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"Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act." Howard Zinn
The recession of 2008 was a clear example of how bad news feeds on itself. Not a day went by without the "chicken littles" of the world calling for Armageddon! Amazingly enough the more they talked about it the lower confidence fell and sure enough we had one of the worst recessions on record.
The naysayers did not create the recession ... but they sure as heck hurt the speed of recovery. The economy is built on confidence and killed by fear ... we need to listen to the glass half full people!
Fast forward just a few years and here we go again with the doom and gloom merchants crying in their beer!
Well as I see it the oil patch is just one sector ... and it too will recover in time. It will also be more efficient and more able to withstand the tough times. A weak Canadian currency is bad for some, but good for others. The unemployment rate in Canada is not awful. There are still lots of jobs being advertised. The boomers are starting to retire in droves and we have a different set of issues caused by "skill shortages" and knowledge loss to contend with ... it's not all bad news from a jobs perspective.
"Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules." Douglas Adams
The people making all these "doom and gloom" predictions will all do just fine ... they always do. Some of them do better when the economy suffers because they profit from the disruption.
Message to Business Owners ... ADD JOBS!
It doesn't matter whether I like our Wynn Liberal Government, our Trudeau Federal Government or Notley's NDP government ... my job as an employer is to find ways to keep my business healthy and to create jobs. I operate a National business and need to work within the parameters that exist ... I'm very focused on what I need to do! I will make a conscious effort to stop knocking those governments because it is not helping and they need to be aligned with me in fixing things! If every business owner were to add just a couple of jobs we would be in decent shape ... what do we need in order for that to happen? A few dollars less profit? Governments that are going to stop adding costs? Lets do this!
"In the business world bad news is usually good news for somebody else." James Surowiecki
Message to Governments ... LESS POLITICS MORE COOPERATION
Those governments I mentioned, together with all the other governments here in Canada (at all levels), need to be focused on helping add private sector jobs ... because they need a healthy tax base in order to meet their various agendas. Find ways to help business, not throw up road blocks. Find ways to create a partnership. Avoid a single minded focus on your election platform ... because right now, we can't afford your dreams! Governments need to be very focused on improving TRUST and CONFIDENCE. We need leadership NOT politics.
Message to Individuals ... OWN YOUR SITUATION
If I am an individual caught in this downturn and without a job, I have two options ... I can cry "woe is me" and wait for "someone" to fix things; or (b) I can do whatever it takes to get work. That might mean moving to where the jobs are; it might mean taking different work or a lesser pay; it might mean creating my own job; or it might mean finding the opportunities that ARE there and making sure that I am the one who gets the job.
If you have a job, then do it well ... every day when you go to work be very focused on doing the best job that you can. Protect your job, while helping your company through a tough time.
Message to Doom and Gloom Merchants ... SHUT UP!
You really don't need to fan the flames. Try to be more balanced in your reporting. People really do want to hear ideas for positive change ... not just the constant whining about what that government did or did not do; or the "opinions" about what MIGHT happen!
To everyone ... THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!
If your sources of news are "Doom and Gloom" merchants find other sources. Ignore the "Chicken Littles" of the world.
Focus on the positives and let's not talk ourselves into another recession!
MY GLASS is half full!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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