Seven steps for career success amid inflation, supply chain issues … and, now, talk of recession

Keep your eyes and mind open

It’s important to keep our eyes and minds open when it comes to inflation, supply chain issues … and more. These days, pundits and pragmatists alike are using the “R” word, recession. 

Eight months ago, I wrote about the importance of assistants being aware of macro issues such as inflation and supply chain management, even as we saw the reemergence of travel. I touched on the potential for episodic inflation, and noted stock market reactions to all these issues amid a pandemic. Now, we have pundits and pragmatists speaking aloud about the potential of an upcoming recession.

🌍 On October 22/21, I wrote that gas prices in Vancouver, Canada had risen to $1.60 a litre. While I was still abroad travelling and training last month, prices had skyrocketed to $2.32 per litre. For American friends, that’s the equivalent of almost $9 a gallon. 

🌍In that same article, I noted fertilizer prices were set to rise and impact global food chains. In June 2022, such issues are compounded by Putin’s attacks on Ukraine. Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe, and Russia is ranked among the world’s largest wheat producers. Oil is another Russian commodity, and people in Europe, the UK and beyond will feel the impacts of this war. 

🌍 Supply chain issues I raised eight months ago continue to this day, and are compounded by labour shortages – which experts in some circles are now suggesting a recession may counterbalance. 

🌍The cost of carrying debt has increased. Federal banks have been increasing their base lending rates, and we can anticipate further increases. This impacts individuals and their households, and it also impacts employers. 

Why focus on discouraging developments?

Do I write about these challenges, recent stock market slides and the drum beat of recession, to worry you? That may be one result, yet the better informed we are, the better we can move past worry and prepare for challenges and opportunities.  

Am I continuing to encourage assistants to pay attention to economic issues and macro factors that can impact you and your employers? You bet I am, through in person presentations as well as webinars and right here.

As always since I began publishing Exceptional EA in 2013,

I’m highlighting issues astute assistants will want to consider.

Your management teams and boards will be reviewing and updating risk registers, strategic plans, budgets and more. I believe assistants who pay attention to such matters elevate their strategic and business acumen, which benefits you and your employers.  

The more we know, the better we can prepare

Business and economies are cyclical. What goes down will come up. My own career spanned spanned a corporate merger, economic recessions, some boom times and the dissolution of one public institution. After that institution split into two new institutions, I worked with the CEO of one of them and spent much of the subsequent year helping establish a new organisational culture.

Might we be facing tough times ahead? This can vary by region, sector, employer and individual. Should there be challenges ahead in your sector and place of employment, it’s worth remembering two points.

Challenges can also represent opportunities, and quality shows. 

What can you do?

Here are some thoughts. What else do you do in anticipation of geopolitical issues, macro uncertainties and potential for impacts on employers and employees?

  1. Stay informed.
  2. Be mindful in your personal and career planning.
  3. Be realistic and pragmatic in your expectations, and empathetic in your communications.
  4. Be a lifelong learner. Invest time, energy and finances wisely in professional development (PD)/learning and development that will help you continue to position yourself as an employee and colleague of value to an organisation.
  5. Remember that not all professional growth requires a financial investment. With curiosity and an open mind, there are additional opportunities for learning and development. Read. Observe. Listen. Ask questions. Listen some more. 
  6. Seek out a good mentor. Once you have one, be an active participant in the mentoring process.
  7. Refrain from taking business personally.

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