Don’t Play Cards at the Poker Table – Surviving the Economic Downturn as an Individual

Today’s article talks about the recent big layoffs.

I don’t talk about the economic situation, monetary policy or even the international situation. These things are too macroscopic and can be interpreted from many angles. For each of us ordinary people, there are limited practical actions for reference.

If you are not the top policy maker, it is a waste of time to guess what the top thinks every day.

Instead of this, it is better to talk to you from the perspective of micro-individuals, from the current situation, where we need to pay attention to, and what we can do.

In fact, my suggestion is the title sentence:

Don’t play at the poker table.

This is a card game term. It means that if you don’t hold a good card, don’t follow, let the person with a good card go first, and you wait for the opportunity behind.

In this process, you only need to ensure that your chips can keep you at the table long enough, there will always be a moment when your opponent will make a mistake, and your opportunity will come.

Of course, the poker table is just a metaphor. The extension falls on each of us, which can be understood as the industry you are in, the company you are in, the team you are in, and the customers you serve.

These surrounding environments, rules, and platforms are all your “card table”. As long as the industry does not collapse, the company does not shut down, and the platform does not disperse, you will find a way to stay until the end.

In the past, when all walks of life were rushing forward to grab incremental growth, everyone was thinking about how to grab a good card. Everyone’s at the table, new players are being added every day, and no one feels like they’re going to play.

But today the rules of the game have changed, and the economy has entered the era of stock, and the cake has little chance to grow bigger. In the past, it was a growth game, but now it is a zero-sum game. The positions on a poker table become limited, and you will lose him.

Therefore, not playing at the poker table is actually a competitive strategy in the stock era. Its essence is not how to win money at the poker table, but how to get rid of your opponent, even, how to kill your opponent.

At this time, all your strategies and actions should be formulated around how to stay at the poker table, rather than winning or losing for a while. Your goal is not to make the cake bigger, but to eat your own piece of the limited cake. Just make sure you stay at the table and eat until the end, and you win.

The condition for this strategy to be established is that no matter how the external environment changes, there will always be a pair of invisible hands in the end. The market pie will not disappear, it will only get smaller. This is our national condition and our opportunity.

As long as you look at the time period, you will find that from the reform and opening up to the present, our economy has experienced many cycles of peaks and valleys.

From the earliest layoffs of state-owned enterprises, to the collapse of the Internet industry in the early 21st century, to the global financial crisis in 2008, pay attention to it, there is not one time that completely destroyed an industry.

They are more like shuffling the cards than starting over.

After every crisis, many new opportunities emerge. This is due to our strong economic foundation and policy strength, but you don’t need to worry about the specific mechanism, just remember one final result, that is:
It is difficult for an industry to completely disappear, but it will definitely continue to evolve. And with every evolution, there are bound to be new requirements, new abilities, and new knowledge points to learn. What you have to do is to keep grasping these things to get familiar with and adapt to the new rules.

Therefore, under the condition that the poker table does not fall, you have to stay as long as possible, endure the pain, and fight until the end, so that you can keep the clouds and see the moon.

Next, I will focus on 3 suggestions, which you can refer to:

First and foremost, grab your trump card.

The trump card is the card that you can play no matter the situation is good or bad. When it comes to work, it is the core business, core positions, and core cash cow departments.

Although many companies are laying off employees now, if you look carefully, there are not many layoffs in core positions, and some even have salary increases, but the work on the hands of core positions has indeed increased.

The vast majority of those who are laid off are from lines with poor liquidity, or even marginal positions with no liquidity at all.

No capitalist is a fool. He must see returns for the money spent and wages paid, but there are many types of returns.

Why do companies have money to support idlers and low-performing people when times are good, because although these people are not capable of work, they can provide other things. For example, providing emotional value to the boss, such as helping the company deal with some messes, such as being pulled out to block guns.

These are called marginal values.

They cannot bring cash flow to the company, nor can they bring business growth, but if the boss needs them, they have meaning of existence, and the boss is willing to pay.

Like the most exaggerated example I know, the boss spends a lot of money to hire a director, and scolds him every day.

The boss does everything himself, and the only function of the director is to be scolded by the boss. The boss scolded Shu Tan, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, the project progressed smoothly, and the director’s task was completed.

In the past, this phenomenon was commonplace. But you must not think that such a director has great ability with so much money.

Sorry, none exists. Marginal values ​​can never become core values.

The boss is watching everything, the boss is advancing, the client is also the boss talking, and the resources are also in the hands of the boss. Although this kind of person is a director in name, he just goes out with the boss for meetings and gets scolded by the boss when he comes back.

