Job change during economic uncertainty

So, Ive been working for this company for two years now (right out of college). 10 months of which I was the only Industrial designer for the brand. The people are great, the pay is good but the work itself isn’t what I really want it to be. I’ve written proposals to try and start strategic design within the company as well as locate design opportunities. None of which is really being received well. Going ahead and just doing stuff is actually frowned upon because it entails going to stores and researching and upper management sees this as promising solutions that we may not be able to achieve.

My question basically boils down to a job change. Does this seem like a good idea at this point in time? The economy is visibly shaky and I am currently under a large corporate umbrella. I’ve spoken with recruiters and there are jobs to be had at other companies none of which are as large as the company I am at currently. Moving to a large company isn’t necessarily a criteria at all, they are just much more stable during economic strife.

Any thoughts?

  1. There is no such thing as job security anymore.
  2. Don’t leave your job without another one to go to…not these days, at least.
  3. Go after what you think is best for you and don’t settle for less.


That makes sense. But you honestly don’t think there is any such thing as job security anymore? Maybe I’m being naive or green but I feel like its pretty secure here. Then again I guess that they just assume get rid of me than continue to pay for a service they don;t think they need anymore.

Nope, I really don’t.

You never know how deep a recession can cut. Layoffs are quite often arbitrary. Not based on performance of the individual, but performance of the group.

I have survived 2 rounds of layoffs and got hit by one. All three times it was a quick scalpel cut of 50 or so people with no regard to their skill/talent.

Thanks for the heads up. I guess I’ll just keep hunting for the job with the perfect fit.

Do any of you feel like now is a particularly bad time to be switching? Or do you feel about the same whether the economy is strong or not?

if your next job is at a large, publicly-traded company, you need to check their economic health. read their prospectus at a public library, look up their stock and see how it has performed, openly discuss their financial health.

unless you have about 6 months salary saved up, i would be extremely cautious.

i think moving from a company that knows your capabilities and performance to one that doesn’t is always a bit risky, but even moreso if you don’t know theirs.

this year, i am not so concerned about raises and bonuses as i am about padding my job security.

I’d say just do your research on the company you want to move to. If there is still an offer on the table after last week, why not go for it?

As far as security goes, I’ve always thought that the day you think you can’t be fired, is the day you get fired. You should always be proactive at staying on top of your job, but like IP said layoffs come swiftly and with little to no warning.

Though I never relied on it, I thought jobs in my department were fairly safe until 3 months ago. Until then folks left of their own will or were “lifers” and old age stopped them. Then 3 months ago the department I was in was cut in half by layoffs. To a certain extent we knew they were coming but didn’t think they were going to be as large as they were.

I think now a days a bit more planning/research might be warranted if you are going to move on, as I think some folks here are indicating, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say “hold tight”.

The economy is not dead. Companies still need to keep moving to stay competitive/alive and in certain cases that means bring on new, or changing, staff.

Also every now and then I hear about how folks/companies find niches in times like these and do very well.

This story might not really apply but it comes to mind for some reason. There was a great story on NPR a little wile ago about the guy who started his own garbage/street cleaning company in New Orleans because no other company wanted to touch (pun intended) the place post Katrina. The guy started from scratch buying a couple street cleaners and now has XX number of trucks, is loved by the folks who live there and has the major contracts in the town. He runs his operations from home on a couple 40" screen TVs that he uses to track his GPS located trucks to maximize efficiency.

I guess it’s about having faith in a plan.


look at job security in reverse.

The more you have been at a place, the more established you and the company are, the less security you may have as you are “inside the bubble” and more susceptible to change.

these days, most people don’t stay at one place more than 5 years, and most companies somewhat expect this. moving around keep you fresh, out of your comfort zone, and keeps the coming going with fresh talent and ideas.

not that there is anything wrong per se with sticking around a place longer, esp. if you have a higher up role, but in design (and some may say life) variety breathes challenge and inspiration.

in looking for a job, if/when you have one, go for it. going through the process of evaluating yourself, putting a portfolio together and seeing what else is out there and what people are looking for is always healthy even if you may not yet be in a position to move.

regardless of where i am or what im doing i try to “check the market” about once a year. see who’s hiring, what salaries are like, redo the portfolio, etc. keeps me fresh and if i do need to move on, i’m more prepared than if i hadn’t done so in a long time. portfolio and job searching is like cleaning out the garage. much easier to do a bit every season than ignore it for 5 years and then try to tackle it!


Just remember - Last one in, first one out - if the **** hits the fan, you’ll be first to go

Just remember - Last one in, first one out - if the **** hits the fan, you’ll be first to go

Unless its cost saving cuts… my wife has been part of a clearing out style cut, where they brought in fresh grads to do the work. She saw it coming, and had a job lined up before the layoffs began.

Works just like Officespace. Clear out the dead weight, bring in some fresh graduates and put them to work on a project in Singapore… standard operating procedure.

The most awesome strange thing happened hours after I started this post. I was actually promoted today, and am now in charge of the strategic design end of the industrial design group. Amazing. I think I should write about this everyday and see what happens. I can’t believe it. I’m in an absolute daze.


Thanks! I’m super pumped. Its one of those I’m glad I worked hard moments.

congratulations, sounds like you earned it.

i’ve been laid off twice now in my career. what i’ve learned the most from all of it is to be proactive in your job, don’t be afraid to take on responsibility. Even if you fail, you are gaining experience. try to make yourself the 'invaluable" in the department. that is, be the person that would take two or more to replace.

also, you have to be honest to yourself. if you are finding your job less challenging, management has probably already noticed and you are going to be labled as someone who isn’t working beyond your skillset.

you might not like it, but you have to ‘play the game’ and prove your worth everyday.

keep tabs on the meeting tempos, your superiors, make friends with HR. your ability to read their behavior gives you some insight to what might be going on.

your boss reads core posts. congrads



Congrats man. I was about to say that you should stick around that place for at least another 14 months, especially because you just got out of school. The fact of the matter is that there is always an amount of less-interesting to be done at the beginning of a career. I always suggest stick around for two years, then cut & run.