A marketing view of personal skills development in a recession

There are no limits but those we place upon ourselves. Well sort of – there are some real physical limits but let’s focus on a “can do” attitude!

With the real threat of a long market depression what skills will be most important over the next twenty years? For that matter what skills are most important right now and over the next one, three to five years?

At the core the central key element is you – developing your skills and a positive attitude. I suppose life is a constant learning and adaption. If we don’t adapt to the environment then we go the way of the dinosaurs.

The next few years will be a challenge but the old adage – “Tough times don’t last tough people do” stands strong.

To put things in perspective even if economic activity dropped say 50% (which would be a catastrophe – there’s still 50% of work to be done!)

There will be increased unemployment.

Develop new skills – from little things big things grow.

A skill in nothing but allied knowledge and talent. Talent equals practice. Recent research has shown it takes two years to turn a daily practice into an automatic instinctive habit. For example – eating well, fitness, thinking positively, not stressing, writing daily, smiling, learning photography, playing guitar, web development, gardening etc.

Nothing of real value comes quickly – with persistence any new skill can be developed.

So what skills?

From a marketing view of the world there are two things we look at –
1. What is the product/service (ie you/ me) and
2. Who is the customer and what are thier needs (now and in the future).

I then like to borrow on “back of a Napkin’s” 6w’s – Who/What?, How Much, When, Where, How to and Why.

The objective is then to try and best match Buyer and Seller, to make a SELLER feature into a BUYER “want” then a perceived “need”. ie – a prerequisite to your day. eg Coffee in the morning; emails and mobile phones, a faster computer, creative skills, marketing skills, accounting and so on.

The leading jobs of today did not exist four or five years ago. The leading jobs of tomorrow are still evolving.

So what markets are recession/ depression resistant and where are the growth jobs.

Obviously it’s luxury items which get hit immediately whereas as fundamentals like food, health, education are resistant. You then look at downstream examples – people put off changing tires as often in a recession, dining out, overseas holidays etc.

But what of new opportunities – telecommunications, the Internet, creative services etc

What changes in BUYER/ consumer habit and spending?

Do we buy more local?

What about information and entertainment? Do we opt for lower cost options – a drink at the local club or a bbq at home. Do important issues become more localised? Does gaming, gambling, alcohol, drugs etc increase as people try to escape their daily pain?

How to you re-engineer yourself and your business for the changing market?


Ex publican, photographer, musician, entrepreneur and Head of Digital for the Cronulla Sharks.