Yup, your heard me right, the 2008-2009 recession is actually pretty good for all of us! Instead of looking at the recession as a walk in the desert, I prefer to see it as a cold winter of great warnings and doors of opportunities. It is true that recession hit very hard as a cold winter on those who didn’t protect themselves enough. When I talk about cold winter, I am talking about minus 40 degrees with 10 feet of snow… Many people have suffered from it but there is still a lot to learn from the current recession:
“Buy when there is blood on the street”. This is probably my favourite quote from Wall Street. It is a bit violent, but it clearly determines the only moment where you should use market timing: when everybody else is avoiding it! Investing during a recession will make your investment portfolio jump like you could not have imagined. It’s a classic but nobody’s doing it L. As the cold winter strikes and everybody goes inside at the first sigi of snowflakes, you can be brave enough to stay outside. You will get your stuff ready for next spring while everybody is looking at you through the window with their hot chocolate thinking “what a crazy, poor man, he has to work all winter…”. Who’s going to be the crazy, poor man after the recession? Huh?
Badass winters used to strike our country while our parents (or grandparents) didn’t have much to eat, talk about genuinely rough times. As is the case during a recession, it drives to you think about managing your resources and spending more responsibly. This is when you develop frugal habits (that you will soon forget once summer is back…). The 2009 recession will definitely encourage people to save money (Canadian and US savings rates are ridiculous… as close as a 1 year CD actually… near nothing!). Spend less and save more, you will be able to eat throughout winter!
Recession improves ecologic habits
During winter, we all try to use everything on hand instead of wasting it. It is exactly the same thing with a recession. The best example would be the famous Cash for Clunkers. Governments try to stimulate the economy while appearing green (it gets good press even though not the primary goal!). While you have less money in your pocket, recuperating your old stuff becomes the best idea you can have.
Appreciate things we have
I always laugh when I hear people talking about the weather in Quebec. They spend their whole summer complaining it is too hot and once winter arrives, they whine about the cold weather (want some cheese with that) … This is what happens during a recession, we miss the good old days where we had to work 60 hours a week. The human being is a weird beast; it has to lose something before appreciating it. So, if you are lucky enough to not be struck by the 2009 recession, please appreciate what you have and take care of it!
As companies cut out the fat, the remaining employees have to do more with fewer resources. This is when creativity rises to its best: when there are no other solutions than finding a better way of doing things! This is how most companies will show increases in productivity and the profit margin as well in 2010 ;-0.
Good position for a promotion
As it is the case with creativity, if you stay with your company and you are not part of the “fat”, you have a pretty good opportunity to work hard and show you can manage the stress and pressure. There is a better than average chance you will be in the running for a promotion when things go better as most people around will react poorly during a recession. They will whine about people being laid off while they still have a job. They will complain that they have to work more or do things that was not in their “job description” (don’t you hate hearing that?!?). By being responsible and showing a positive attitude, you will surely make your way through the top despite the recession.
When you think about it, a recession is really like a badass winter. If you work hard and are patient enough, you will get great rewards once springtime arrives! Now, go get your coat on, it’s freezing this morning!
image source: Ed Yourdon
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