Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 4, 2011

Job Levels Up! Career Fair April 20 and My Jobs List!

February saw California with its biggest one-month job gain in 20 years. Silicon Valley continues a strong recovery from the onslaught of what’s now called the “Great Recession.” California’s 96,500 new jobs accounted for more than half of the nation’s job growth and Silicon Valley added 4,500 jobs, a number higher than average for this time of year. The unemployment rate also dropped with Santa Clara County’s rate of 10.3 percent the lowest in almost two years and down versus January. San Mateo County’s rate was 8.3 percent and the third-lowest in the state. So the environment is improving at first glance.

The numbers agree with what recruiters have been telling us. They are seeing more jobs and they are being filled rapidly. We know that emerging life science companies have to hire to be able to achieve their milestones for funding. But they are also looking carefully at outsourcing some functions with previous high local demand. This means that you have to be prepared to make a strong case for how your knowledge, experience and insights will greatly benefit the company in bringing solutions to its problems. For some this means working on one’s resume and pitch to differentiate yourself as employee, while for others it means achieving some new knowledge skills via professional education or degree programs. Many of our colleagues were so busy focused on making their last company successful, they neglected their own professional growth and network. (If an applied knowledge course at UCSC Extension in Santa Clara is appropriate, consider my upcoming Bioscience Business and Marketing Essentials course, April 14-15th which special access to Windhover Premier Databases.)

The money for jobs flowing out of the U.S. to BRIC countries does provide some jobs for the highly experienced expatriots who would consider returning and working in China or India. China is offering incentives to highly experienced expatriots to lead the growth of the bioscience industry there, as the country doesn’t have the senior managers it needs to be successful in building their industry, but they have lots of money provided through their government-run banks. Remember they didn’t experience the subprime loan crisis!

Hopefully, U.S. companies will not forget that the Bay Area Cluster has a vibrant workforce here locally and that’s the quickest way to success–not placing your “golden goose” in the hands of companies minus 15 hours away without the rule of law to protect assets. The newly founded overseas companies and branches of international companies in BRIC countries have been attractive for doing outsourced services but only when the U.S. client is fully convinced they are not putting their IP at risk or actually delaying the development of their project at the other side of the globe where they have less contact and control. Managing clinical trials outside the country of origin has always been difficult due to different time zones, cultural differences and language.  Although we expect that some of these functions lost in Great Recession might never return, that doesn’t mean the Bay Area can’t compete again in areas in which the BRIC countries can’t compete effectively.

So now is the time to “pick yourself up and brush yourself off” and reenter the competition which is still tough, mind you, with all those looking after the layoffs stemming from the economic crisis of 2008. This applies if you’re ready to leave your current position or looking for one to get out of “transition”. If you prepared well for the eventual upturn which follows the downturn of an economic cycle, then you are ready.  If you allowed the horror stories to keep you frozen in place, then you need to psyche yourself up and regain your energy to face your goals—be they career advancement or moving back into the workforce full time. But know that the rosy days of yore may never return but that’s never been a reason for Americans to give up.

Download Jobs That Crossed My Desk through April 4th which includes listings from the past three weeks and detailed information about my upcoming two classes in Santa Clara. There are several pages of helpful advice for career planning as well as the details for upcoming Bay Area Career Fair in Burlingame during the first day of the BioSpace Career Fair at BayBio 2011, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.



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