This Too Shall Pass

Seeing the jobs report headlines this morning resolved a challenge regarding this new project of Sharing Perspective to Share Smiles.

As I considered various angles from which to go at the content, I’d decided the priority was to remain positive in the messaging while drawing from a life of unique if rich experiences.

I’ve witnessed world events getting feedback through observation and conversation from some interesting and amazing individuals.

While wanting to remain positive is a noble desire it needed to be done in a way that wouldn’t come across as pollyanna-ish.  This is where drawing from experience comes in.  The challenge in that, however, is that experience isn’t always happy or positive.

Even if the outcome is.  

So, how much do you share and how do you keep the spin on the lighter side?

This morning’s jobs report headlines gave me the answer.

One in particular.

From Experience.

One of the best strategies that got me through times of uncertainty was to tap other people’s perspectives.

Perspectives gained through experience.

Not all storms are the same.

Economic Headwinds.

Having grown up in the Metro Detroit Area, I lived through a number of economic downturns.

I remember being in the service station line in the family car during the oh-so-fun oil embargo.

Though I recalled the somber mood and the concerns of various individuals during those days I couldn’t appreciate it the way I do now for the simple fact I was too young to truly understand.

To add complexity there was a family member who had a birds-eye view of the situation which ruffled a number of family feathers, none of which I could, being a kid, understand.

When, as a young adult making my way in the corporate world, I was facing those economic headwinds, simply drawing from childhood memories wasn’t enough to assure me that things would eventually turn around again.  Drawing from the experience of those I was working with- people I trusted who were older – gave me that assurance.

I eagerly listened as they explained how and why challenges unique to the Discrete Manufacturing Industry meant our area was harder hit yet how we consistently came back stronger.

Coping is Investing.

I spent that time not just listening but observing.  What I noted was that a number of the savvier and better-performing consultants spent the time tinkering with new technology.

Hardware and software.

Deciding they knew something, I did the same.  

It paid off.

Not only did it help advance my career, it made me a valuable player so that when those headwinds came around again, I had skills in demand.

Just the Facts, Ma’am.

One of the more valuable skills I developed was the ability to step away from the emotional flashpoints to look at reality.  

I wish I’d known to do it then.

This is a great way to insulate yourself from other people’s drama.

Priceless in terms of reducing stress.

No I Don’t Think So.

Over the past weeks I’ve seen plenty of headlines warning of a recession.

Along with a number that proclaimed if there was one, it wouldn’t be that bad.

I had my own feelings on the matter.

Based on some hard facts.  

Even before the pandemic hit, we were looking at a demographic shift that tilted heavily in favor of the consumer.

The employee.

Not only would there be more jobs than people, it was a trend that would be around for awhile.  The pandemic only exacerbated that.  As a result I was confident that regardless of other factors, we were not looking at the type of economic storm we saw in the early 70s, early 80s, early 90s, etc…

Notice a pattern?

No panic here.

Even when the layoffs – mostly in tech – began, as painful as I knew they were to those directly affected, I understood today’s employment situation meant many of those affected would find new jobs.

A vast difference from what I witnessed in the early 90s when many of my tech colleagues were affected.

At no time did I feel the country was about to relive earlier downturns.

We are in a completely different situation.

When I saw a headline this morning mentioning the January Jobs Report leading a number of individuals to say they no longer feared a recession, I felt a bit vindicated. I hadn’t shared my thoughts beyond a close group of individuals and I certainly didn’t brag but I did draw from prior – if painful – experience.  

Young and inexperienced, I was highly traumatized by the secular headwind fallout of the early 90s.  

I considered how I could pull this together to put out an article that would assure people.

Ease some of the “fear of the unknown” lack of experience can fuel.

We are a nation and a world that continuously looks to the future.

And our place in it.

I believe that, despite alarmist headlines, we can feel good about the situation.

As my grandmother used to say – this [secular headwind] too shall pass.

To brighter days ahead!

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