Thursday, April 23, 2009

Financially Weathering the Recessionary Storm

The days of shopping-till-we-dropped seem well behind us. We are currently well and truly in the midst of a recession, and hard measures need to be taken to ensure that we remain afloat in these painful times.

Yet, how well prepared are we for this difficult period? After all, not all of us are directly affected by the recession, and neither have all of us lost our jobs. However, are we geared up for any such unfortunate happenstance? Many of those who eventually did lose their jobs never foresaw it happening. And when the pink slip was actually handed over to them, they did not have a clue how to react or cope up. Now, do not let such a situation come your way, and be set to face the storm; after all, forewarned is indeed forearmed!

Therefore, a very important aspect at these times is to be alert and well tuned in to the activities of the company you are working in, especially as far as its financial health is concerned. If you happen to know, metaphorically speaking, that the ship is sinking, you should be actively on the lookout for another job, even if everyone around you tells you that your job would remain secure. After all, if the whole ship sinks, it will spare no one, and in fact create a whirlpool around it, taking everyone in the vicinity also down along with it. The day Lehman Brothers went bust, many of its employees simply wondered in disbelief as to what had come and hit them. Yet, many of the senior employees of the company had prior knowledge about the serious troubles their company had been going through. Somehow, they kept convincing themselves that “it” could not happen to them, until September 15, 2008 arrived and their “much-loved” company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Another useful and in many ways, vital step in being prepared during these recessionary times is to have at least one other, alternative source of income. Many of us do not realize that the age hold hobby we had during our childhood, of say, collecting junk of different kinds, could actually prove to be really useful, especially in these days of eBay and the like. Indeed, one man’s junk could well be another man’s treasure, so the key is to realize the inherent value of things around us. To quote another example, many people are very fond of gardening, and so, keep their gardens in full bloom with the lawns neatly mowed and tended to. These individuals fail to fathom that their services would be useful to a lot of others, wanting to maintain their gardens in similar fashion, but just not able to do so. The key takeaway for you here would be that subsequent to some basic amount of introspection, you should be able to realize your capabilities, beyond your current vocation, and ensure that you monetize them.

Summing up, remember that a recession is not the end of the world, and neither is it permanent; there is always hope, as long as you remain financially prudent, stable and strong.

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