Can you help a fellow ICT professional through the tough COVID-19 crisis?

In BICSI Blog, BICSI Bytes, Featured, Newsby info@bicsi.com.au

The community catch-cry “we’re all in this together” is making us aware that we can all contribute to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. And we’re all trying to do our ‘little bit’ to help get back to normal as soon as possible. But for most of us, this is generally a passive activity like working from home, social-distancing, wearing a face-mask, etc. But we also need to do something pro-active to help those in our industry who have been hit hard financially by the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Most, if not all, of us have been negatively affected economically by COVID-19 – reduced business income, restricted contact with clients, inability to deliver projects or products, challenges in getting paid, being temporarily stood down or on shortened hours, or even losing jobs altogether.

I saw a great LinkedIn post recently from Alma Bañuelos in California – perhaps you’ve seen it too.

“If you’ve been laid off or furloughed and we’ve worked together in the past, had a coffee, lunch, drink or a phone call please don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know how I can help you.

– Can I put you in touch with a contact of mine?

– Can I write a LinkedIn recommendation for you?

– Need a pick-me-up conversation?

I copied this post. I encourage others to copy it from me. We are a community and I’m happy to do my part to support. #support #community #payitforward”

That got me thinking about how we as an industry can assist our fellow ICT professionals get through this difficult economic situation.

BICSI is a resource-centre – we have members who have information sharing with members who need information. We also interact (normally in person, but at present virtually) as a professional community, building a network of friends and business associates as we go about our businesses. All of this contributes to increasing the professionalism of our industry. Adopting that same principle, we have members now seeking jobs (due to COVID-19 cutbacks) and members seeking to employ good people. And taking a few hints from Alma’s LinkedIn post above, we should think about how to help our members in need right now.

So, starting early September, we’re going to utilise the BICSI Jobs Opportunities web page at https://www.bicsi.com.au/about/jobs-board/ to list members (not necessarily names) who recently lost jobs due to COVID-19, but are eager to deploy their skills and expertise in other organisations seeking great people. Straight off-the-cuff, I can inform you of some great members who have just lost their jobs due to their employers’ budget cutbacks – a great consulting engineer in Melbourne with 10+ years ICT design experience; a highly experienced ICT manager who has been designing and managing ICT networks in the education sector for 20+ years; an innovative Perth-based consulting engineer who has been designing ICT, AV and security systems for 10+ years; and a Melbourne-based telecommunications integrator with 10+ years in outside plant design and deployment. Sadly there are more in the same situation. If you’re in that position, I hope you can let us know, so we can let members know you’re looking for work (anonymously if you prefer) – short-term or long-term.

If your business is presently in a good steady or growth situation, could you do with the help of an extra skilled person – permanently or temporarily – who could inject some immediate benefits to your business? If you know companies who are hiring, or could use the skills of a BICSI member, please let us know.

In just the last two weeks, BICSI South Pacific was approached by the ACMA asking for assistance in recruiting skilled telecommunications and radiocommunications analysts; as well as a US-based BICSI member seeking assistance in finding personnel to reconfigure Australian datacentres. It’s not uncommon for companies seeking talented ICT infrastructure personnel to come to BICSI South Pacific for help. But we need to be pro-active, not passive in identifying these opportunities. Hence the need for this program.

As I speak with members across Australia and New Zealand, I see great disparity of work – some with increased workload and some with less. In BICSI’s capacity as a ‘resource centre’, we want to get the word out about who’s available for work and who’s looking for workers. We’re not aiming to be a recruitment agency, but more of a ‘noticeboard’, as we’ve often been contacted by members looking for good workers and members looking for work.

Our endeavour is to introduce “great ICT people looking for a new job to companies looking for great ICT people”.

If this is of interest to you in either capacity, or have good suggestions on helping our members out of work find work, we’d love to hear from you – either directly to the BICSI office or on our LinkedIn BICSI South Pacific company profile.