Thursday, October 16, 2008

4. The Credit Crisis: For Project Managers - What should you Expect?

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks. - Warren Buffett

There is no point in denying that change is in the air.  You can prepare yourself so that you’re in the best position where you are, but that is a short term outlook.  You also want to think about the business where you are and the environment it operates in.  How will that business and environment be effected by a recession?  Those are the long term questions to ask.

This is part 4 of 4 looking at the credit crisis:

  1. The Credit Crisis: What Does it Mean for You and Your Company? - This will look at what’s currently happening and what it means.
  2. The Credit Crisis: Why It Is Important? - A Little History - To get some context, we’ll look at why companies were set up and why investors, like Carl Icahn are so outraged.  Understanding this is important to recognizing good opportunities.
  3. The Credit Crisis: For Project Managers - What Does It Mean? - What are some things as project managers you should be doing.
  4. The Credit Crisis: For Project Managers - What should you Expect? - What are things to look for and think about.

What are you looking for?

  • Would you like to travel and experience new cultures?
  • Is job security critical to you?
  • Do you need to stay in a particular location?
  • What are your financial needs (not wants)?

Are the answers aligned with your current job?

If you are looking to travel and experience different cultures, this is an excellent time to do so.  The sun always shines somewhere.  Dubai is booming, Singapore and Hong Kong are growing and for people with skills, China is growing.  This is an excellent time to explore opportunities.

If job security is critical to you, look at the business and it’s environment.  Is the overall environment secure? Growing? Filled with competitors?  Much as we’d like to believe our own individual abilities will trump these things, you’ll swim much faster with the current than fighting against it.

Do you need to stay in a particular location?  Then find the businesses doing the best in that location.  Cultivate relationships with people in those businesses.  Join a PMI chapter, Toastmasters, some other professional group or the Rotary Club.  All these organizations are designed to help you network.  Network yourself into the best positioned company where you want to be.

What are your financial needs?  Know what your monthly expenses are and make a budget.  You are as independent as you are financially independent.  You can make yourself financially independent.  This change has made everyone think about tightening their belt, take advantage and fill your bank account too.

Know what your requirements are and think where you’ll want to be in three to five years.  No one knows how long the credit crisis will last or the economic slowdown or the recession or whatever you want to call it.  However, it’s a good bet that if you make plans that get you where you want to be three to five years from now and you execute them (you are a project manager, right?), you will succeed, how ever long the bad times last.


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