Magazine article Industrial Management

Your Connection to the Economic Downturn

Magazine article Industrial Management

Your Connection to the Economic Downturn

Article excerpt

The hipbone's connected to the thighbone; the thighbone's connected to the knee bone; the knee bone's connected ... . You get the idea: Everything is interconnected. What happens in one part of the body usually impacts another. And so it is with globalization. What happens in Japan or Malaysia, Europe, or Africa impacts you and me. And, certainly, what happens with regard to workforce layoffs in the United States and elsewhere affects us all.

It's obvious that someone who has been laid off will have many issues to deal with. But what is the impact of layoffs on those who don't get pink-slipped? Those who have been lucky enough to remain in their jobs can't pretend they are automatically immune to the next round of layoffs. They must not only remain productive in light of demotivating events, they must also take steps to protect themselves as much as possible from the effects of a worsening economic environment.

If you are a layoff survivor, it is necessary to step back, survey the situation personally and professionally, and assess the possibility of being negatively impacted by what is going on around you.

Let's begin with your personal life since everything flows from this. If you are happy and fulfilled personally, you will have the energy required to help yourself professionally. As I suggested in my July/August column, "The Family Can Help After Job Loss," there are certain precautionary measures that you can take in this period of angst. If you were to lose your job tomorrow, would you find your style of living difficult to support for the next year? In order to allay your anxiety, this is the time to take a look at your lifestyle. Perhaps you will see the need for a reduced style of living in order to have peace of mind and less anxiety about the possibility of losing your job. Review your priorities, your budget. Perhaps there are cuts you can make that will allow you to put aside money as a cushion in case you find yourself jobless. This isn't the best time to buy big-ticket or luxury items such as extravagant vacations. It's not the time to incur debt. Does your entire family understand the need for belt-tightening?

After you get your personal life in order, you can begin to address your productivity at work. The company's productivity will suffer if everyone at work is worried about losing their jobs. …

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