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Recession! – What now?

Economy, South Africa, Recession,

Economy, South Africa, Recession, As a former Economics teacher I always love to somehow peer over the horizon because the future fascinates me. I love to make my own predictions of what I think the consequences of certain decisions and policies may be.

Economic outlook for 2020

At present the economic outlook for 2020 does not look very promising. In government there is just so many controversies, infighting and division mixed with ideology that good governance does not even come close to the parliament’s agenda. At present they are just trying to put out all the fires surrounding Eskom, SAA, Prasa and almost every other SOE. It seems like there is no strategy in place that can take us to a better future.


I must say that

I am really not surprised by the Reserve Bank’s announcement that South Africa is now officially in a recession.

If I think how money was squandered by so many government entities over the past two decades, then it is a miracle that anything at all is still by any means functional.

Unfortunately a recession is not here today and gone tomorrow. It follows a pattern that usually sets out from the primary sector of the economy (agriculture, forestry, mining) then to the secondary sector (manufacturing; processing of primary sector goods) and finally to the tertiary sector (services). Usually a recession is felt in the primary sector 3 to 6 months before it spills over to the secondary sector and another 3 to 6 months before it finally plays out in the tertiary sector.

According to news reports the recession has now hit the secondary sector with an 11 year low in production and orders for produced goods. Business confidence and expectations for business conditions in the near future is the lowest since 2009. This for sure is not a promising outlook for the rest of 2020.

So what are we to expect and what are we to do in an economic environment like this?

# What to expect

To do, Where to go, QuestionFirst of all I believe that it is impossible to expect that job losses will not occur. Although it may be a very bitter pill to swallow, it may be necessary to face the brutal facts. It is okay as long as you hear about other people losing their jobs, but nobody is guaranteed a safe passage through a recession.

What to do

So instead of being caught unawares on the day you perhaps may hear that you are indeed one of them, try to somehow be prepared for such a possibility.

Start to think about what you will do if it should happen to you.

Perhaps you should start to change your thinking from “where will I find a next job” to “what can I do for myself / my own business.”

Even if you already have a business, start to think about possible extra income streams. In a time of economic downturn it may be to your advantage to diversify your business and deliver or produce extra products or services.

Should you decide to just apply for another job, make sure that you do it exceptionally well. Get some help from an expert who can help you with your CV and LinkedIn profile. Nowadays the layout and format of these documents become increasingly important to be effective amongst so many people applying for the diminishing number of jobs.

Do not fear

When a person loses his or her job they are usually overcome by fear and anxiety, yet what is actually needed is a calm resolve about the way forward. The people who make the best transition to a new future after retrenchment are those who were able to stay calm and focus on the way forward. Trying to cling to the past, is a futile exercise.

You cannot go back to un-scramble the scrambled eggs.

Let us rather learn from the Apostle Paul who said “… one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil 3:13), and the Psalmist who said “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psa 118:6) Also remember that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2Tim 1:7)

You are welcome to contact me should you need help with a CV or LinkedIn profile. More than 95% of all LinkedIn profiles are not effective at all.

One thing that can also ruin your job life, is to be in the wrong career or job. If you are that person, a Career Direct Assessment can help you find the right direction. It will not only show who you are, but will also point you in the right direction.

1 thought on “Recession! – What now?

  1. A very good, concise overview about recession with good pointers on what to expect and what to do regarding possible job losses. One can add playing safe by not taking on any new long term debt, e.g. buying a new car.

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