My day job is as a network acceleration expert at Citrix Systems, which is feeling the economic slowdown (as who isn’t?). Wednesday afternoon they announced they were reducing their workforce by 10%. Thursday afternoon I learned that I was not going to be shown the door — which meant that I still had to meet my horrendously difficult Friday deadlines!
I’m sure we all know people who have lost their jobs in this recession. I feel fortunate to have been through this before, having been given the old heave-ho at Activision in the Eighties and WEITEK in the Nineties when their respective wheels fell off. Plus some other gigs when I was a free-lance contractor. Once you’ve been through it a few times, the prospect is a nuisance rather than a terror. In fact, I’ve never left a job of my own free will. Gigs don’t last, not in high tech, anyway.
So I’m still on the job at Citrix, which is good, since there are some cool things in the works that I want to help push out the door.
As for recession-proofing tips, I don’t suppose that I have any special insights. The key is to keep your expenses well below your income and avoid debt so you can constantly build up savings for emergencies and retirement. In our case, we bought a farm that was within our means, never buy new cars (our newest vehicle is a ’96 Toyota pickup), pay off our credit cards every month, and if our income goes up, we put most of the increase into savings. We fell off the wagon around 2000, running up considerable credit-card debt just before getting hammered by the recession that followed the dot-com bubble. That wasn’t very smart of us. But we got back out of debt eventually and are in okay shape again.