OUT of Control-- well sort of.

Jan. 10, 2009

Frequent contributor to this segment, Joe Kaulfersch of Pepperl+Fuchs sent me a great cartoon that, for copyright reasons, I can't duplicate on this blog. It shows a guy sitting at his computer with a street person with a squeegee wiping down his monitor face with his hand out. The caption is "New Opportunities in Computer Maintenance."

Frequent contributor to this segment, Joe Kaulfersch of Pepperl+Fuchs sent me a great cartoon that, for copyright reasons, I can't duplicate on this blog. It shows a guy sitting at his computer with a street person with a squeegee wiping down his monitor face with his hand out. The caption is "New Opportunities in Computer Maintenance."

Well, as we've seen this week, this is probably not a good time to be the President of an automation company-- two of the biggest changed top hats this week alone. It is going to be a wild ride for any company, whether you are in the automation vendor business, or you are in the process industries-- we also had a bankruptcy filing of one of the larger oil refinery and chemical companies this week.

But before we all start looking around the garage for that squeegee we know we have stashed somewhere, we might want to listen to John Challenger, of Challenger, Gray and Christmas consultants here in Chicago. "It's a new year and companies come back after the holidays and add people," he says. "Companies have closed out some of the problems they had in the previous year and they're looking toward the future."

If you are an end-user in the process industries, this is the time to be vigilant about what the financial condition of your company, your plant, and your group is and plan for what might happen if you involuntarily get pitched into the job market.

There are always jobs for automation professionals-- but they may not be where you are. You need to decide NOW if you are willing to relocate, update your resume, get up to speed on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and all the rest of the social media that replaced face to face networking years ago. If you live near a functioning ISA section, start attending meetings.

"Companies are moving forward on new programs," Challenger says. "More hiring does go on at this time of year."

It is incumbent on YOU to move forward on the program of advancing your career.

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