Tuesday, April 1, 2008
How to Recession-Proof Your Job,
Understanding the US Dollar Decline,
2008 Industry Outlook
How to Recession Proof Your Job
The debate is still underway; are we in a recession, or aren’t we? Economists at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch believe we already are and are heading for our first full recession in sixteen years. Regardless, there are some things each of us can do to “recession-proof” our jobs. Now is the time to start planning. Do not wait until a recession is in full force. Whether or not it turns out to be a brief slowdown in the economy or a recession, there are things that can be done in order to safeguard against job loss and be proactive.
Tara Weiss at Forbes.com suggests, “boost your value and make yourself indispensable. Show up to work early and stay late. Now isn’t the time to slack.” Weiss also suggests volunteering for projects, and prove that you can contribute at any level. In addition, she advises to take on projects from other divisions. Finally, realize that you will be stretched to your limit. She does not suggest sleeping at the office; just realize that extra hours will be necessary.
Bill DeMario, Chief Operating Officer of Aijilon Consulting, a staffing firm specializing in finance, accounting, and human resources, suggests that one of the most important things you can do is to look for ways to save your company money. Anything from recycling programs to capital expenditure reductions can impact the bottom line. Look for any suggestion, and take it to management. Again, saving the company money will boost your value.
No one has yet decided if we are in a full-blown recession. But following some of these simple suggestions can help you to “recession-proof” your job. Remember that sometimes there is nothing anyone can do to stop a recession, and some jobs will always be affected. However, do your best now and be proactive. This will, no doubt, better your chances of safeguarding your job during a difficult financial period.
Understanding the US Dollar Decline
It’s no secret that the US dollar has been declining in recent months. Travel anywhere outside the United States, and this will become apparent. The decline has actually been happening since 2002 but has most recently been dramatic.
The dollar has posted record lows in recent weeks against the euro and the Japanese yen. According to US News and World Report, the US dollar index “has declined about 4 percent this year and roughly 12 percent since the end of 2006.”
So why is the US dollar declining? According to the same US News and World Report article, central banker disunity is at the top of the list. The Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates to 3 percent, while The European Central Bank and Bank of England remain at 4 percent and 5.25 percent, respectively. The differences are a major reason for the decline in the US dollar value.
Slow growth and the federal outlook have also contributed. Slow growth in the economy is a natural precursor to lower US dollar demand. Furthermore, the feds cutting rates creates negative dollar value.
The housing crisis has added to weakening the value of the US dollar. According to David Resler, Chief Economist for Nomura Securities, the housing triggered credit crisis, “weakens the dollar because it discourages investors from buying dollar-denominated assets.”
So what is ahead for the dollar? Economists do not see the dollar gaining value anytime soon. It is expected to be rather weak throughout 2008 and could hit rock bottom in the next two years. What this means for the US economy is inflation. Imported products at such giants as Wal-Mart and Target could lend to an increase in product price. Inflation could also been seen in oil prices. But, apparently, it is not all bad news. Demand for US products is increasing overseas as the US dollar value declines. It does help balance things out and, in the long run, can assist in increasing US dollar value to more stable levels.