Newly Corporate

Work, life and the pursuit of happiness for the young professional.

5 Ways the Economic Downturn Could Help You

Silver LiningAs much over-hyped doom and gloom as there is in the blogosphere and the mainstream media right now, I would like to highlight a few examples of a silver lining in the dark storm cloud that is our current bear market.  Generation Y needs to stay positive, as we always do, and focus on these areas.

1.  More Shares for Your 401k Dollar.  Yes, I realize your 401k has most likely taken a hit but, as young employee what really matters is whether you can make shrewd investments now and get more value for your dollar that will payoff later.  Right now, most stocks that your are investing in via your 401k (unless the Democrats decide to end the 401k program) are at bargain basement prices.  Buy low, sell high.

2. The Opportunity to Learn From the Full Business Cycle. Effective employees and managers can work and flourish through the good times and the bad but, in order to do so they need to experience them both.  A manager of mine likes to use the example of a cyclical business that ebbs and flows with new innovations, you need to be able to learn how to cut costs and be extremely efficient in the lean times while also knowing how to spend the money properly when you have it.

3.  An Opportunity to To Trim Your Own Spending.  What better time exists to learn the difference between your own needs and wants than an economic downturn?  As much as it stinks, we all can benefit from learning better budgeting, even when we have to.

4. A New Appreciation for What Wall Street Can’t Take Away. Sometimes, during a bull market, we get so focused on profit taking and money making we lose focus of the things that really matter.  Micheal Hyatt, a publishing executive, had this experience and shared his list, here is part of it:

“I have several profound friendships that encourage and challenge me.
I have meaningful work that I would do even if I wasn’t getting paid.
I have incredibly competent co-workers whom I truly love and respect.
I have a church that grows dearer to me with each passing year. (We have been members there for 24 years.)
I have a relationship with God that is endlessly fascinating and fulfilling.”

5. A Better Deal on Your First Home.  You may not be able to get a 0 down ARM loan with an exploding interest rate but, a wise Gen Yer can find great real estate deals on their first home. For a great place to start, check out our Dream Home series.

Do you see other upsides?  What is your experience so far?  Share them in the comments!

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  1. I definitely agree with the gist of the article. I have only looked once at my 401(k), just out of curiosity. I’m not as young as some other Newly Corporate readers, but I’ve still got enough time to not stress about it. I have also taken this opportunity to get a firm grip on my household budget. It’s just me so it shouldn’t be that difficult, but it is at first. Cutting back on discretionary spending has made it easier to see where ‘frugal fun’ can be had with friends. It harkens back to undergrad days of just getting a pizza and hanging out. Simple pleasures!

  2. Plus… Amazing deals on clothes (today I bought a 178 dollar dress from for 35….)

  3. Brandon,

    I’m so glad you decided to write about this. It’s the sort of thing that young professionals want to hear about how to deal with what is being called the worst financial crisis since the great depression. Thanks for tying it to us! Newly Corporate is a great resource for Gen Y.

  4. I have a different perspective than many Americans my age on the economic downturn in that I have been working since my June 2008 graduation in China. I read about the downturn every day in online news sources but see no effects of it around me.

    Maybe a positive outcome of this is that more Americans will consider starting their careers and going to grad school abroad. U.S. employers really do prefer candidates with international experience.

  5. I am a young entrepreneur. I have started my company § months ago. I gather 1,5 million dollars to achieve my project and now I fear less competition since senior company will conentrate on their business and young entrepreneurs will encounter difficulties to raise money. So less competition in my special case is the opportunity in the crisis. The downside is that it will be harder ofr the second round of funding.

  6. I like your looking at the silver lining. All bad has some good somewhere.

    And I like the way you have written about the business cycle. I am planning to talk to my 2 elder girls about this and the means available to profit from this.

    Thanks for sharing.


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