Getting Ahead in a Downturn

For the past eight months, the global recession has driven Singapore’s export-dependent economy to its knees. Unemployment has reached one of the highest levels.

Everyday we hear of more retrenchments looming around the globe that has caused the general sentiments of Singaporeans to be cautious and pessimistic.

Nonetheless, if we understand history, this downturn of an economic cycle is something that we’re all susceptible to.

Seeing the downturn as our big break 

Our outlook towards a recession should not be one of denial or fear. It should be one where we aim to minimise the negative impact of the downturn.

In fact, with the correct mindset and attitude, we might even capitalise on the opportunities that are present in a downturn.

Personally, I view the downturn as a moment of reset where God hits the ‘RESET’ button of the economy. When that happens, almost everything drops to a new low and leveling the competitive field.

Think Lehman Brothers, General Motors, Citibank and AIG to name a few, and you get the picture. Now the smaller players with the right financial fundamentals and attitude can catch up on these big players, if not overtake them in the market.

Getting a break in getting ahead

For employees like you and I, the same rules apply. If we are to keep our positions or desire to see new opportunities opening up, then this is the time that we need to raise up our game.

During this pressing circumstances, it will not be unusual to find people around us who will be doing as little as they can at work or doing just enough to get by just to save their own skin.  They simply go to work to pick up a pay check.

Hence, I believe this downturn presents a great platform for those of us who have high aspirations or ambitions to stand out and get ahead.

Please do not misunderstand that I’m implying that we become solely competitive. I’m only encouraging us to simply be the best that we should be with our god-given potential and talents that we have.

In that way, with a positive attitude and the right skills set, we can become an invaluable individual and employee that is able to contribute proactively to our organisation towards the upturn of the economy.

Who knows, some of us might even find new avenues to start our own businesses. In fact, I already know one of my friends who has done just that after being retrenched.

Getting motivated in getting ahead

In reality,  I acknowledge that we cannot disregard the temptation for us to sink to the norm level of the mediocrity displayed ubiquitously around us is exceptionaly high too.

However, I believe we have the will and responsibility to choose where we want to be when the upturn begins. So I’m certain that most of us if not all, would like to choose to be a cut above the rest and excel in our field.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Colossians 3:23-24

We need to motivate ourselves by adopting an attitude and a biblical mindset that we are working for our God first and foremost. And when we do our best and excel at work, God gets the glory. 

Even if one is not a believer in God, we can still be motivated to strive in being a person of dignity and integrity which can only work to our benefit for our career and profession.

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One thought on “Getting Ahead in a Downturn

  1. With reference to:

    1. “Being Excellent in the Workplace”, Sermon by Joel Osteen
    2. “Winning in a dowturn”, By Tan Siew Meng, Business Times- 23 June 2009
    3. “Bridging the Economic Gap”, By Richard Owens, Business Times- 23 June 2009
    4. “Second wave of layoffs can’t be ruled out”, By Labour Chief- Mr Lim Swee Say, The New Paper- 23 June 2009

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