Dino Cajic explaining Software Development During Recession

Economic downturns have so far been my most profitable times. While everyone else is panicking, I get to work. Sometimes they’re career moves and other times they’re purely financial; most of the time they’re both. We’re in another pivotal time. How will you take advantage of the situation?

What Most People Do

There’s a saying that you’ve probably heard, “if it bleeds it leads.” This is the time that news organizations get excited about. They love the turmoil since people will be glued to their news station of choice. The market will continue to swing wildly and we’ll most likely enter a recession, if we’re not there already.

The question that you have to ask yourself in this circumstance is, does listening to the same terrible narrative over and over again help you in your financial decisions? I always look at prognosis by industry experts and stay aways from mainstream media. For example, there’s talk that a recession will hit the first half of 2023. The CPI was just released today at 8.6%. Are the markets overreacting? What do you do with this type of information?

If you’re like most, you’ll pull your money, lose your potential profits and wait for the economy to get better. This is the time that these individuals quit looking for opportunities and want to make sure that they have a secure position where they’re at. It’s time for them to hunker down and wait out the hurricane.

That’s not me.

Time to Learn a New Skill

You’ll notice a trend that there are still positions that need to be filled but not that many skilled individuals are applying. The skilled developers are holding onto their existing positions and hoping that they’ll survive the layoffs that are looming right around the corner.

This is the absolute perfect opportunity to obtain a new skillset to change your job. You may think that you don’t have enough time. Just look at how long this has dragged out already. It started towards the end of last year and has dragged out into summer of this year. The prediction is that the economy will start getting out of the recession in the summer of 2023. That means you have about a year to learn your new skill.

Market Yourself

It used to drive me absolutely insane when I heard recruiters mention that “developers should improve their lighting during interviews.” Even though I personally love lighting, why is that going to improve their chances of getting hired. I thought we looked at skills and experience, not lighting.

Needless to say, you should still probably market yourself. Everyone has a unique approach, but here’s mine:

Teach. If you have the patience for it, creating content that helps other developers is huge. Create a YouTube channel and start teaching the skillset that you want to advertise. As a bonus, you may actually start making money from YouTube.

Write Articles. I go through my phases of writing. I’m on a mission to write an article a day for the next 365 days. I’m about a month in so far and not planning on slowing down. You can add your personal blog to your resume when you’re applying. People will check, trust me.

Write Books. If you’re writing articles, the next logical step is to write books. As long as your day is properly structured, you can write a decent book in a year. Again, strategically pick the area that you want to move into and write about it. After the amount of research that you do in order to write a quality book, you will actually become somewhat of an expert on the topic.

Social Media. You can feed the algorithm with who you are, or you can train the social media algorithm to see you as the individual you want to become. Post strategic content to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Know the audience and what each algorithm favors. For example, format your posts on LinkedIn so that you’re not posting giant paragraphs. For Instagram, post quality reels.

Get a New Job

You’re already skilled you say? Time to start looking. You have a job and the market will become scarce. Go after the moon and don’t accept anything less. Go into the interview confidently and not hungry for the opportunity. If the company wants you badly enough, they’ll work for you. A little secret: most companies aren’t getting anywhere near the amount of quality developers applying, so your timing couldn’t be more perfect.

When you enter an interview with confidence, you start noticing how much they actually want you. You can observe their approach and your own. Tweak what works in real time. In the end, if you don’t get it, you’ve had a heck of a stress-free learning experience. Move on to the next interview and incorporate your polished interviewing techniques.

Work on that App and Reach Out with MVP Products

Companies are hurting and are looking to cut expenses. Other companies were looking to incorporate that new software into their business but can’t afford it now. This is your golden opportunity. The way to keep your app moving in any environment is to get a few users that will pay for your app while you’re building it. They provide you feedback and you keep building.

When cash is scarce, these companies are more likely to play along, especially if they think they can improve their business with your software. Take the MVP approach and push out updates regularly. By the end of the recession, you should have a few loyal customers that will feel like this app was built for them. You can then introduce it to the rest of the market at a much higher cost.

Invest or Save to Invest

Robert Kiyosaki just said to buy everything, including toilet paper. For the first time, I’m waiting.

Why am I waiting? First, the economy is likely to get worse before it gets better. That’s what I’m betting on based on everything that I’ve read. We’re still in a downward trend.

So, how much money should you save before investing it into the stock market? There’s no clear answer to this but here are my tips. If you own a home, look at your remaining mortgage. Pretend like you’re paying off your home and put the money aside. As long as the amount of money you have doesn’t go over the amount that you have to pay off, you’re in good shape.

Now, let’s say that the economy crashes fully. It’s time to back the truck into the stock market and snatch up all of those deals. Make sure that you have a good reserve just in case you lose your job and need to look for another one.

If the economy recovers quicker than expected, you could still invest into the stock market and watch your money grow. If you feel like you’ve completely missed the boat, you can put that money into your home balance and pay off the amount. Once you sell your home, that money will have risen the exact same way as if you put that money into your home a year ago.

Please note that the following points were from my own personal experience and in no way should guide you in your own financial investing. This is just what worked for me.

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