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What does the double dip mean for the future?

Well, I couldn't write a blog about anything other than the double-dip recession, could I? It was either that or the 'ten most creative uses of Pinterest' which, while definitely of interest to me, is not generally considered 'news'.

In my line of work - and particularly when the word 'recession' gets thrown about - I am frequently asked how things are looking for the future, particularly in the world of freelance consulting. Clients are looking to build as thorough a picture as they can on the economy and the rate at things which are progressing (or indeed not). And candidates? Well, they just want to know that there is a chance of another project in three, six or nine months.

My typical answer? Things are looking ... uncertain. Or in the words of one esteemed member of the team: "My crystal ball is cracked". Indeed it is. These are difficult times in which the rule book is being re-written and we are all having to adjust.

It's easier for me than most: I graduated in 2009 and have not known an economy that isn't either in recession, scrambling out of recession, or sliding back into recession. For me, this is normal, I don't hark back in nostalgic tones to the halcyon days of 2007, when revenue grew on trees and leprechauns danced in the moonlight.

And even for those who do, the way things are now is becoming a new version of normality. With innovation, hard work and determination, people and businesses are surviving and in some cases thriving. Because there is still success to be had in a recession. Business doesn't just stop because share prices go down. Projects still need to get things done - now more than ever processes need tightening, structures building, business plans refining, costs reducing, markets entering, effective strategies writing, partnerships creating, mergers merging ... you get the picture.

We are lucky at FreshMinds - our candidates are extremely high calibre, motivated, conscientious and engaged individuals. In addition, we work on projects like those I outlined above: strategic business analysis, competitor intelligence, market entry and operational efficiency. Those designed, essentially, to make a business better, whatever the market.

Nevertheless, we've seen a changed landscape that runs on caution, slower decision making, less waste. From my point of view, this isn't a bad thing. Risk is essential to business - without it some of the giants we assume have always been part of our branded lives would not be in existence. But I would advocate a lack of hedonism, an element (if not over-use) of caution, a thoughtful approach to business, and resourcing.

And if this double-dip recession teaches us all not to take for granted our city life will always be at ease, and accordingly to work smarter, harder, add value to everything we do, then so much the better.

Image credit: Dale Moore Photography