Don’t waste this recession!

Recently I’ve received several emails from former colleagues, who were  informed that their positions are being “eliminated.”   One particular email was laced with fear throughout.  They were so very afraid and here’s why…

  • Several years (too many–really) with the same employer, and
  • Limited network & professional community, and
  • An absence of key market certifications and skills that are recognized and sought-after in the marketplace, and
  • Title confusion—the title and job they carried DOESN’T line up with the marketplace expectations, and
  • The organization didn’t keep pace with technology, so the systems they know  are not needed in the marketplace, and finally
  • They ignored social media, specifically LinkedIn and their professional web presence.

They were left dazed & confused by the news.

I worked a number of years in the mortgage industry, running operations that included underwriting.  In lending, they have something called payment shock.  Payment shock occurs when monthly payment jumps from one month to the next, potentially becoming unaffordable.  We saw that quite a bit with first time homebuyers where their mortgage payment (with taxes & insurances) was double or triple the rental payments.

Individuals entering the job (search) market with the challenges listed above are experiencing something akin to payment shock.  They are not exactly sure how their current skill-set will scale to other industries, jobs, emerging markets, which bring me to the subject of the blog.

Don’t waste this recession!

In January, I wrote, “What is the Data Telling Us” for a Day of Opportunity event.  You can click the title to read & learn more, but the crux of the whitepaper is “you have choices” YES…even in this very stressful time—you have choices.    I will not go over the choices I outlined in the document, you can read them for yourself, but here is what I would add regarding this time of crisis when you are hit with this type of news.

  • This time of crisis is a temporary opportunity for a permanent gift!  Researchers talk about Post Traumatic Growth.  In essence, adversity leads to growth and in many cases the highest forms of growth—but—but, but, but, but, but, only if we respond rightly. It may sound cliché but “the only way out is through”.
  • Time of crisis can help you create deep roots!  Spiritual, relational, educational, are some of the roots are that are deepened and strengthened.
  • Time of crisis (and recession) can help you develop (or reset) your philosophy.  What is your philosophy when it comes to work, money, community, family, and so on. Unfortunately, I see that far too often errors in philosophy when repeated over-time could lead to disaster.  Here’s a little advice from Jim Rohn.

“The major question to ask on the job is not what am I getting here, the major question to ask on the job is what am I becoming here”

Always, always, always ask that question.  Asking and answering that question will lead you to make informed career & job choices, launch companies, select business partners, and the like.

So, don’t waste this recession, it’s your time of opportunity!

  • Reset your philosophies – they probably need tuning anyway
  • Create deep roots in key areas of your life
  • Use this time as energy & fuel

(Updated 5/2015; originally posted 4/2011)

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  • V. Daniel says:

    I read the blog and it certainly spoke the ‘truth’ for those of us who are lagging in knowlege of the current marketplace. Fortunately, I’ve kept of abreast of what’s happening in the marketplace, but have associates who don’t have a clue of what is going on. Somehow, they allowed 30 years slipped by not knowing the basic of operating a PC or responding/sending emails without help. Yes, there is a great need to inform and educate these former employees in bringing them up to date on how to function in a technology literate society.