As an IT professional, you may have tried to weigh the benefits between holding a full-time job or working on short-term contracts. While each can be viable options for your career, which is right for you ultimately depends on where your priorities lie. To help you sort through your options, here are some key points to consider about these employment opportunities.
Even if a full-time and contract position function with the same job title, the actual duties that will be assigned can be somewhat difference. Often, contract employees are given the chance to focus on their core skill set, since the positions are typically associated with a particular project or goal. This means you’ll spend less time on tasks outside of those core competencies, making it ideal for those who want to work in specialized positions without any excess.
Full-time positions often have duties outside of the core set. For example, software developers may be responsible for projects as well as providing a level of support to end-users and performing certain maintenance activities. This can provide a more well-rounded experience and may appeal to those who like diversity in their daily tasks.
Most full-time positions come with a range of standard benefits, including health insurance, paid time off and retirement options. This allows you to coordinate multiple needs through your employer, and can provide a level of security to those who don’t want to manage these requirements on their own.
In contrast, many contract positions provided limited, if any, benefits beyond a paycheck. Depending on the length of the contract, you may have some opportunities for paid time off, but companies aren’t required to provide these benefits. Additionally, you’ll likely be responsible for managing your own retirement, healthcare, and even tax withholdings as a contract employee. You may have a chance to explore less expensive options for insurance or have more control over your retirement, but it will require you to be more hands-on than full-time employees generally have to be.
Sometimes you don’t know whether a workplace is right for you until you are seated at a desk trying to get your work done. While full-time employees have limited options for leaving, often feeling they have to tolerate less than ideal circumstances for at least a year or so before jumping ship, contractors have a defined end date from the beginning. This means if the environment isn’t a great fit, you already know when you can head out the door.
However, if the company offers a great place to work, contractors might not have the option to stay regardless of how well they perform in the position. In some cases, you might be given the chance to sign on full-time, but that isn’t guaranteed. Full-time employees are generally hired with long-term potential in mind, meaning they can enjoy the workplace for as long as they choose.
Whether you should choose full-time or contract opportunities depends on what you value. Both approaches to your career have merit, so there is no inherently right or wrong answer. Instead, consider which advantages appeal to you most and whether the drawbacks are tolerable. Then, shape your career in that image. In the end, if your original choice isn’t the right one, you can always choose to change directions.
If you are looking for either a contract or full-time opportunity, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see what is available in your area.
Fear is designed to keep us safe; it helps keep us aware of physical and emotional dangers, allowing us to take action to stay safe. But too much fear can cause trouble, especially when the situation causing the feelings of anxiety aren’t as severe as we perceive them to be. And, when those feelings affect our jobs, it can actually halt career progress in its track.
To help you overcome fears that are holding your career back, here are two of the most common ones and what you can do to overcome them.
Fear of Rejection
People aren’t solitary creatures; we often crave the support of a group who accepts us. But finding a new job opens us up to fears of rejection, as we don’t know whether our new co-workers will accept us into the group once we start a new position. However, there are ways to make transitioning into a new team easier, increasing the chance you’ll be seen as an asset instead of an outsider.
Take the time to listen to those working around you. Many people start a position and want to share their ideas with their new co-workers. But, it is often better to hear their perspectives first and to learn why current processes are the way they are. By taking this approach, you are showing respect for the current standard, and you get a chance to really see what makes the place tick.
Fear of Failure
A fear of failure can stop us from trying anything new, including finding a new position that might be a better fit. Often, it leads us to procrastinate, or even give up on our goals, as it seems like a better option than having a less than favorable outcome.
In most cases, our fear of failure has us believing that the results could be catastrophic, even if that isn’t actually the likely result. To get beyond these concerns, examine the situation objectively and consider the likelihood that, even if it doesn’t go well, the worst case scenario is actually going to happen and if it is actually that bad.
Often, when it comes to a job search, the worst outcome is being passed over for a position. While this can be upsetting, it doesn’t generally do much harm. And, when compared to the benefits of scoring that new job, it can seem like a risk worth taking.
While trying to land a new job can be scary, our fears regarding the situation are often unfounded. Instead of focusing on the potential negatives, try and keep the benefits in mind. Finding the right job can be invigorating for your career and you personally. Before you decide to step away from your goals, see if what you could gain doesn’t make it seem worth it in your eyes.
If you would like help during your job search, the recruiters at The Armada Group can support you through the process. Contact us today and see if the right job for you is just around the corner.
