Posted on | January 24, 2008 | No Comments
The “Big R”, Recession, is here. Ushered in by higher gas prices and the subprime mortgage debacle, the recession is spreading like Ebola to every sector of the economy. Yesterday, the stock market took a spine-tingling 326-point dive before rebounding (to our collective relief). The unemployment rate is at a two-year high of 5%. Housing prices and home sales are at an all-time low (unaffected by Fed rate cuts).
Department stores reported disappointingly low sales numbers for the holiday season and are scrambling for a new strategy to win back previously free-spending consumers. And, big business is announcing mass layoffs in nearly every sector–manufacturers are closing their doors in record numbers (over 212,000 jobs lost in 2007), domestic automakers continue to offer workers buy-out packages and the financial services industry is in a tailspin. Even the shiny, high-performing tech sector has been affected (Friday, Yahoo announced its plan to layoff as many as 14,000 workers).
And, the only relief in sight is the economic stimulus package being hastily constructed by the President and members of Congress, the benefits of which we may not see until this summer.
So, what can you do to ride out this recession?
5 KEYS TO RIDING OUT THE RECESSION
- Steady Yourself:Â The only way to beat back uncertainty is with preparation. Start by preparing yourself emotionally. Take time out to discuss your concerns and fears with your spouse, significant other, friends or family. Having a support structure in place during a crisis or setback is key to staving off depression and hopelessness. Your personal support structure group can also help you plan your “recession survival strategy”.
- Shore Up Finances: Now’s the time to save money, spend wisely, lay off the credit cards and refinance variable loans (if your credit allows).
- Fluff Up Your Resume: Don’t assume you will lose your job, but do keep an open mind and an eye on the job listings. If your boss does deliver dreaded layoff news, you’ll feel better having a job search plan in place.
- Network…a lot: This sounds crazy, but consider this. Networking is key to staying abreast of hidden job opportunities and emerging business opportunities. There’s also a social-emotional benefit: Commiserating with others actually makes us feel better.
- Ferret Out Opportunities: Even in crisis there is opportunity.Â For every change there is someone to usher it in. Could you be that someone? While layoffs are awful for those affected, they spell great opportunity for human resources professionals, attorneys, job coaches, outplacement firms and even colleges.