It's the end of September, 2011 and you've woken up to yet another day in the ongoing gloomy job market, chaotic stock market bumping along the bottom, and a slow recovery in the economy. On the bright side, the new iPhone 5 is about to come out with projections of the most sales ever in consumer electronic history!
I've written previously about how we've sort of made our bed and its time to sleep in it (in so many words). I mean all the benefits of a robust economy were enjoyed via the artificial manufacturing of complex mathematicaly delayed consequences initiated by the government and blindly rubber stamped by the consumer. Come on...we all liked the free flow of money. Very few of us if any asked any questions back then. Times were fantastic and we all enjoyed them but those days are now gone. It's over.
Are you one of those people still waiting around for the "rebound"? Let me tell you today the harsh reality. The "rebound" you are hoping for isn't going to occur as you want. It's not going to suddenly swing up in a rush the way we crashed so rapidly. Life, somehow, just doesn't work that way. See, the crash was sudden only because we were holding back the inevitable for so long. Kind of like the kid plugging the holes in the damn with his fingers....now that the damn is broken do you think that it can be rebuilt as quickly as it can come to be destroyed? Not so. It will take years and perhaps decades.
Today, you have to work 30% harder at the same job to get paid 20% less money. Why? Because, quite frankly, it is likely you were overpaid for mediocre or subpar work. The difference is so was everyone else. Supply and demand. Jobs were plentiful, money was abundant and cheap, and so there was no reason to expect more from you. That bar has now been raised. There are 50% fewer jobs available and you are competing against 300% more people looking for work. Think about what that means.
Work hours should be expected to be longer and there is a higher degree of uncertainty, stress, and general unpleasantness.
Buckle down. THIS is how things are SUPPOSED TO BE, to some extent. Everyone has the right to demand the best. We do all the time as consumers. When a product we buy doesn't live up to our high expectations of quality and performance, we easily complain, write letters, write blogs, etc. However, when our employer demands more from us, we gripe about it.
The underlying infrastructure is broken, not because we are in a financial crisis, but the financial crisis, instead, is the symptom of what's broken underneath it all. Our banks are broken. Our stock market is nothing more than a chess board for the wealthiest 1% while the 99% of the public are collateral damage. It means you have to work for what you want and reconsider that maybe we should just focus on what we need (like everyone else in the world). Check what I said above about the iPhone.
What to do and expect?
1. Take a deep breath. We've been sort of brain washed in a way to believe that the status quo in the past was normal. Reasses. Reconsider the "value proposition" that you bring and everything you decide to buy.
2. Realize that our sense of "reality" or our "moral compass" as Americans is somewhat skewed.
3. Buckle down and work hard. Let's "earn" back our respectability.
4. Plan ahead but don't have uneralistic expectations. The ride up is going to be painful and slow.
5. Be able to sperate what we need and what we want.
6. Brush up our skill sets. Learn, grown and challenge ourselves to be better.
7. Be grateful.