Moving Up When Things Are Down

Yesterday the Interwebs were all a twitter after a couple A-list-types were laid off and the production schedule pared back at Revision3.  We need to get over it.  Companies have to adjust to the new reality of our economic misfortune. It would be utterly irresponsible for a company not to act, but that doesn’t make it easier for any of the folks affected.

It was all fun and games for Twitter when it was Joe WebDev at Seesmic, or Jane Marketing at Pandora who got their pinks.  Now it’s the faces we know, and it’s becoming serious, because we’re slowly realizing that next time it could be us.

I’m not a financial expert, but those that I trust for such information are painting a fairly bleak picture, particularly for startup companies.   That said, stable, profitable companies would be the place to be.

Coming from a place (Atex) where there were perpetual layoffs, I can offer a little advice:

  • It’s Time to Get Old School – provide as much value as you can to your employer.  The days of 9 to 5 are over.  Think of your company in a fight for survival and find a way to become an integral part of the machine.
  • Have a Self-Improvement Project – now is the time to begin investing in your product, which is yourself.  Find ways to have even more to offer.
  • Have a Side Project – now is the time when you can get in on the ground floor with a video or web project.  As companies contract, opportunities for independent producers open up.
  • Rainy Day Funds Rule – what can I say?  Stashed cash can help keep the wolf from the door, and it can also allow you to take advantage of opportunities.

Remember this: Things are never as bad as you fear, nor as good as you hope.

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