Archives for February 2008

Ready for a Recession?

In the US there is a lot of talk and fear about a recession hitting this year. I don’t think I am in any position to debate that. From my pretty much uneducated opinion, though, I believe that one is brewing. Based on the sub-prime mortgage issue, the war on terror and the increase in consumer credit, it just looks like the US is setting themselves up for it.

We here in Trinidad and Tobago should not feel that we are immune to the effects of a recession in the US. As our main importer of our major export good – oil and natural gas – and our main country of origin of imports, we need to think again. I for one is looking carefully at developments.

The fact is that progressions and recessions are part of the economic cycle – what goes up must come down – but as countries develop the net gain should be a progression. As such we should be ready for one should one occur. I was catching up on some news and came across two blogs that discussed how to stay employed in a period of economic recession.

I invite you to take a read of these articles as they provide some pretty good advice. I have some points on my own (that are related loosely to the points in the articles.

  1. Update your skills. Just being continuously employed is not enough if you are not also ensuring that your skills are up to date – get those certifications or do those short courses that you have been putting off. Note that skills not only refers to the technical ones but also the softer ones. Organisations are progressively looking for the kind of skills that you can’t get from a class (although they do try don’t they).
  2. Improve your education. You would find that you not go very far in your own organisation, far less others, if you are not improving your education. If you don’t already have your degree then get going; if you already have your degree, then get an advanced degree or even an MBA.
  3. Have a plan B. Sometimes we will set our careers around only one path that should that industry collapse or become over-subscribed with employable candidates you become unemployable. Ensure that you have something else to go to if your chosen career goes bust, even if then change in career means a reduction on salary.
  4. Create your human network. Cisco has it right, the human network is one of the most important weapons in any one’s arsenal. Make contact by joining and being actively involved in professional institutions, non-governmental organisations or even sports clubs. You know what they say – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

One article (Are Gen Y-ers Greedy or Just Different?) though sees any recession being a wake up call for those Generation Y’s out there. It’s something you see with young school leavers and recent university graduates, especially in the IT industry. You have candidates calling for large salaries and nothing to show for it.

I know that if a recession hits it would be terrible for some, but a part of me wants it to happen to wake up the citizens of the country. With government spending out of control and prices of housing through the roof, we need something to get us back on track.

In Loving Memory of Uncle Prem

“You doh know that if Robinson couldn’t close he leg, he woulda fall through he asshole!”

Uncle Preman referring to former President and Prime-Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, A.N.R. Robinson.
25th December 2007.


Deonarine Parsan
Sunrise: 14th March 1951
Sunset: 27th January 2008


One of my best uncles passed away this weekend. Deonarine “Preman” Parsan passed away on the night of Sunday 27th January. Born way back on 14th March 1951, he leaves to mourn his wife – Tara – , three children – Sunil, Sunita and Kavita – and four grand-children – Jerome, Joshua, Vinda and Atma – as well as his mother and father, brother and sisters, nephews and nieces, and numerous friends.

He was always the life of the party and you could always depend on him for a laugh with his numerous jokes and antics.

He will be sorely missed.

It is ironic that I said to myself that this year I would keep more in touch with my family and friends. It just goes to show that the time to start anything is now, because you never know, you could be here today, and gone tomorrow.

Uncle Prem and his animated antics on Christmas Day 2004.

Uncle Prem (left) and my Dad at my wedding reception on April 12th 2003.

You can find more photos in my photo gallery.