When companies think of digital disruption, they often focus on the businesses that used technology to change a notable paradigm within the business world. How Amazon changed retail, Netflix changed retails, and Uber changed transportation are all examples of digital disruptions in their respective sectors, with their development fundamentally changing how business is done.
But digital disruption isn’t limited to companies that change the game. Any technology that enters the world and affects how goods and services are produced or delivered can qualify. For example, the prevalence of mobile technology, the rise of IoT, and the increase of cloud services are all digital disrupters that provide value to businesses operating in almost every sector. And they are often critical for growth.
New Operational Models
Digital disruptions often force companies to update their operational models to stay competitive. But, along the way, they allow businesses to have opportunities to become more efficient. For example, mobile devices have changed how people work and how consumers shop. While adapting to the new technology required significant process changes, the result provides opportunities for increased productivity and higher sales.
As a new technology enters the market, it allows companies to refocus. They can take advantage of what the tech provides to improve operations and reduce costs. Then, the business can reinvest in areas critical to their development.
Developments in IoT have exposed companies to more data than ever before, and that means increased opportunities to capitalize on the information. Add to that advances in big data and analytics, and businesses can find answers to questions that may have seemed impossible to answer even a few years before.
The ability to learn about how customers think and buy, or how operations are completed during production, give organizations a chance to adjust more quickly than previously. Real-time information can provide feedback in a way that supports immediate action, making businesses more nimble within their market space or in how they do business.
Proper Management is Required
To make digital disruptions work for your business, it is important to view them as opportunities worth exploring and not just challenges that must be dealt with. Consider how these technologies can improve your operations and see if it make sense to integrate them into your workplace.
If you are looking for IT professionals that can help you take advantage of everything today’s digital disruptions have to offer, the recruitment experts at The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates based on your hiring goals. Contact us to see how highly skilled workers can help you keep pace with today’s advancements.
Demand for DevOps engineers is on the rise. Companies look at the approach as a method for automating processes, saving both time and money through increased efficiency. But since DevOps is more of a strategy than a defined process, it can be challenging to determine what skills they businesses are actually focused on when hiring.
If you are interested in landing a position in DevOps, here are the skills you need to have to get further in your career.
Experience with the Right Tools and Languages
When looking for a DevOps professional, companies target those with expertise in the right infrastructure automation tools and programming languages. Being familiar with tools like Ansible, Chef, Docker, Puppet, SaltStack, and Windows PowerShell DSC is going to help you stand out from the crowd. Additionally, experience in web languages like Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby are considered essentials for workers focused on DevOps.
Strong Soft Skills
Collaboration is fundamental to the DevOps approach to projects. Professionals with multiple specialties are involved in the development life cycle, and being able to communicate effectively with everyone involved is critical to the success of a project.
Additionally, the ability to consult with clients and build business relationships is also critical. At times, even negotiation skills may come into play.
DevOps professionals need to display their expertise in areas like problem-solving, team-building, and other interpersonal communications skills to be considered a top candidate for an available position.
Understanding of Continuous Integration
A fundamental part of DevOps is continuous integration (CI). The process allows source code updates to be rolled in whenever the need arises. The focus is on continual improvement and simultaneous input from all teams instead of completing a product from beginning to end, with each team taking their turn then sending the product on to the next group. It also provides a method for increased engagement across all team members through the development of the project.
Various CI tools that DevOps worker should learn include Bamboo, CruiseControl, Jenkins, ThoughtWorks’ Go, and Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server.
At its core, DevOps is an approach to project management, so experience with the latter supports your efforts with the former. Whether you choose to pursue formal training and certification or have the opportunity to learn the skills on the job, demonstrating your prior experience with project management will help you qualify for DevOps jobs more easily than trying to go forward without them.
Other IT skills can also be helpful in DevOps, including experience deploying code, programming applications, managing databases, and more. However, those listed above can be seen as some of the most important when you are interested in developing a career dedicated to DevOps.
If you are interested in finding a DevOps position, The Armada Group can match you with relevant opportunities in your area based on your level of expertise. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our professional recruiters today.
The idea of working from home appeals to workers in almost every field, with tech professionals leading the way. Having the opportunity to work remotely either full-time or a few days a week is one of the most valued job perks an employer can provide, even beating traditional offerings like health benefits. That means, if you want to attract top talent, giving telecommuting options is a surefire way to get some attention.
But what about remote work do tech pros find so appealing? Here are some of the top reasons why your team wants to work from home.
