Brace for Impact

When the pandemic and the government was doling out cash, we were happy for the support. But the additional money circulating in the economy created demand at the same time when supply chains were disrupted. More demand and less supply led to inflation.

In response, the Bank of Canada started raising interest rates in March from a historical low to 3.75% currently. Brace for the next interest rate hike tomorrow (December 7, 2022). The word brace reminds me of aircraft safety videos at the start of every flight.

Brace for impact! The impact of rising interest rates is to lower inflation by slowing down the economy. This will hurt small businesses significantly, according to Kevin Page, CEO and President of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.

These small businesses employ 8.2 million workers, 67.7% of the private Canadian labour force in 2021. Add to that the massive tech layoffs by Twitter (3,700), Meta (11,000), Amazon (10,000), Microsoft (1,000), DoorDash (1,250), and Shopify (1,000). An estimated 88,000 workers in the US tech sector has been laid off so far this year.

Non-tech sectors are not immune to layoffs. Companies announcing layoffs include Wells Fargo, Robinhood, Gap, Warner Bros, Patreon, T-Mobile, Bed and Bath, Ford, HBO, Peloton, Best Buy, and Walmart. How do you brace for impact? These two mindset shifts are going to be helpful:

Firstly, be prepared for long term adversity. Just as viruses mutate not once, not twice, but continuously, interest rate hikes are going to continue; so will layoffs. We don’t know how long this is going to last and you need to be prepared for that.

Second, adapt to changes. To withstand adversity and adapt to changes, focus on building your resilience in 2023. There are many areas that need to be resilient: your health and mentality, your relationships and community, your lifestyle, work, and finances.

For many people, having a job is part of financial resiliency. As a project professional, you know how to assess risk and mitigate them. So, what’s your contingency plan in 2023? Part of it could be to develop skills that can’t be taken away from you and that you can take wherever you go.

If you’re interested in upgrading your PM skills and future proofing your career, check out