Your employer is having financial problems. There is a lot of pressure to do “more with less”, to pull together and “do the deals”, close the sales before end of quarter. But really, what do you owe your employer in the modern era ? What is best for you ? This situation is one where the modern paradigm of fail fast, fail often and fail early applies.
Whose Team Are You On ?
I’ve been freelancing for more than a decade. When companies hit a bad spot, they often turn to short-term options to hold things together and contract people like me. This is a simple financial decision because if things get worse (as they usually do) then I can be easily removed from the bottom line. Permanent employees are expensive to remove.
Here is what I’ve learned from working with “salary-people” in failing companies.
When a company hits downturn, make decision early about where you want to be. The company will reduce headcount, cut products and reduce spending to control costs. This will lead to your professional life being less pleasant. And what about the personal costs ?
Does Your Employer Care About You ?
Teams. Modern corporate life is all about team. There are many good aspects of teamwork but there is a less obvious downside “good of the team”. The team leader makes decisions about who is on the team. And that might not include you. But being part of a team also means that you choose whether to join the team or to stay in the team. The team will certainly survive without you. That’s why teams are important to companies, its a survival mechanism for the company.
In modern employment, you should be planning to change teams. You definitely should change teams and join others to learn new stuff, have new experiences. Whether you do that by changing employers is mostly irrelevant (aside from the annoying paperwork).
The Personal Cost of a Busted Company
And finally, there is the personal cost of working for a company in decline. It’s a misery. Being surrounded by failures of every sort is not good – people, money, business or whatever. If you are good employee, you take that with you when you leave the office. It will impact your personal life.
In modern IT companies, the smartest and best are often the fastest to recognise the problem and change teams to a different company. This means your team has good chance of being stuck with the leftovers making the situation worse.
It’s important to remember that you are a cost first and profit second. The cost of employing you (and your benefits) is an impact on profits. In dark times, employees are the second thing tossed out the door (the first is stationary and cheap office coffee). The thing that you do for the company will still make a profit for few more quarters.
The EtherealMind View
IT Infrastructure is an amazing career that lets you go anywhere. Between verticals, from vendor to customer, from sales to engineering. Skills are portable and reusable. If your employer is failing, they are probably failing to you too. In a modern capitalist market, your job matters about as much a as the first three sheets on a toilet roll. You can, and will, be discarded at anytime.
Make a decision early about whether you should get out or stay. If you stay, then you are working to build success out of failure. If you go, then you are choosing to build your own success. That’s a good experience too. Just make sure you are making a conscious choice about your career.
There is a modern saying about “fail fast, fail often, fail early”. If your employer is in financial trouble make sure you exercise your rights fast, often and early and move to the next employer.