Is a recession coming? Are the people in your company or association ready for a revisit of 2008 and 2009? Are you?
Industry associations provide a lot of value to their members, but none is more important than how they provide a venue for people to connect with others field. If you are the best kept secret in your industry, then you may get hurt if the bottom falls out. Those who are engaged in their trade groups (and other types of organizations) in good times are the best situated to navigate the inevitable downturns.
It is common for those who are active in industry associations to have strong reputations within their companies, with their customers, and among their competitors. While the online world is full of great tools for people to gain “fame”, lasting reputations come from shared experiences and commitments shared with other people. I am not dissing digital connections, but to rely only on LinkedIn or other social media may be risky in the coming months and years.
When I present at events it is about disrupting social media. I do not mean “disrupt” in a bad way, but there are too many people at live conferences who gaze into their screens while barely communicating with the others in attendance. Teaching people to build real relationships has been my gig for ten years.
Now I am working on a new program for association conferences called:
“Purposefully Prepared: How to recession-proof your career”
Many of the money experts are predicting recession. While nobody can say for sure when it will happen, they are confident of one thing… it is coming. If we get hit again like we did nine years ago there are many people who will get hurt who have barely recovered from the past economic disasters.
Thus, we cannot wait to construct plans for what to do if the market collapses and the amount of corporate layoffs go through the roof. You have to dig your well before you are thirsty. Too many have no plan of what they will do if their job goes away (or if sales come to a halt), and it seems few people will even talk about it. Ignorance seems to resemble bliss, but that will not be the case if something does happen.
That is why companies and trade associations need to make this a topic they get their people to think about. Now. If we are educating people on how to be prepared, or at least to weigh out their options, we are providing real value. To look the other way and hope there will not be a crash is not fair to anyone.
What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow? Most people, after getting past the shock and anger, will wallow for a few weeks before taking the time to think about the next steps. I know, I have been laid off five times in my life (never fired, just laid off).
The answers lie in three buckets. Plan, Purpose, and People. You have to set realistic goal and define all of the actions necessary to move forward to finding a new job or staring your own business. In the process you must identify an inner purpose. Chasing a job for the sake of a pay check will lead you to making decisions that are not always in your best interest. Your “why” matters more than ever. Then you have to network like you life depends on it (because it does). All opportunities come from people, but if you wait until you are in need to show up, everyone knows you are not really committed to the greater community. You become the person who networks for self only. That is a fast way to get little assistance.
Waiting until the economy falls is the worst thing you can do. If you put off thinking about how you would react, you will have no momentum and will be caught up in competition with everyone else who is suddenly unemployed.
To purposefully be prepared means to start behaving today like your life depends on the right plans, the purpose that motivates you to work hard, and your connections to people. Do these things even if there is no recession and you are likely to get more promotions and other opportunities. However, if a crash does come you will be way ahead of all the others who are being impacted by the new-new recession. By the time they get it figured out, you will be the one with the new job in hand.
If your company or association wants a program that will get your people thinking and acting in ways that do not resemble ostriches in the sand, let’s have a conversation about how to customize this program for you next meeting. Having survived many layoffs, and ended up coming out better in my career path, I feel it is my responsibility to share the skills that will help people succeed. The last recession is not so long ago, and the wounds are still fresh. Another economic upheaval could have a worse impact.
I promise this program is fun, upbeat, and forward thinking (it is not gloom and doom). This session will get people talking to each other at the event and discussing the value the company or association has been to helping them be aware of the different things that can happen when economic turbulence hits unexpectedly.
There is no reason to be scared of the recession…. no matter what happens we can get your people prepared.