Economic Impact of Coronavirus

Without minimizing any hurt, pain, and loss of life of the medical impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, I want to, at least in this blog post, shift the conversation to the economic impact.

Dawn Rasmussen Pathfinder CareersI have been saying I think this will have a bigger impact than 9/11, 2008, and maybe both of them put together. My friend Dawn Rasmussen, owner of Pathfinder Careers, wrote this on Facebook and gave me permission to share it with you:

Here’s the crystal ball as I see it within my “crackpot economic theory” mindset: (no scientific or economic basis for this- it is a gut prognostication based on what I am reading and hearing)

The ugly truth: This crisis is going to be akin to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

There is going to be mass unemployment to the degree we haven’t seen in any of our lifetimes. The Dow Jones is off 6,400 points this month so far; this after a $1 trillion cash infusion into the markets and an interest rate cut to zero.

As one economist put it: They’ve deployed all the nukes in the economic arsenal yet the market is still falling.

Yes, there is a federal stimulus package in the works but $1,000 per U.S. citizen won’t go very far when factoring the combined costs of just one month’s rent, utilities, food, gas, bills, etc. What happens beyond that 1 month?

Additionally, bailouts for corporations won’t do much if no one can work… the projections I am reading from a list-serv made up of qualified virologists and epidemiologists are predicting <18 months of disruption.

Things will get better than spike again as this virus lingers in the population before successful vaccines are deployed to the general population and create a new herd immunity.

All of that being said: basic services and functions still need to carry on, so there will be jobs.

It just will be shift into being a very hotly contested job market.

EVERYONE needs to sharpen their skills, knowledge, and abilities to be able to adapt to a workplace which will be completely shaken up.

NORMAL will be replaced with a new normal… it won’t be the same ever again.

Remember: In the great recession of 2008, everyone wanted “A” job.

In 2019, everyone was looking for a “BETTER” job.

I think we will revert back to the 2008 model.

Things are on hold now while everyone holds their breath to see what happens; once a new “norm” settles in, then it will be a free-for-all to find work.

I hope that we simply go back to the 2008 model, and not the Great Depression. The “hold their breath” problem is that employers holding their breath means hiring freezes. I personally know of layoffs, and a friend of mine just had a $40k contract “paused” during a spending freeze. I read posts by recruiters who say that there is no activity.

I think this is just the beginning.

Regarding this $1,000 we’ll all get: that will go very, very fast. How many people will spend that in less than 30 days on rent or mortgage? It’s a nice gesture, and I know it will greatly help some people, but $1,000 isn’t going to sustain anyone through this, especially if you are unemployed.

This is the phrase I want to latch onto, though:

EVERYONE needs to sharpen their skills, knowledge, and abilities to be able to adapt to a workplace which will be completely shaken up.

I don’t mean for this to be an alarmist, sky-is-falling post. While I think we are in for a serious and long ride, until things get stable again (I sure hope I’m wrong), I want to focus on what YOU can do.

You CAN sharpen your skills and abilities.

Why not take on a new projects that increase what you do now, or skills that could take you into another field? I’m thinking about people in the services industry who are OUT OF WORK now who could find things that are more conducive to working from home (UX, design, consulting, product or project management, programming, etc.). Need inspiration? Check out the people who are on this path RIGHT NOW, doing a #100DaysOfCode challenge.

Want to be a better writer? START WRITING DAILY!

Want to be a better ______? Start _________ daily!

It’s a pretty simple formula, and why not do it now?

You CAN sharpen your knowledge.

There are a gazillion ways to sharpen your knowledge. Read a book. You know, that thing with pages that you flip with your fingers? Not swipe but flip? Seriously, whether you read books or read articles or take courses or MAKE COURSES or write blog posts or however you know how to sharpen your knowledge, seriously do this.

Education did NOT stop when you got your diploma/degree. Self education is your responsibility. There are so many resources I could probably spend an entire 24 hours just reading a list of things you can use.

If you are ready to dive into courses let me know and I can get you a 30 day pass to Pluralsight (if I have any left).

The economic sky feels like it is falling. More seriously than I can ever remember before. I’m optimistic that we’ll recover, but it will be a rough ride. I want you to work on yourself NOW to help you through this and prepare for future down economies.

This is in your hands. You can do this. Let’s do it together!

Here’s a happy image to lighten this post:

crazy cat