Does the type match the hype?
The newspapers and television news, love a disaster. Even more if it involves Brits. Consequently every paper and every news or current affairs programme is focusing intently on the Lehmans debacle and the potential for disaster with AIG. Both of the organisations are large, have been around a long time and employ many people here in the UK. If they weren’t well known by the man in the street last week they are now.
People are calling me and, in a concerned tone, wondering if we are OK in recruitment. Well, yes we are. Our diverse client sector base has always meant that where one element flounders another thrives. Exposure of information workers generally is much less than it was last time there was a bit (in the early nineties). Since then the majority of information jobs have been hived off shore and departments that once numbered in the 40s and 50s or even more are now likely to be less than 10.
Several people we know have lost their jobs and it may take a while for them regain their footing at a similar level on their career path but if they keep open minds and re-examine their skills and talent then it could be sooner than they think. Equally now could be the time to review the options. Move on out, change careers or at least sector. Several key information people from banking and the financial sector have gone on to effect change management in places like the British Library and Central Government in recent years, others are using their skills, knowledge and experience of outsourcing to work effecting solutions for other organisations (outside of the banking sector).
I have no doubt that it will hurt some people more than others as everyone has different commitments at different stages of their lives but if they take stock and realise what a spectacular and marketable set of assets they have, ensure that they keep those that need to know informed of their situation then hopefully the pain will not be as bad as feared.
I still see articles and advertisements in the newspapers telling us to invest in the next new property wonder. Why now it is Albania! My old gran used to say if you haven’t got it you shouldn’t spend it. She never was the speculate to accumulate type, but then she had lived through 3 wars and had brought up a dozen children. Perhaps she had a point.
If we want a full blown recession we can be the engineers of our own fate and talk ourselves into it. I intend to be prudent but also to continue to believe, as the Chief Economist of HSBC said at a recent seminar I attended, that it will take more than bad news and the current cataclismic events to completely destroy the economy of UK plc. The underlying strength is still there and we must have faith in that.