Tough Times for CAD Managers? (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

21 Oct, 2008 By: Robert Green

To better your chances against looming personnel cuts, try these tips.

With all the financial uproar going on these days, I'm starting to get questions from CAD managers about job security. Leading these questions are "How do I layoff-proof my career?" and "What can I do to prepare for the worst?"

First let me address layoff-proofing yourself. The only way I know to not get laid off is to be so valuable to the organization that management would be crazy to get rid of you. From the CAD manager's position, below are some things you can do to be more valuable to your company.

Optimize Your Value
Make your CAD systems easy to use. This ensures that projects flow smoothly and users get jobs done faster, thus making them (and you) more productive.

Help out during crunch times. If there's an overwhelming CAD push, do some production work so the project gets done on time. In downtimes, it pays to be versatile and be part of the production machine!

Ask your boss what you can do. By partnering with your management, you can help meet goals and position your company for success. You'll never know how you can best help unless you ask.

As for preparing for the worst, here are a few ideas that've helped me through the years when I've experienced rough economic times.

Prepare for Hard Times
Keep reading and researching. There's no replacement for being on top of your technical game, so spend whatever time you need to to keep up with technology. View it as career insurance.

Keep your eyes and ears open for possibilities. It pays to be on the lookout for other opportunities when times are tough. Remember that some large companies actually try to staff up during down times because they figure that more good people will be out there looking!

Save money. If you do lose your job, don't be broke! If you haven't done so already, build up some personal savings to help you if the worst should happen.

I don't want to seem paranoid, but the fact is nobody really knows how tough things are going to get in the near term. I do know that by making yourself more valuable to your company and staying on top of your technical and financial situation, you'll be well served no matter what happens.

Got a question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your question in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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