I learned a lot from the Great Recession. A lot. It was a very difficult time for many people and continues to be for many that haven’t emerged.
I have spoken to many transition groups multiple times and have met with countless people during those years. It is not difficult to feel and see despair and frustration. In those days nobody would even dare ask at the beginning or end of the meetings if there were any good news stories about people landing because there weren’t any. Everybody was running for cover when the world was melting and we were losing 500,000 jobs a month. Today some people are able to raise their hands and say they have landed or secured a consulting gig. There is more hope in the air. Guarded hope.
You don’t find out about the economy in the paper; you learn the true economic reports on the streets and during the great recession many people including me felt at times that we were licking the sidewalks of life.
I learned many things being one of the founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors a group that grew from 4 people to over 3200 currently on Linkedin. I learned about the power of people, the blessings of serendipity and the engine called Linkedin. When you had over 100 people meeting for endless months on the third Friday of the month in Laguna Niguel who were in transition it wasn’t too difficult to see that the recession had touched every community and every street. The miracle of Laguna Niguel connectors was the quality of the people that attend and the pay it forward helpful attitude of the vast majority of its attendees.
I learned that there are Angels of the recession. People like Cindy Pickens who founded Café Net and has helped thousands of people in transition without ever asking for a dime. Many people who volunteered their time to speak on Linkedin at various venues to help those in transition master its power in the job search. People like Sven Johnston, Ted Robison and Tim Tyrell-Smith. And there are many more.
Although the recession was very painful for many I think it provided great lessons for today’s youth. Prior to the great recession many were the enabled generation with high levels of expectations of entitlement. Today I believe that the Millenials are a very responsible and industrious group who has learned through the pain of many of their parents that many institutions can’t be trusted any longer and that hype is just that. Hype. They also understand that the employer-employee relationship is much different these days and for the future.
I have learned that business had changed forever. That you need many more irons in the fire than before if you are hunting for a job or a project. Decision making and approvals can take much longer. Budgets are tighter and every dollar must have a return.
I have also learned that the benefit of social currency that you get from networking can be even more powerful than that of financial currency because your network of people is what truly enriches you life.
So what have you learned?
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