Investing in Your Personal Development During an Economic Downturn

Many believe that an economic downturn is the worst possible investment time. And that covers all kinds of investments, including the investment in personal development. After all, doesn't it make more sense to save money during difficult financial times?

However, there are actually a number of compelling reasons why an economic downturn is the best time to focus on your personal development. Here are just a few of them.

Use the recession in your favour

You may be an unfortunate young graduate who happened to leave school right when most companies are downsizing. Or you may be a superstar in the category that has just been laid off because you're too experienced and, therefore, too expensive. Or, your position has been subject to automation, and therefore Robot Johnny is now a full-time employee, while you are now thinking "Why me?" Or you may have had enough of your old, boring, repetitive job and you want something else, but you haven't found it yet.

Whatever category you find yourself in, the answer is "Yes, a recession is the best time to invest in our development". Let's see why.

First of all, chances are, you are not going to be unemployed forever (well, unless you're so rich that you don't need to work, but that's another story). Imagine yourself in a few years' time, when applying for your dream job, a curious recruiter notices your CV and the beautiful 7-month gap. How are you going to justify that? "I took a sabbatical because..." You may want to start thinking about an answer now. Filling the gap between jobs with useful education or professional qualifications, could be an indication that you did not give up when things were difficult or you were brave enough to reboot and start from the scratch again. Retooling your skillset will make yourself more marketable to potential employers. 

When you invest in your personal development, you are investing in your future, even if you don't know where that may lead you. That's okay. You never know when you need specific knowledge and that's going to make the difference between you and a peer that doesn't have it!

Learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge can help you weather the storm of an economic downturn and come out the other side stronger than ever before. Focusing on your personal development can help you take advantage of opportunities that may arise during a recession. An investment in your own professional development improves your confidence and fights against depression as your brain will be engaged in productive activities and you won't have time to to sit feel sorry for yourself.

Then you never know where your next big idea comes from! A course, a book, an experience, a meeting can be the spark that ignites your future successful business.

There are tons of online courses (lots of them give you a certificate as well!) that can open up a whole new world to you. They maybe won't give you all the information you need to make you an expert, but they can be a good starting point for a new career. Or for a new business. Or it may be an indication of whether you may (or not) want to pursue something.

A lot of training centres will offer substancial discounts during recessions. Also look for deals around important holidays (Black Friday, Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, etc.), so look for discounted opportunities as well! Then there are books, youtube channels, volunteering opportunities, networking, exhibitons. etc. Stay current, take your information from reliable sources and verify them, don't watch TV news but do stay informed. These are all forms of development that will take you where you need to be. 

We get it, when you have a family to feed or you're the only food provider in the house, this may sound a bit silly. It's okay to feel sad after you lose a job or after months of sending applications. Do take a few days for sadness, you can do a lot of thinking and then start rebuilding yourself. Now, more than ever, your dependents need you to be strong. And remember, something will come your way. You will eventually be rewarded for your efforts! 

Many successful people have used economic downturns as opportunities to invest in their personal development. Warren Buffett, for instance, is famously quoted as saying, "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." During times of economic uncertainty, many people focus on cutting costs and conserving their resources. However, savvy investors like Buffett know that this is actually the perfect time to invest—including investing in themselves.

As we all navigate these difficult times together, it's important to remember that an economic downturn doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, it can actually be a great opportunity to invest in your personal development. Doing so can help you weather the storm and come out the other side stronger than ever before. So don't be afraid to seize this moment and commit to improving yourself—you'll be glad you did when the economy eventually recovers.

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