We have been hearing about the issues in the world’s economies for some time.
If you have any of your assets in the stock market then you will likely have been severely and negatively impacted over the last few months … anecdotally a “hit” somewhere between 25% and 40% on the value of your portfolio. Your advisor of course will tell you that is just a paper loss, as long as you don’t need the money now … but the reality is that the dollar (or pound etc) that you put in the stock market in September certainly isn’t worth a dollar today!
As time has gone by we have seen the impact spread to engulf institutions, once venerable and now not so desirable as they slide into bankruptcy, or look to the various governments for handouts. The architects of this economic mess are the financial institutions, and some of them no longer exist, Lehman Brothers being probably the most famous … but the list is long! The affects of the crisis have been severely felt in many sectors and Wikipedia even maintains a list of business failures, with the last year or so demonstrating just how many companies have succumbed to this crisis.
Companies that are still strong have taken this opportunity to look at their current workforce and trim costs. For most it is an exercise in cutting poor performers, whether it is at the individual level such as a broad-brush “bottom 5% (or 10%) out” strategy, or it is an opportunity to divest themselves of poorly performing business units!
This is called trimming the dead wood!
The very clear message to any employee right now is this … YOU do NOT want to be known as dead wood!
So … in these unprecedented times, in order to preserve your income I suggest that you need to do things differently! You need to elevate your performance, demonstrate a great attitude and make sure that you are doing everything possible to be (or become) invaluable to your employer!
I did write a blog entry about What to Do in a Recession back in November which might be worth a read too.
Like I said in that blog entry the bottom line is that you need to come to work every day prepared to put in 100% effort! If you do that you will probably be OK… but to be safe, aim for 105% (sorry for the cliché)!
Do NOT be the Dead Wood!