Thursday, March 05, 2009

What I'm Hearing...The Economy as Opportunity

This morning I caught up with a former student of mine. She is in the process of applying to graduate schools in order to obtain her Master of Public Administration (MPA). She is currently working and not involved in the recent waves of layoffs that have happened at so many organizations.

As we were talking, I asked her what she thought about the economy in general and also from an HR perspective. She sees the present as a fantastic time to invest in herself and develop her skills. That way, when things turn around - and they will - she will be in a much stronger position than her competition. As she told me this, her enthusiasm and excitement for the potential inherent the future was infectious.

With all the gloom and doom around, it's easy to get weighed down. We hear about the horror stories from Lehman Brothers, AIG, and Fannie Mae. But do we hear of the success stories of Lego and McDonald's? Doubtful. Fear sells. In the midst of these trying times, we need to break free of the negativity and take advantage of the opportunities around us to learn, grow, and reinvent ourselves. While formal degree programs can fill that need, so can continuing education classes, or even exploring our passions and hobbies more completely.

Many people consider investing in the stock market or their 401(k)s a "given." When was the last time you invested in yourself? The only investment you can have 100% faith in to increase in and maintain its value is you.

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