I have spent the better part of this past decade running half a step ahead of the offshoring ax. Virtually every time I've gotten a new role at work, I've soon thereafter been asked to offshore my job. Support, development, project management, architecture, design -- no matter how far up the value chain I move, it seems there's someone somewhere else willing to do the work for less.
Every time I travel overseas to hand off yet another job, I'm amazed at how quickly the infrastructure, culture, and business acumen is adapting to that new reality. It seems that pretty much all of the sustainable and competitive advantages that Americans once had are being eroded by overseas alternatives that are just as smart and cost much less. Dr. Reddy's
Nearly everyone is at risk
Even doctors -- the ultimate in "hands-on, local service" professionals -- have reason to be concerned. Thanks to digital radiology equipment from the likes of General Electric
More astonishingly, a recent article in IEEE Spectrum magazine profiled an attempt to perform surgery remotely. Even if the remote battlefield surgery that was being attempted in simulation never becomes reality, the civilian spinoffs could be remarkable. Imagine combining the technology for remote operations with existing robotic-surgery tools, such as the da Vinci from Intuitive Surgical
If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em
Having spent so much time offshoring my own jobs, I've come to accept that it's a trend that's both here to stay and continuing to expand to higher-value work. It's too big to fight successfully, and any attempts to do so will likely result in getting run over by a gigantic globalization-driven steamroller.
The way I see it, the best shot any of us has at coming out relatively intact is to figure out who will benefit from these trends and invest accordingly. By investing in the companies that will benefit the most from our ever-shrinking planet, you can set yourself up to profit from the inevitable. It is, in short, time to go global in your portfolio.
That's why I'm excited by the new Motley Fool Global Gains international investing service that my colleague Bill Mann is heading up. While I've been busy trying to figure out how to stay employed while offshoring one job after another, he's been hard at work uncovering the beneficiaries of these seismic shifts.
You can join us at Global Gains to see all of the team's stock picks, research, and analysis. Take the next 30 days to look around, free, while you consider how your job might get caught in the next offshoring wave. Click here to get started.
At the time of publication, Fool contributor Chuck Saletta owned shares of Merck and General Electric and was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Pfizer is an Inside Value recommendation. Intuitive Surgical is a Rule Breakers pick. Merck was once an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.