In COVID-19 time, the signs point to one thing: We are moving towards another recession. And as a developer, you may be wondering what this means for your job. Here are are some tips on how to survive in an economic downturn.
Unemployment is the highest it has been since the Great Depression, the stock market has suffered a setback, and companies are beginning to cut corners to save money. All signs point to one thing: We are moving towards another recession.
If you have been working in web development or design for some time, you know that fluctuations are a natural part of the business. No industry is protected from the effects of the recession, but some are more resilient than others. Job security is generally high for developers, but this does not mean that you will not be immune to layoffs or pay cuts.
So what can you do to keep you afloat in this economic downturn? Here are five tips to survive during a recession and even thrive.
1. Diversify your skills
When the economy is booming, expertise in a particular aspect of web development can help boost your income and create more value for your employer. According to Pacekel, experts earn twice as much as normal people do.
But in an economic slump, this script blinks on its head. As companies loosen and tighten their belts, they rely more on team members who can act as jacks of all trades. The more versatile you are, the more valuable you will be during times of recession.
It takes time to learn a new skill, but it can increase your value to employers or customers, increasing the likelihood that you will be employed in times of financial difficulty. As you increase your skill level, consider adding new work to GitHub and listing your new skills on LinkedIn.
2. Focus on goals and produce results
You are impressed by your craft and the quality of your code, and rightly so. But your employer cares about his business. And when money gets tight, the non-essentials go first.
At home, this may mean cutting back on takeout dinner and movie tickets. However, for your employer or customer, it means not producing a valuable return on your investment.
Make sure you are not.
Take some time to reevaluate your work in light of your company’s or client’s business goals. What kind of results are they expecting? Do you distribute those benefits? Are you making a meaningful contribution to the bottom line?
Focus on contributing content to the company’s short-term and mid-term goals. To reinforce your value, look for concrete indicators of the results you deliver, such as site traffic, user engagement, leads, or sales. Once customers or employers see your value, they will be even more essential when the budget starts shrinking.
3. Budget your time and manage your cash
When money gets tight, focusing on efficiency is more important than ever.
If you are a salaried employee, a waste of time means that your work output is affected. As a result, you become less valuable to your employer.
If you are a consultant, inefficiencies mean fewer clients and less income. The more efficient you are with your time and energy, the more cash you can save for the next recession.
Try using a time tracker and keep a record of the hours you work each day. Note how much time you spend on productive, creative work – such as coding new features or eliminating bugs – versus project management, meetings, and other tasks.
If you are a freelancer, a good accounting tool can help you manage your budget, track your expenses, and maximize your efficiency.
4. Make yourself visible
If you are like most devas, you probably avoid meetings like the plague. But staying in the right meetings and working on important projects is an effective way to ensure the leadership that you are making an active contribution. Aim to make an impact not only on your manager, but their manager.
If you are working from home or on a freelance basis, you may feel a little invisible. But active participation and engagement is nothing complicated.
Making yourself visible – even just by being active in zoom meetings or on Slack – you can keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on. Better yet, it will keep relevant and top of the stack with those who work with you. You never know that someone might need your help. Make sure you top their list when the time comes.
5. Make people’s lives easier
Teammates and clients like to work with people who solve more problems than they create. So you need to make people’s lives easier.
Get your work done well and on time, and do a light QA before checking in your code so that you can uncover any obvious issues. Listen when others need to vent. Take the initiative to get more work done, especially tasks that can reduce the burden of peers who work more.
While all of this may seem obvious, you would be surprised how much some dev’s try. Doing this goes a long way to move you from optional to essential.
The most important thing is to evaluate your work and your strategy. Some of the changes you conduct can make you recession-proof, and even help you during an economic recession.
You will also be helping yourself by helping others during a recession. Positioning yourself as an industry leader, a hard worker, and a flexible contributor will help you emerge from a stronger recession than ever before.