If you've been following tech news lately, things feel ... 😖 Between the layoffs, hiring freezes, investors suddenly caring about revenue, and whatever the heck stock markets are doing, we're in for a rough time.
I read Ray Dalio's Principles for a Changing World Order recently and that did not help me feel better, I'll tell you that. His argument is similar to Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century – the US Empire is at its peak and after a peak, well, you know ...
But economists have correctly predicted 9 of the past 5 recessions. The sky is always falling 🤷♀️
I don't know what's going to happen. Nobody does. We're taking bets with our actions.
Here's what I do know:
- US unemployment is at 3.5%, the lowest it's been in 50 years
- Global unemployment is just 7.48% – 5% for OECD countries
- Tech unemployment is 2.3%, up from 1.7%
To put that in perspective, there have never been as many people with jobs as there are today.
Why now to focus on your career
Despite the high job growth and low unemployment, tech is down. That has a chilling effect on what we do as engineers.
Investors are less excited to throw money around. Founders become more shy. Business people think "Do we need to make this bet right now or can it wait?"
And when everyone is playing defense, you should play offense.
After every downswing comes a big upswing. The best days in US stocks have been right after a crash – 1929, 1987, 2008, and basically all of 2021.
Think back to all the tech darlings right now. When did they start? Many come out of the 2008 time period when the economy was rough and talented people couldn't get better jobs than to jump into promising startups.
If you joined one of those at the start of its S-curve ... let's say a lot of big fortunes were made. The Coinbase founder (2013) said on a recent podcast that their IPO minted an estimated 1000 millionaires.
How playing offense helps you weather a storm
The best recession proofing is a higher salary. That's it.
The more money you make and save now, the less you need later. And with that opportunity to solve bigger and better challenges, finding the next job is even easier.
Like I said in the fireside chat in yesterday's email: Being able to say "I experienced a company growing from 40 to 400 in two years" trumps anything else I've ever done to the right kind of company.
That's where positioning statements and having a vision comes in – What do you want to do? What fires you up?
Are you doing the things that get you there?
If now sounds like the right time, consider getting a copy of the Senior Engineer Mindset book and audio
PS: the updated Senior Engineer Mindset book package goes up in price for every 100 purchases
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Here's what a reader had to say:
Hey Swiz, I really enjoyed the series. Quite useful 5-step roadmap, if everybody kept those things in mind we would be in a much better place and our industry would be a more mature and less hype-driven one. Thanks, keep up the great work!
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Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
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