What’s your brand?
The decision to apply to business school is both exhilarating and challenging! Explore ways to maximize your chances of success in the application process.
Manage Your Career Trajectory
Should you be looking for a significant career transformation or just looking for avenues to continue to grow and accelerate your path? We’re here to help!
Navigating a Downturn
Being older has its advantages. I can remember being on trading floors and talking with worried clients during the crash of the Dotcom bubble and 9/11, and the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, I was at the gym with Andrea when Bear Stearns stock price first dropped off the cliff with a 20%+ nosedive. We were numb, knowing there was more to come. Later, that financial crisis would claim my own job.
Regardless of whether the Dow falls (or rises) 5, 500, or 5000 points, it is always helpful to plan for uncertain times. Doing so will enhance your peace of mind, lower your stress, and give you more flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that always emerge from tough times. Here are a few tips that have worked well for us over the years:
Take advantage of changing work demands
“On the beach” in consulting? Re-tasked to less intense work activities elsewhere? This will seem frustrating to those always seeking to get ahead at work, but it can be a hidden opportunity to broaden the appeal of your resume. Consider expanding your volunteering time with Boys and Girls Clubs, the Y, animal rescue shelters, libraries, parks, museums, schools, or any other organization that feeds your passions. While there, aim for impact and results outside your normal focus at work. For instance, if your job is focused on quant/analytical activities, use volunteer work to expand your leadership experiences and interpersonal skills. Or if you’re an entrepreneur, seek deep functional experience such as marketing, finance, or HR. Doing so will make you a more well-rounded candidate for future opportunities.
While not wanting to turn this into a discussion of financial advice, to reduce stress, it is never too late to start gathering cash. We do automated transfers into an account at Capital One, but for you this can be as easy as setting up a savings account at your existing financial institution, or consolidating funds in a money-market fund in your brokerage account. Asset prices don’t always rise, and having even a small amount of cash available will help you avoid panic selling later on. Need some help with the mental accounting? Solutions like Acorn might help.
Check the funding of your employer
At a startup that is seeking capital? Market turmoil may close or delay fundraising windows, and many startups may be unprepared. Ask around to better understand how strong your employer’s balance sheet is and what alternative sources of funding might be available. Having a better understanding of the situation could help you to avoid jumping too early and/or plan better for an unpleasant situation later on.
Start considering new opportunities
If faced with job loss or a change in work role to something you don’t like, it can come as a shock. Unfortunately, opportunities tend to dry up during downturns, regardless of your talent and experience. Take the time to connect with mentors, advocates, and peers on next steps and ideas BEFORE you need to make a change. It reduces the urgency and allow you to communicate with a LOT more confidence. Further education, starting a business, driving around the world, or starting/expanding families have all been choices our clients have made over the past few years. Happy to discuss which path might be right for you.
Set (and achieve) personal goals like better health
Barriers to your professional success? Improve your personal self. Sign up for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon, and train for it. Pick a new hiking trail and complete it. Experiment with a new style of cooking (or just learn to cook in general). Or learn to code. Or yoga. Whatever path you choose to personal fulfillment, do something that makes you a better human.
Document what you’re grateful for
Despite having been laid off in 2008, we took comfort in rocking our then-one-year-old to sleep each night. We later documented these and other moments in gratitude journals, a habit we’ve tried (with ahem, mixed results) to pass down to our kids.
Whatever your method, spend 5 minutes each day writing 1-2 things that are going well for you. We promise those things exist, and will help you navigate emotions around uncertain times.