Web Designer/Developer, Storyteller and Lover of Technology

I'm a web designer/developer, writer and animator living in Birmingham Ala. I have been working in the web design/development field for 15 years. I am a founding member of the writing and animation team 5 Guys in a Garage who started JabTV.com. I have worked for various internet and media companies over the years including the now defunct Hecklers.com and al.com.

How a web designer/developer can prepare for a down economy.

With the news networks spewing economic doom and gloom. The state of the economy has been on my mind and how I personally can cut back and prepare for the worst. Here are some universal tips all web designer/developer can consider.


1. If you have the means. Pay off your credit cards and start a savings account.

Eliminating debt is paramount. You can’t start saving if you owe Visa. If things go south your credit cards interest rate will go north. If you just make the minimum payment your just giving visa their cut and the principal will still be accruing interest.

Start saving money. Put a little back if you can from every check, You’ll feel a lot better with a monetary cushion if things get rocky.

2. Cut your expenses back as far as you can.

Do you really need that triple-shot, skinny, sugar-free latte? Isn’t that $4.50 you can save. Make some coffee with the coffee pot in the kitchen. You know the one with the layer of dust on it.

Instead of buying that fifty dollar console game. Play the stack of games you have next to the console system. More than half of which you never finished anyway.

If you rent movies and buy audio books both can be had for free at your public library.

Instead of getting away for the weekend. Go to the park for the day. it’s free and the fresh air will do you good.

3. Get your resume together and have your business cards.

Update your resume or draft one if you don’t have one. Update your portfolio pages with your latest stuff and eliminate anything that might be questionable.

4. Use and participate in internet social networks.

Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are all social networks that can be joined and mined for contacts. One way to approach this is to find people and are in the web industry but specialize in areas you do not. That way you can create a feeling of synergy with your contacts.

I like twitter. The web design and developer community is great and friendly. They chat about what they are writing, what they are working on and they give a yell out to the community if they need work done they do not specialize in.

5. If you lose your job. Use that time to work on yourself.

You’ve lost your job. Lots of people in the startup arena have. Yahoo, Mahalo and Revision3. What do you do now besides the obvious of getting another job?

There is no replacement for self-development. If you improve yourself, the world around you will do the same.

If you code PHP. Get so good at coding a employer would be nuts not to hire you. Got an idea for a internet service? Build it. When the economy is down this when you build value. Value in that project you could never get to because the paying work was in the way. Value in yourself by learning, striving and developing.

Remember just because things are bad now they will get better and when that happens you’ll want to be ready.

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