Currently working in a small start up as an Agile project manager.

Current situation:

  • My team (dev team and I) are very consistent, we are working on one product and every week we are continuously delivering iterations of the product with new features, which is an improvement from the week before.

  • In contrast, the Sales team which comprises of 5 people, only one person is getting sales (the founder), the others are not, this is however not on a consistent bases. One month we will have 5 projects, another month will be dry.

  • Today I had lunch with one member of the sales team, a colleague, and he told me that if the product is not sold to another company, the company will struggle to make money to sustain itself.

My colleague has told me that his job is under threat, where the CEO has told him that if he doesn't get sales in the next 4 weeks, he will have to let him go.

I am concerned that the company could fold and don't know how this would negatively impact my CV. Will it? The only thing that is stopping me from moving on, is that I only have 9 months experience as an agile project manager, so I am concerned that I won't be taken seriously on the job market. Is 9 months coming to 10 enough? I am confused what my next step should be, suggestions from other people that have been in this situation is welcomed.

  • 2
    We can't really tell you what to do - it's not what we do on Workplace SE, however things certainly don't sound good. You're right that 9 months of experience are not really enough to look good on a resume. Don't worry about the company going under - that won't affect your employability. However, if the company does go down you may not have any income until you find a new job. Depending on your situation you may wish to draft up a resume and start looking around just in case. But things could also turn around - we can't possibly know. – AndreiROM Jun 13 '16 at 14:37
  • Thanks for your response. What's the correct forum to ask this question - project management meta? I thought Workplace SE is all Workplace related issues? – bobo2000 Jun 13 '16 at 14:40
  • If you check out the close reasons on a question, or the site scope, you will see that Workplace SE doesn't take on opinion based questions. What this means is that there is no way for any of us to know exactly what the situation you're facing is. We'll give advice on certain clear-cut issues, but how can any of us advise you to quit without knowing every detail about your finances, job prospects, the company's prospects, etc. We'd be guessing, and StackExchange sites in general don't allow for that. – AndreiROM Jun 13 '16 at 14:46
  • Are there any other signs that the company is doing poorly? Are you still getting paid on time, etc? Maybe the issue is with the sales rep, and not the company. – Brandin Jun 13 '16 at 14:48
  • @Brandin yes I am still being paid on time. The other sign is after talking to my boss who is leading the sales team, he has told me directly that it is difficult to close deals, with only him getting any in. – bobo2000 Jun 13 '16 at 14:56

I wouldn't worry about the impact to your CV unless you were directly part of the failure that brought the company down. Those sales reps that aren't making any sales probably wants to shy away from using this company as a highlight to their career in sales. Unfortunately businesses go all the time, for one reason or another. Don't focus on that, and just focus on what you did to make it as successful as you could have.

You, as a developer, have no business impact on that side of things. Instead, focus on what you did have an impact on. For those customers that you (and your team) took on, how well did you do? Did you meet your goals, and if so, how well did you achieve them? How was your performance as an agile manager, and how well did your team work as a result? Were there any particular clients for whom you exceeded expectations? These are the things I'd be looking to highlight.

I can tell you that 8 months of experience as a dev was all I needed to get jump-started into that career. While it doesn't look the best, your 9-10 months isn't bad. I have learned that even some experience in the area can make all the difference when you're generally filtering through dozens of potential candidates with no experience in the area.

  • I am not a developer, I am the product manager leading a team of developers to continuously deliver product increments - I used to be a developer and never want to do it again. Really hated it. – bobo2000 Jun 13 '16 at 14:57
  • As project manager, you still have an impact on the development cycle, and therefore, on the final product. Fortunately/Unfortunately this looks either good or bad on you as product manager. – user17163 Jun 13 '16 at 15:06
  • Yeah, I understand. I am not involved in the sales side, literally I just get the team to build what the CEO wants, in the end it comes down to him and the sales team to sale. I am just not sure if there is a large enough market for his product. – bobo2000 Jun 13 '16 at 15:10
  • I've unfortunately been in that situation myself (although it collapsed after 3 months and we had a whopping 2 customers), and I've actually elected to remove that from my resume entirely. Great thing about your situation is it sounds like there's plenty of ways you can spin a positive entry in your CV. Get creative :p – user17163 Jun 13 '16 at 15:18
  • Sounds horrible. On the positive, we have worked with some high profile clients and aside from working on the main product, I have delivered all sorts of projects here, the problem has just been that the company is not consistent with it's sales. I would hate to remove it from my CV. – bobo2000 Jun 13 '16 at 15:26

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