Sometimes... When you Get It Right... It hurts.

funny pictures of cats with captions

If you've been paying attention, particularly if you follow me elsewhere online, you'll know I made a prediction at the start of this year. You'll know that the prediction I made led me to set up this blog. I've been making predictions about businesses and culture all my life and, more often than not, they come true. 

Sometimes, when you get it right, it's glorious. 
Sometimes, when you get it right, it hurts.

At 14, I made my first big prediction that affected business. I wrote a speech about global warming (this was over 20 years ago), and the steps that needed to be taken to prevent it. That speech went on to become the basis for the environmental policy of a huge company. As a consequence, I ended up in the House of Commons a few years later, quizzing politicians - but that's a story for another day. 

In 1999, Google was a mis-spelling that had just written its first press release. I had just graduated. I opened a company, and started to blog. This was before 'blogging' was a concept.  Feedback was central to the sites we set up. The feedback form stated that we wanted to hear good and bad. I predicted the future of the web would be social, informal, and transparent. 

Why am I telling you this? 
  1. It's a good track record. Sometimes I get it wrong but usually my predictions are spot on. Most of my biggest mistakes have come from ignoring my predictions. Unfortunately, when you ignore stuff like this, it doesn't go away. It bites you on the butt because you're not prepared. If I have a hunch about something, particularly if I keep going on about it, it pays to listen, and prepare.
  2. Women have to shout louder about their accomplishments. A fact that, unfortunately, is also part of what I have to say next. .
It is Happening

I predicted this recession, and I made another prediction many months ago. It is happening now.

The UK government just announced the extent of the redundancies expected in the coming months. 500,000 in the public sector. 65% of the public sector employees are... female.

You might be thinking, 'well, I'm male and I don't work in the public sector, so I'm fine.' Wrong. For every job lost in the public sector, one is likely to be lost in the private sector. One million jobs in total... gone. One of them may be yours.

When Everyone Zigs, You Zag

My friend, Diane Hochman, is fond of saying that when everyone zigs, you should zag. It's true. Right now, everyone will be starting to panic. You're not going to do that though. You're going to prepare.

How to Prepare
  1. Grab a lever arch file and in large, friendly letters write the following on the spine: 'Operation Sh*tstorm'. You can take out the * if you like.
  2. Research all the government benefits you are entitled to if you lose your job. 
  3. Research the procedure within your organisation if you lose your job. Is there a decent redundancy package? Are you in a better position if you take voluntary redundancy? If you're in the private sector, has your company burned through its resources already? If so, you'll need to rely on the state redundancy package - which is likely to be smaller. Research how to apply for that. Send off for all the paperwork. 
  4. Get hold of paperwork for social housing, etc. Contact Pay Plan if you think there's a chance you'll default on payments to creditors. Get all the paperwork you could need in a worst case scenario. You might not need it, but if one million people suddenly lose their jobs, you will get stuck in a traffic jam of panic. Get the crappy tasks done now.
  5. Work out a budget. Get an absolutely accurate picture of your outgoings. 
  6. Put all the paperwork in the 'Operation Sh*tstorm' file. You have now dealt with it psychologically. The moment you hear that you've been made redundant, you can shrug, pull down the file, and take action. I did this. It works.
  7. Having prepared for the worst, you must now prepare for the best. That will take a change of mindset...
Forget finding another job. You don't even want to know what I predict for the job market next year. You don't want to be part of that nightmare. Instead, start preparing to become an entrepreneur now.

You may be thinking 'I work in the public sector. It's about as entrepreneurial as the House of Lords. How the heck do I become an entrepreneur?'  Don't worry. I can help with that. I'm writing a book at the moment, to help people who are made redundant due to these cuts. I'll let you know when it's ready. In the meantime, just start laying the groundwork so you can deal with redundancy if it hits you. You need that groundwork so you can keep calm and kick arse. The first part of the groundwork starts in your mind:

If you could have any kind of career, what would it be?

Feel free to let us all know in the comments section.

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