Radical Career Success in a Down Economy

O'Reilly sponsored an online webcast with two technical authors, Chad Fowler and Andy Lester. Their topic was "Radical Career Success in a Down Economy." They had some pretty good things to say, so I decided to blog about some of the things that stuck out in my mind.

  • Your Worth: Try to "be worth" what you're being paid. Chad mentioned that it was scary sometimes seeing what you're being paid, and asking yourself, "Am I really worth that?"

  • The Daily Hit: There's a concept known as the "Daily Hit", where you try to do something each day that matters to your boss. Sometimes it's not enough to say, "I wrote code today." It's better if you can say, "I accomplished X today." Even better, "I accomplished X today and it has <some measurable impact>."

  • Having a Blog: If you're a technical professional, especially a web professional, you need to have a technical blog. Not only is it effectively an extension of your resume, but it's expected.

  • Job Security: You never had it. You thought you did, but you didn't. The down economy hasn't changed this, it's just made it more obvious to a lot of people that they don't have job security. Your best job security is to be as good as you possibly can be at what you do. That doesn't mean you'll keep your job with your current company, it just means that you'll have an easier time finding a job if something does happen.

  • Career Path: You have to choose the career path that's right for you. And the definition of what's right may change over time.

As I said previously, these were some of the things that stuck in my mind from the talk. I'll post the link to the webcast when it becomes available.

Note: (July 10, 2009) The web cast is now available online.

Note: (July 13, 2009) Just in case you needed an illustration of my points regarding job security, I was laid off by Grab Networks today. They are a venture-backed startup; the Board met last week and decided that the company's burn rate was too high. Since most of the Ruby-based software has now been architected and built, they decided to lay off their Ruby architect and keep the lower-level developers for maintenance.


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