Unemployment right now is skyrocketing in this country and you could be next. According to an article from Nasdaq today unemployment could reach as high as 20%. This is going to effectively put 1 out of every 5 Americans out of work and with government websites overwhelmed with such high volumes of traffic, people that just lost their jobs are finding it impossible to file unemployment claims leaving people without no access to pay or benefits in a job market that is ever-shrinking.
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The only way to justify that you are worth keeping on the payroll is being able to quantify what your dollar figure worth is at the company you are working at right now. Every company right now is looking for ways to cut expenses. These tough times are hitting all of us and nobody is immune to the economic impact. The biggest impact Covid19 has on you as a working Product Manager is going to be the lack of patience you will feel from both management and investors. We are in a wartime economy right now and you need to be a wartime product manager. This means, you actually have to show the company that you are making money for them. No company is going to keep you around just because you have been with them since the beginning, for a long time, or been loyal. Your past achievements are all null, void, and forgotten. You need to show companies you got what it takes right now to make money.
Show Growth with User Engagement
Another way to save your own skin is actually showing your management team and investors that people are actually using the products and features you guys are building. You have to employ this tactic if there is no way for you to generate immediate revenue. This is the time when you have to show growth.
There are only so many expenses a company can trim off before they start cutting into their own skin and bones. If you can’t generate revenue or present engagement, then you have to run. Companies like Bird, Toast, and Open Door didn’t lay off their teams because their people weren’t performing. They had to cut their staff because there is no way for them to generate revenue or show engagement.
Covid19 is going to test the resilience of every company, business owner, and employee in the world and unfortunately some of us just aren’t going to make it. Complacency (not coronavirus) has long been a pandemic that has plagued the tech industry way before anybody ever heard of Covid19. People have been building products customers never needed or wanted for years and now this is going to come full circle for them. Companies that made bold promises but never delivered are going to get killed too and there is only so much you can do to carry a company that doesn’t want to improve.
Start planning your own exit to jump ship and save your own skin. There is no shame in it, because Covid19 is going to be with us until 2021 so forget what people think about you. The only thing that matters is keeping your cash flow coming positive so you can live to fight another day.
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