If such a person leaves, customers will not leave, and neither will employees. In fact, it will not have the slightest impact on the company’s business.

But if this kind of person drifts away and thinks that he is capable, it is a big misunderstanding.

This is like knowing that you only have a pair of three in your hand, but you think you have a king bomb. When the situation of the game changes suddenly, he must be the first one to be laid off.

Some time ago, Ali’s large layoffs caused a lot of shocks in the industry. Many of the layoffs were high P with an annual salary of more than one million. They used to come in when the industry was at the forefront and eat up the growth dividend.

But there are some people here who have benefited from the development of the times and platforms, rather than relying on personal efforts. When the tuyere comes, pigs can go to the sky, but if the tuyere goes away, it will be revealed immediately whether it is a talent or a waste material.

Many of my HR friends went to dig out the high Ps that Ali had laid off, and found that these people were full of fake nonsense and had no insight into the actual business. They shook their heads during interviews, and no company was willing to hire them.

So in the past, I always said that in a company, try to go to the core position and move closer to the core department.

The so-called core refers to the company’s most profitable department, the most profitable business, and the most pillar cash flow team.

You squeeze into these places, sharpen your head and go in, so that one day when the cards are reshuffled, you will not be the first to be shuffled.

With the ace in your hand, it is difficult for you to get off the table and you can stay on. People without trump cards leave one after another, and the times will not say sorry to them.

Today is the time to verify this sentence.

Number two, keep an eye on the other players at the table.

There are no true friends in the workplace, and all relationships are based on interests.

You have the same pursuit of interests, so you are friends. Once your interests go against each other, then go your separate ways, or even fight to the death.

Remember that it is a zero-sum game now, there are too many monks, and there are too few groceries. The rules of the big game are like this. You just follow this trend.

Note, I am not teaching you to harm others, but I am telling you not to think so well of the people around you, and you must be defensive.

Colleagues who eat lunch and chat with you every day may now stab you in the back for a position;

customers who used to hang out with you may now disregard reputation because of lower prices from other suppliers Stop cooperating with you;

the boss who usually takes good care of you may now ask you to pack up and leave the next day because of the company’s business adjustment.

However, these are very normal.

When a crisis comes, the first thing everyone thinks about is how to protect themselves, which is human nature. If there is room to spare on this basis, then you will choose how to treat others based on your own moral standards.

So at this time, what you have to do is to defend your own territory, hold your trump card, and then examine your network of contacts, who may come to grab your cake, who is willing to cooperate with you, and who has common interests with you. interests and who are your potential competitors.

Re-divide the camp of forces and be ready to respond to changes. Remember, no one who can stay at the poker table is a fuel-efficient lamp.

The third is to ensure that you have the chips to keep playing.

If you want to stay at the poker table, you need chips. If you want to survive the famine, you need enough food. But now, the comparison is who has more bargaining chips and who has enough food.

How to do it? It’s very simple, change your spending habits and ensure sufficient cash flow reserves on hand.

Don’t buy things that you can buy or not. Don’t enjoy the delicate life of petty bourgeoisie. Don’t eat big meals that can easily cost hundreds of yuan or even thousands of yuan. No matter how attractive the 618 Double Eleven promotion is, don’t watch it if it’s not something you just need.

In short, everything revolves around your survival needs, not your enjoyment needs.

I know this is easier said than done. But a really powerful person can bend and stretch, is flexible and can adjust his posture at any time according to changes in the current situation.

Yesterday I could eat Michelin-starred delicacies from mountains and seas, and today I can eat Lanzhou ramen, a Shaxian snack. Know how to enjoy when times are good, know how to save money when times are bad, switch seamlessly, without procrastination.

The counterexample is to consume ahead of time, incorrectly and optimistically estimate your own income growth, and consume large sums of money in advance, all of which may turn into big thunder in the future.

For example, many of the people who have been laid off by some large companies now have full mortgages to buy houses, and some even pay for several houses at the same time, with monthly payments as high as 60,000 to 70,000.

As a result, as soon as the staff was laid off, the supply was cut off immediately, and the pressure can be imagined. Moreover, many people’s significant other is a full-time wife who does not work. This kind of blow is devastating to a family.

The all-in mentality is not advisable, and you have to leave yourself a way out at any time. This is the biggest lesson for us in the current situation and in the future.

Prepare food reserves, survive the cold winter, and stay at the poker table, you will have a chance to win back what you lost in the past. Again, as a person, you must follow the trend and not go against the general trend. The theory of evolution talks about natural selection, and that’s exactly what it is right now.

Welcome to the animal world.