing your level of expertise can help you compete with cheap overseas labor. The whole trend towards outsourcing is scary to people in many industries. ... becoming more familiar with the weaknesses of the outsourcing model, you can better position yourself to compete with it.
Outsourcing is most effective with work that many people know how to do. ... Lots of people have an undergraduate computer science degree and can write a computer program. But outsourcing tends not to be as effective in areas where highly specialized knowledge is required. If you become familiar with a technology or area of expertise which the average person has not studied or worked in, you will become less of a common commodity. [i.e. knowing RPG and PHP gives you an more than knowing RPG and DDS. Don't be a 40 watt light bulb when 1,000s of 40 watt bulbs are marketed.]
It generally helps if the area of expertise is something new, because the newer it is, usually the fewer people there are who know it. [my example -- Before the governor signs the bill get to know a new state law inside out following passed legislation covering data leaks and notifying those whose ID was possible leaked].
[To compete in the global economy] ... requires that you integrate continual learning and improvement into your career. You need to figure out a way to constantly learn new things. ... Another way is to maximize a concept that H.R. professionals refer to as “job stretch,” that is, doing work that requires slightly more, rather than slightly less, expertise than you currently have. ... A side effect of maximizing job stretch is that it makes you stand out as someone who goes the extra mile, and also helps make it less likely that an employer would want to lay you off.
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