Many companies fear telecommuting leads employees to be less productive, but the opposite is actually more likely. Working from home significantly limits interruptions throughout the day and ultimately makes it easier to stay on task.
Instead of running between meetings that run long, dealing with co-workers dropping by, or focusing through the distractions caused by other activities in the workplace, remote workers have control over their home environment. This gives them a chance to work more effectively, especially on tasks that require high amounts of concentration and attention to detail.
The benefits of increased productivity can be even more notable if your company uses open office designs in the workplace. While 70 percent of employees work in this paradigm, almost no one likes the design. There’s a lack of privacy or sense of personal space, and it is easy to become irritated by extraneous noises coming from all across the floor. In that regard, working from home is an appreciated reprieve from an otherwise stressful environment, letting them focus on their job instead of what is happening around them.
Telecommuting gives employees the ability to be more comfortable within their workspace. Most offices provided limited options when it comes to body positioning, leaving workers in the same seated position for an entire shift.
When working from home, people can get up and move whenever they need to without having to worry about distracting their coworkers. They can put their feet up, shift around, change chairs, or pace around the room whenever the mood strikes. It removes the certain expectations regarding how you are expected to physically be while working, allowing them to do what it takes to stay comfortable while getting work done.
While your employees might work for eight or more hours a day, their functional workday may start much sooner. Many employees spend an average of 25 minutes each way commuting, an action that is rarely stress-free.
If they have the chance to work from home, their commute is completely eliminated. This means they don’t have to start their day by battling traffic, only to end it by doing the same. Your employees also have more time to manage other tasks, as they essentially get almost an hour back that isn’t spent sitting in a car, train, or another form of transportation just to get to work.
Almost any tech employee would appreciate the chance to telecommute, and the advantages of the arrangement can lead to mutual benefit. If you are interested in finding new IT professionals to join your team, including by working from home, The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates. Contact us today for more information about our employer services.
Facebook released their new job posting feature, providing opportunities for businesses and candidates to connect more easily across the platform. It gives companies the chance to connect quickly with potential candidates who are already fans of the brand, while also extending beyond those limits. But whether you will get the kind of applicants you want depends on how effectively you use the tool.
Since the feature is currently free to use (and it may not stay that way), now is a great time to experience the process for yourself. If you want to increase your odds of success, here are some tips to get you started.
You Must Check Your Page Regularly
The job posting tool has one quirk that may change how your business needs to manage its Facebook page; all notifications are sent via the internal messaging system and not to an external inbox. This means you will have to check for messages often and be prepared to communicate with applicants via Facebook Messenger.
In many cases, this isn’t a process recruiters are used to, even if some recruitment is already managed through Facebook. Having every response to a job posting directed in this fashion means a potentially significant increase in the messages received, and more time spent sorting those for other communications.
Target the Right Demographics
Facebook allows users to include a large amount of information about their past experiences and education. The job posting feature allows companies to target based on the associated demographics, enabling you to reach the exact kind of candidates you need to find.
While some companies may be tempted to cast as wide a net as possible, it is important to realize how big the potential sea of candidates is on a site as vast as Facebook. Without the use of demographics, you might get a lot of attention from applicants who aren’t truly suited for the position, and that can be a lot of information to sort through to reach those who may actually fit the bill.
Keep Mobile and Media in Mind
The majority of Facebook viewing is done over smartphones, not computers. This means you need to consider how the job posting will look on a mobile device if you want to attract the most attention from job seekers. And don’t be afraid to add images, as media-rich posts typically get significantly more attention than those that don’t, regardless of the platform.
Think Entry-Level before Executive
While many executives have Facebook pages, it isn’t necessarily their platform of choice for employment-related communications, especially if they are well set up on LinkedIn. However, more entry-level workers might not have created a strong profile on LinkedIn but may be accessible through Facebook.
In this regard, the ability to reach a wider audience can be key when you need employees who might have less experience or education and may feel they don’t have enough to say to create a profile on LinkedIn. And, when unemployment is low, any advantage to reach those looking to start their careers can be beneficial.
If you are looking for more ways to reach job seekers, The Armada Group can help you connect with today’s top talent. Contact us to discuss your current vacancies and see how our services can help your job postings get seen by more candidates in your target market.
Many companies speak about Millennials as if they are fundamentally different than other employees, as though their needs and desires from their employer don’t resemble anything familiar. But members of the largest generation in the workforce actually want exactly what older generations do, they just aren’t as willing to tolerate slights when they occur.
