Look around - we’re going through the biggest downturn in the technology sector, probably since .com times. So how to plow through that?
Of course, one could argue, that the COVID wave at the beginning of 2020 was one too. But it was so short, and the recovery was so fast and fierce that it looks more like a breath-in rather than a proper downturn when looking back.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand we’re in very different circumstances today, and many people are worried about their future.
Let me share a few thoughts with you, too - the same ones I’ve been sharing with people I work with daily.
Easier said than done! But this is the time when you should measure twice before cutting. The market is very far, in fact, the opposite of what it was just six months ago. Therefore, think long and hard before making any moves or planning significant changes. If you’re considering changing jobs, spend a substantial amount of time researching how solid is the ground your new company is standing on. Are new benefits worth the risk?
If you can choose the timing, now is the best time to pull off those extended periods of excellent performance. Not just “OK,” but outstanding. Manage to get among 30% of top performers. Of course, you won’t find a rating posted on the office wall, however, take the feedback and guidance extra seriously and look for opportunities where your work is both important and visible! When choosing people for layoffs, you don’t want to be someone nobody has heard of.
Most companies will go through some reorganization to do an internal optimization. It’s more than natural to look at such movements with some reservation, but this time, I’d invite you to look at them as… opportunities. Embrace them as a chance to learn something new, get to know more people, a different side of the business, as an opportunity to emerge as a better profession on the other side once turbulence has finished.
So prepare to accept and embrace changes with an open mind and heart.
Best if you avoid committing to any big purchases during such times. Of course, life goes on, and if you need a bigger car for your family, go for it. But if it’s something “nice to have” and comes with a financial commitment attached, common sense says: delay this decision.
Regardless of how well you are established, having some personal war chest is MANDATORY. Savings to be used for bad days should reach at least four months of living costs and will give you that piece of mind you certainly need if things go south. Only some people can afford it, but it’s a must if you can. The freedom of mind it gives you is priceless.
It is going to be stressful. Don’t close everything down to yourself; find somebody to talk to about everything. As I discussed in the Confidential Information post, the higher you’re up in the org, the more likely you have more information you can’t share. Still, it shouldn’t stop opening up emotionally to your family or closest friends.
If the worst has happened and you have received your notice, take a few days off. Then create a plan to get back on both feet, and execute fiercessly. Trust yourself. You’re an Engineer!
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