The June issue of Psychology Today is what I’d call the Recession Issue. There are articles about getting laid off, working as a free-lancer, relationships to money, relying on friendships, and failure. If there’s a unifying theme, it could be that this recession is actually good for you.
Could the same principles apply to business? Is this recession the best thing that could happen? The answer, I suspect, is a strong perhaps.
Relationships to money, for example, are relative instead of absolute. We compare ourselves to the guy in the next cubicle, not the guy with the private jet. So if your company isn’t likely to make its quarterly earnings projections anyway (and neither is your competitor), it might make that risky endeavor with the upside potential seem like a better idea.
Then there’s the notion of happiness. Study after study indicates that past a certain threshold, money doesn’t increase happiness. Passion, friendship and meaning do. Thus spending time in activities you love, or with colleagues you enjoy could pay big dividends in your personal happiness quotient while creating new professional opportunities for the future.
And finally, there’s failure—or what some people call learning experiences. If you hate what you’ve been doing for years, a layoff or negative earnings can be just the incentive you need to go back to school or move into a venture that you’ve always wanted to try.
It’s times like these, remember, that have given birth to many of the world’s breakthrough inventions.