Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recessions & Recency Bias

Over at Infectious Greed, Paul posted this interesting chart the other day. It illustrates how few people currently working in American society have any real experience with a severe recession. The number is pretty small indeed. Take a look.

Even someone 45 years old probably was not in the workforce, or barely in the workforce, in 1981 - 1982. There are going to be a lot of people unpleasantly surprised by the extent of this downturn, as if there haven't been enough already.

What I found most interesting is the comment from rdd regarding the best things he took away from the experience. (He mentions entering the workforce in 1981, just in time for the second half of the infamous early '80s double dip recession.) Needless to say, I agree completely with his lessons. The one that stands out most vividly is to develop skills that others don't have. One of the biggest - if not THE biggest - secrets to success I have encountered is being able to do that which other's can't, or even better, won't. If you are the one who will, you make yourself that much more indispensable. Use people's laziness to your benefit.

That is all.

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