Just in case you haven’t noted, we are in or are slithering into a recession, depending on what industrial sector you depend on most. Although automobile industry is pretty dominant over here, recession hasn’t hit me personal. But I remember the dot com crash in earlier this millennium very well. My employer went out of business after the main customer reduced the rates by 20% or 30%.
I promise this isn’t a fun experience, even when you have no problem at all finding a new job. By German law you get your payments for three months from the state when your employer can’t pay you anymore. But in order to get this money you have to go to work. Even when there is NOTHING you can do there! Frustrating as hell I tell you. So what to do about it? Easy take control and get active:
- Work on your skills. When you are working in the IT industry this should be an ongoing task all the time, but when the economy is low it is even more important.
- Make sure you are providing a real value to your customer. No matter if you are running a website, people pay for, if you are living from ads published on your site, or if you are writing custom software, it is in your own best interest to actually provide a valuable service and not doing some useless crap with a 2.0 attached. Remember the dot com bubble came to existence because people thought everything with an @ was producing money all on itself. And there are people thinking this might happen again.
- Make sure people know about you. While the networking sites are good candidates to get weeded out during the recession, they do have a value to you right now. Keep in contact with people. Where are they, what are they doing right now. Are they aware about what YOU are doing right now? Make sure you know about them and they know about you.
- “Tue Gutes und rede darüber” (Do good things and talk about it). This is really the key point of the whole article. Many developers are good at their job, but are socially handicapped in a more or less serious way.
- If nothing else, don’t let yourself get frustrated and demotivated by people talking about how bad everything is and join the club of Finanzkrisenverweigerer (found via).
So how do go about this? Well everybody has to find her own way, but here are the things I am doing right now:
- I am writing a blog. (Surprise!)
- I started two open source projects (more about those in future articles). This works perfectly for ‘talking about your good work’ and honing your skills.
- I am trying to get a slot for a talk in a conference. My current target is the SEACON right now.
- I am working on an article I am planning to publish.
What are you doing? Let me know in the comments.