Tuesday, November 20, 2001

And now for the bad news…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, except that for many people, there is a smell of uncertainty in the air.

Economic slowdown. Wage cuts. Massive layoffs. Small wonder most consumers have little mood for Christmas shopping.

Amidst the doom and gloom, there are two things we need to realize:
1. This is not the end of the world.
2. The economy could be worse without your help.

Sure, in times like this, belt-tightening measures – fewer happy hours; Mitsubishi instead of Mercedes – can do you no harm. But that doesn’t mean you ought to scrimp and save on all your expenditure.

The ability of businesses to ride out the current economic situation depends on its own cost-cutting measures as well as on consumer spending. Once consumers stop spending, businesses would be compelled to embark on more ambitious cost-saving measures such as laying-off more employees. Or worse, close shop entirely. When that happens, the economy deteriorates further.

If we don’t chip in to help the economy now, it would be tantamount to getting slapped on the face, and turning the other cheek.

True, saving the economy may not fall under your job scope. But if you think about it, this may be the best time to keep yourself up-to-date with everything that’s happening in the knowledge economy. Especially when prices of PCs, hardware and software have come down significantly, making it affordable to upgrade or purchase new systems.

For those who are hanging on to their jobs by a thread, picking up extra computer skills could also throw you a potential lifeline when faced with the grim prospect of being on a layoff roll call.

In investment-speak, it’s called adopting a long-term outlook. The choice is yours.

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