It's hard to believe that yet another year has gone by. The workplace has certainly been an interesting place this year; it certainly isn't for the meek! While we've seen some highs, the year kind of went out on a negative flourish of job loss and fear of job loss.
As we look to 2009, it's hard to stay positive and hope that the worst is behind us. From where I write in France, the general mood is that the layoffs will come - and in mass quantities - soon after the New Year. So, what does that mean for us?
For most of us, it means staying in the job we're at – it's hard to believe that job hunting at the moment, especially when you have a job, is a professional "best practice". But it should also mean is that this is a period of careful reflection.
Personally, in bad economic times, I like to re-focus on my job to make sure that I'm doing the best job I can. I don't want to give my employer any ammunition whatsoever if he or she is looking to get rid of me.
Also, it's a good time to start asking "what if?" What will you do if you lose your job? How long will you stay afloat financially? Do you have any other professional skills upon which you can fall back? Do you have any ways of keeping your skills sharp in the event that you are unemployed for a significant period of time?
These aren't the most positive questions to ask, especially when it's out with the old, and in with the new. However, in a global slump, everyone owes it to themselves to ask the pointed questions.