We Interrupt This Program

Aug 3, 2022
Kate Walton

Hello from Steyer! My plan, as regular readers may remember, was to use this installment to address two additional questions about portfolios:

1. What if I’m starting out and don’t have a portfolio?
2. What if I have a strong portfolio, but everything I’ve worked on is proprietary and cannot be shared?


As it happens, however, I don’t have time to write that piece today. If you urgently need answers to these questions, please email me at . Coaching people through job searches is something that I reserve four hours for every week, and I’d be happy to hop on a call with you. If you don’t need this information urgently, please just stay tuned. I will write that piece as soon as I can.

So, what’s pulling my focus? The wild ride (a euphemism that helps keep my spirits up, so I’m sticking with it!) that is the current business environment. Many of our clients have announced layoffs. Some have placed active projects on hold.

Our top priorities right now, and through this storm, are:
1) To look after our current COB (Consultants on Billing)—providing them with as much information and security as we can muster in these uncertain times; and
2) To seek out the new business opportunities that do exist—with a view to closing, as best we can, the revenue gaps that inevitably emerge from client-side slow-downs.

The good news (I guess?) is we’ve been here before: in 2020, the early months of the pandemic were shot through with uncertainty. So many projects—and in fact whole practices (like our research video arm)—came to a grinding halt. At that time, I remember talking to my back-office team about the concept of budgets as moral documents—documents that reflect one’s true values no matter what one says, or even believes those values to be.

Throughout the pandemic, we prioritized the well-being and job security of both our back-office team and our consultants. We were not able to keep every individual talent we had employed before the pandemic, both because of the business-as-usual churn that stems from isolated performance/fit issues and because the mix of projects changed so radically. But we did manage to drive up the total number of jobs we were sustaining—and we did bring a level of care and support that I’m proud of to every person whose work with us ended before it was expected to.

During this round of economic uncertainty, we’ll aim to do the same. Please wish us luck! ::rolls up sleeves, heads into meetings::