So, if you want to retain more Millennials at your business, here’s what you need to do.
Subjectivity and Work Processes
Few employees quit their companies; they quit their bosses. But the root cause isn’t always the manager. Subjectivity in work processes leads to disconnects, and these disconnects are the source of the problem.
So, what is subjectivity in work processes? It’s when the provided instructions or institutional policies are open to interpretation. How tasks are accomplished, what steps are required, and which outcomes are considered proper aren’t clearly defined. And, if an employee and a manager interpret these processes differently, then it opens the door for conflict.
For example, the concept of being a team player is ambiguous. But, if a boss doesn’t consider an employee to be a team player, even if the employee thinks they are operating fine as part of the team, it creates a point of contention that is challenging to address. If your Millennial workforce isn’t able to understand why their manager sees an issue with their performance, they may choose to leave simply because the problem can’t be well articulated, making resolutions difficult to identify.
The issue of subjectivity can apply to any process that isn’t well defined, including those surrounding promotions, pay raises and accessing various internal opportunities. And, the resulting conflicts, will cost you in the Millennial retention game.
How to Remove the Source of Conflict
If your goal is to keep more Millennials on staff, then it is important to eliminate subjectivity wherever it resides. Examine key processes to identify missing steps or poorly defined requirements, working to replace them with more concrete instruction that isn’t as open to interpretation.
At times, this can be as simple as reassessing your language choices within processes. Take the time to make sure all procedures and policies are precise and relate it to observable action.
If conflicts do arise, consider it an opportunity to examine the source of the issue and not necessarily how the situation has played out. Examine any applicable procedures involved in the conflict and see if the resulting issue is based on a lack of clarity instead of intentionally defiance. It’s highly possible your Millennial worker followed the procedure based on their interpretation, and that just didn’t match up with the manager’s understanding of the policy in question.
While it can take time to review every procedure for ambiguity, it is a critical step for improving your retention efforts. If you are looking for more tips about retaining Millennials or are searching for new employees to join your teams, let the professionals at The Armada Group put their experience to work for you. Contact us to discuss your current hiring and retention plan, and see how our services can help you reach your goals.
Even as rising technologies associated with big data and IoT dominate discussions regarding hard data is managed, MySQL professionals are still critical for many organizations. In many cases, new skill sets are designed to supplement MySQL where it is in use, and aren’t intended to replace the system. With that in mind, pursuing a career as a MySQL DBA can lead to strong job opportunities even as the use of data continues to grow and change. And here’s why.
MySQL is Cost-Effective
Managing expenses is always a priority in business, and MySQL is a solution that meets those goals. The open source solution often features low licensing costs, making it easy for businesses to fit into their IT budgets. Additionally, the cost of ownership is similarly low.
But the low cost doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. It’s high speed and superior reliability makes it a particularly good choice for industries that need to limit downtime. And that means professionals familiar with the system as still very much a hot commodity in today’s market.
It’s Used by Top Companies
MySQL has a prominent role in many top companies. In fact, it is a preferred choice for many businesses, especially those focused on Web 2.0, SaaS, ISV, and Telecommunications. The high amount of reliability is critical for companies operating in these areas, as downtime due to failures, maintenance, administration, or other tasks is practically unacceptable in the eyes of consumers. The system uses master-slave configurations coupled with cluster servers to provide uninterrupted access, making it an ideal selection for businesses that need to remain accessible at all times.
One of the biggest benefits of MySQL is its high level of flexibility. The solution is highly scalable and can be customized to meet the unique needs of individual businesses. It provides a solid platform for large enterprises who need to integrate various features and functions within their database servers, and can easily be expanded when business needs change.
As companies continue to acquire large amounts of data, having a solution that can grow quickly is a boon. And that means skilled professionals are needed to make that happen whenever the need arises.
In the end, MySQL is seen as efficient, cost-effective, and reliable, all of which are highly valued by a range or organizations. Professionals with the skills to support MySQL will remain in high demand even as other data-oriented technologies enter the workplace, as few options have the ability to beat MySQL in these key areas.
If you are interested in a career as a MySQL DBA or other opportunities in IT, the professional recruiters at The Armada Group can match you to relevant positions in your area. Contact us today to see how MySQL skills can help further your career.
When it comes to salaries for IT professionals, not all industries are created equal. In fact, some provide significantly higher pay than their counterparts, even when hiring candidates with the same skills. If you want to make the most money with your next tech job, here are the industries you need to explore first.
