“JT & Dale Talk Jobs” is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.
Dear J.T. & Dale: I work as a transcriptionist for a large group of doctors. Three years ago they had us work from home and paid us by how much we typed rather than by the hour. We doubled our production, and they lowered our pay. Then they started sending work overseas and laid off some of us. When they discovered the work was terrible and had to be edited, they called us back. But it’s now to the point where we work very long hours to make little more than we did three years ago. If jobs were a dime a dozen, I’d have left long ago. — Gina
Dale: You’re part of a sizable segment of the work force in the New Economy: I hate my job, and I sure hope I don’t lose it. But there’s a hard, cold financial logic to outsourcing, and that won’t change soon.
J.T.: I agree the cost-saving techniques are typical. The good news is management already has learned the lesson of overseas outsourcing: You get what you pay for.
Dale: I hate to say it, but outsourcing can be very efficient. Sometimes there are language issues, but remember that there are more people in India who speak English than there are in the U.S., and many are well-educated and have a great work ethic. So here’s an unwelcome principle to follow: If the work you do can be outsourced, assume that it will be outsourced.
J.T.: Well, my advice to Gina is this: Don’t underestimate your ability to find a new job. There are too many unhappy employees who stay in dead-end jobs and try to fix something they have no control over. There are plenty of doctors who still want their work done locally by someone they know and trust. Visit offices in your area and drop off a copy of your resume. There’s a reason your current employer went to the model of working from home, and there are others who’d like your help under the same arrangement.
Dale: I suspect you’ll find several small offices that need help, and if so, you may need to hire help yourself. You even might find yourself looking overseas for employees. Remember, the job of an outsourcer isn’t being outsourced.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the job search blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.
Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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