Friday, 27 November 2009

Has the recession receded ?

We are told that this is the longest recession ever experienced by the UK since records began. The UK economy is reckoned to have shrunk by 4.75%. The chancellor is likley to stick to his forecasts of 1-1.5% growth next year.

We are also being told that other countries are coming out of recession, France, Germany, the US & that economic powerhouse Slovakia. I'm not here to debate what we aren't doing that they all are but rather to ask the question, when will it all end ?

My fledgling training busines has noticed an increase in demand for my services over the last 2 months. Am I a microcosm of economic recovery ? Let's hope so.

The statistics are encouraging. Retail sales up by o.4% (according to the ONS). The latest survey by the purchasing managers index showed that manufacturing output increased at its fastest rate for over 2 years. Job losses seem to have stabilised too.

Fingers crossed for 2010 & beyond. Do any of you have a view or a reliable crystal ball?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Technology has made it so much easier than last time !

Take yourself back to the last recession an imagine you've been made redundant. In fact worse than that, you were marched off the premises. No chance to say goodbye to colleagues, let alone get a telephone number to help you stay in touch. Fortunately I wasn't made redundant in the last recession but I do remember it, I wasn't worried about losing my job but was glum because I had a flat that was worth less than the mortgage outstanding on it.

But I had the good fortune to be made redundant in the current economic malaise. I was fortunate for a number of reasons: I got a package (the prize of 20 years service), I saw it coming and was already mentally preparing myself and I kept at bay that sense of isolation and rejection by making the technological advances work for me and by staying positive.

Let me explain, 20 years ago, there was no email this has enabled me to keep in touch with former colleagues. It has also enabled me to connect with new people too. 20 years ago there were no mobile phones (there may have been mobile bricks purchased by the earlier adopters), i've been able to keep in touch with people either verbally or by text. Then throw into the mix, facebook. I set myself up and have been able to keep in touch with former colleagues and to let them know what i've been dong since my May 1 departure. Then there's linkedin, i've connected with new and old people via linkedin (i've got 112 connections so far). I've started to exploit linkedin and start using some of its other features. I'm on twitter now and have linked my twitter page to linkedin. In addition to all this cyber networking i've done the old fashioned attending meetings of professional bodies (CIPD, ILM, CII etc).

All this has really helped me pursue my dream of working for myself as a freelance trainer, so alleluia for the internet, social networking, coffee shops and redundancy. This is all so different to the last recession.

Oh yes, forgot to mention Skype.