Banking, Finance, and Insurance
Tech professionals working in the banking, finance, and insurance sectors receive the highest average salary when compared to every other industry. Average wages cross the six-figure mark, reach close to $104,000 per year.
The variety of IT positions with these companies cover all of the major bases including software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, and mobile development. As more consumers expect to be able to access information and interact with their financially-oriented accounts through any device, the demand for skilled professionals will continue.
Utilities and Energy
Many systems used by utility and energy companies require significant amounts of tech to remain operational. Everything from how services are delivered to customers to regular billing activities rely heavily on hardware and software. As systems are updated with newer technologies, and the use of IoT devices becomes more prevalent, demand for workers in these sectors may increase as well.
To attract top talent, many companies in these industries offer average salaries just over $103,000, making them a strong option for professionals looking to get the highest payoff for their skills.
Aerospace and Defense
The aerospace and defense industries are highly recognized for their technical components, making it a priority for these organizations to secure the highest caliber talent available. Average salaries for IT workers in these industries fall just shy of $100,000. Those who find positions with various levels of government can also expect strong benefits packages and generous retirement options to make these job particularly enticing to those looking for more than just a substantial paycheck.
What You Need to Get a Position in a Top-Paying Industry
To land a job in one of the industries above, you need a combination of the right experience and education. The most lucrative offerings will be in high-demand fields, such as software development and data analytics, both of which require specific skills. Most people working in tech fields get their foundation through formal degree programs, though possessing in-demand certifications and on the job experience are also quite valuable.
Along with the technical skills, you also need to know how to communicate with those around you, regardless of whether they are fellow IT professionals or not as tech-savvy. Being able to make technical information accessible to those who are less familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the work can make you a powerful member of any IT team, and makes it easier to command top dollar when an opportunity arises.
If you are interested in finding a tech job in any industry, including those outlined above, The Armada Group can connect you with key employers in your area. Contact us today to discuss where you would like to go in your career.
Whenever a technology begins to get a foothold in an industry, fears generally arise regarding how the innovations will affect the availability of employment. But even if it does impact those working in specific positions, that doesn’t mean the number of jobs available actually decreases. Often, it just indicates a shift within the job market, and can even lead to more work being available than before.
AI has the potential to make workers more efficient, eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks and allowing professionals to focus on duties that require human input. So, instead of eliminating positions in IT, it is more likely to change the nature of those working in the field.
Here is an overview of AI in the workplace, and how it could create more jobs, not less.
AI Requires Support
While AI may take certain duties out of the hands of workers, the systems that use the technology will continue to need support. AI systems require human input to determine how the solution needs to react to certain variables. Additionally, issues can present within any system, making the need for troubleshooters a critical part of any AI implementation.
AI systems are not self-sustaining. Instead, they represent a part of overall IT strategy, and workers are needed to make any associated goals a reality. Skilled tech professionals are responsible for the creation and implementation of AI-oriented solutions, effectively creating new IT positions specifically designed to support these innovations.
AI Doesn’t Stand Alone
An AI system is only as powerful as the data with which it works, and that means people are still highly relevant to its operation. Additionally, employees are needed to oversee outputs and finalize conclusions or courses of action. Further, workers are responsible for taking outputs and turning them into meaningful information that can be used throughout an organization, a task that AI simply isn’t prepared to manage at this time. Experts in data analytics and engineering are needed to manage duties that require additional intelligence beyond what the system can provide.
Without the involvement of data professionals, the AI can’t perform its duties any better than a person who doesn’t have sufficient information to draw accurate conclusions or identify relevant patterns.
Pursuit of More Complex Objectives
Since a primary benefit of AI is the ability to remove repetitive administrative tasks from the hands of skilled professionals, companies have the capacity to refocus their goals in pursuit of higher level development objectives. Businesses will have the opportunity to invest more in the hiring of individuals with critical tech skills like coding.
While certain entry-level positions may become less available, more advanced positions might be created. This is essentially beneficial to IT workers who traditional pursue higher education to gain entry into the field, as companies can focus on hiring these individuals over those previously required for less technical tasks that support IT objectives.
Ultimately, AI isn’t going to eliminate workers across the board. Instead, it will change what kind of tech professionals are needed and how their daily tasks are managed. If you are interested in pursuing a new IT position related to AI or any other specialty, The Armada Group can help you explore your options based on today’s job market. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and experience how our services can benefit you.