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Friday, February 6, 2009

Changing Jobs in a it Safe? by Lucy Zhuang

Almost every morning, CNN announces list of companies that have cut jobs, Google, IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Autodesk…… While it is tough times at Oracle we are hiring people. More and more of the candidates I have been speaking to have expressed their concern that they don’t want to change their job because of the recession. I always like to ask them back “are you really safe/stable with your current employer?”

Most people feel insecure to change jobs because they worry about the high possibility to be laid off as a new staff member. In my opinion, not really, we need to look at exactly what kind of situation you are facing. From a recruiter’s point of view, there are several factors I suggest to consider:

1. If you are facing risk at being laid off by your current company. A few days ago, a friend of mine told me her company laid off several employees, to “save the company and the rest of employees”. I asked her if she was considering of looking for some other opportunities, she said NO, because she felt blessed. What if the company’s business gets worse if the economy continues to struggle? What if they need to cut more jobs to “save the company”? If your company already has laid off people, you need to think more about future, think about what kind of positions are being cut off and analyze for your own situation.

2.Is your performance at the bottom of the team? If your department is at the edge of the business? If yes, try your best to improve performance, get more training, and if possible, try to transfer to core business units or start to look for a new opportunity.

3. When a new opportunity comes, don’t simply say yes or no. Get to know more about it, not only regular information about the job such as the scope and responsibilities, but also some facts such as if it is a new position or a replacement position, why to hire for the position, if the company is cutting off jobs and what types of jobs they are, if the company’s business is badly influenced by the recession. Usually a new headcount could be more risky to be cut off than a replacement headcount. Sometimes, a company cuts some positions in one business group while at the same time hiring more for another business group. Some business is not influenced as badly as others. For example, one of my friends is working for a reseller of tires. Due to the recession, more people choose to change tires instead of buying a new car. So their business is not that bad at all.

4. If a company has an effective HR management system. Usually companies with a good HR management system that includes an effective HR planning system has a lower risk to cut jobs dramatically. Working at this type of company will be more stable than those without good HR planning system, which leads to irresponsibly hiring and lay off.

Actually to change jobs is the best way to potentially get a salary increase given many companies cancelled all the salary increase and bonus in recession for existing employees. So be careful with changing jobs, but do not necessary stop pursuing great opportunities for your career development just due to the fact there is a recession.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle China Recruitment Team for the past two years and can be contacted at


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