Dear young professionals,
It’s me, the economy. It’s been great getting to know you over the past few years. You may not have thought of it, but I was here as you went from high school to college to the business world. When you were younger, free from children’s worries, career and other “adult” stressors, you played in my world as a consumer. Those were the good old days. Get a job that summer, earn some cabbage or your family’s pocket money, and go shopping.
Then went to university. I wish you could go back there, right? Work out occasionally, go to parties, maybe attend a few athletic events. If you took the more traditional route, then four years passed and you were suddenly on job interviews. Most of you didn’t find it difficult to get off. I was super healthy and the roles were many. But things weren’t always so big. I was sick in 2008. Banks were sinking. Mortgages were in default. Thousands of layoffs were a daily occurrence. Graduates have been lucky if they can find a job using any of the education for which they have just paid a fortune. But I’ve gotten better and good times have come.
I knew they wouldn’t be able to hold on even as they rolled. Like all of us, the longer I live without getting sick, the more likely I am to find something. Unfortunately, you people seem to have forgotten that. Not only do you forget, you reverse logic. The longer I don’t get sick, the more convinced you’ll be that I’ll never get sick again! But I’m here to tell you that in a 50-year career, you’re going to have to deal with me getting sick a few times. The causes of my episodic illnesses are global and complex. So no one can guess. But every now and then I will be hit by a bug. Bank on it.
One of the factors that often plays a role in my illnesses is magical thinking. You know what I’m talking about; The thought that manifests itself in the most dangerous of expressions: “This time is different.” News flash: not. The value of the property may decrease. Companies that do not generate cash intent finally quit work. Guaranteed returns are not possible from risky assets.
You may have noticed, now I’m under the weather. Hopefully it’s just a cold and it doesn’t turn into a full-blown flu like it did in 2008 and 2009. But, like you, I don’t know how this disease will progress. And those who tell you what they did are either lying or ignorant. There are definitely some signs that my illness is getting worse. I have read your newspapers. Layoffs are back in fashion. Inflation is my thermometer and last year’s readings are up. The war in Europe caused complications. Things definitely got better.
“Thanks for nothing, economy” I can hear you say. You’re right. I’m a little negative, aren’t I? Since none of us know when I will get sick, how severe the side effects will be, or how long they will last, allow me to offer some advice to help you get over my illness.
Accept the fact that I’m going to get sick first. The more you remind yourself of this, the less surprised you will be when it happens. “What good is that?” you can ask. Knowing that this will happen doesn’t make it any easier to handle the pain of a setback. Or is it? Reminding yourself that bad times will eventually come in good times will put you in a better state of mind when they inevitably come. Say to yourself, “I knew this was coming. No need to panic. This was expected.” Combine this mentality with the understanding that nothing lasts forever, “this too shall pass” and everything will be fine.
Second, use the times I’m healthy to arm yourself for when I’m not. It’s easier to prepare for a setback. not in the middle of one. You’ve probably heard a lot about being a lifelong learner. Yes, be one of them. To read. take a course. Feed your curiosity. Research shows that curiosity is critical in acquiring new knowledge. One conclusion is also true: acquiring new knowledge helps arouse curiosity. Always “Why?” From this question, all knowledge, innovation and skill will flow. When tougher times come, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of opportunities.
Finally, if I’m not well and you find yourself unemployed or in a career you hate, consider starting your own company or joining a venture. I know this may seem illogical. Isn’t it hard to find funds and gain customers while I’m wheezing and coughing? It definitely can. But countless times as I stretched out in bed with the duvet tucked up to my chin, I’ve seen people start companies that have grown into giants. Did you know that Microsoft was founded during a recession? So are Slack, Airbnb, WhatsApp, and Uber. It will not be easy. You will work hard. You may even fail. But using my resentment as an excuse not to be an entrepreneur is unacceptable. Consider giving it a shot. Payable.
All right, I better go to bed. I’m really trying to beat this cold so I don’t fall back into who I was 15 years ago. None of us want this. See you later.
the best i can do,