News flash - these are challenging days! OK, that's sooo old news by now, but nonetheless it still garners headlines. As a profession that relies on a healthy job market, well....need I say more?

Working in a consultancy firm - our clients have always been important to us, but in times like these they are all the more so. I am reminded of that classic little ditty, "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold". Not to say we think of our clients as merely representations of commerce - they are more than that of course.

The clients we've worked with for years are indeed old friends. We've been through a lot together. Perhaps a couple of these economic downturns (i.e. Dot Bomb and Post 911), we've had some "agree to disagree" moments, lunches and meetings, laughs, some misunderstandings, good times, not-so-good times, celebrations, wins, losses. We have a shared history. We know and trust each other at this point and also know that we'll weather this storm together, like we've weathered others in the past.

Then there are the new friends. Clients we're just started working with. We've met under circumstances that are likely challenging on both sides. They may be trying to avoid layoffs, or working under severe budget constraints, or worrying about their next round of funding. We're both a little stressed, yet still moving forward, focused and determined to survive and succeed. They are hoping they've chosen a good partner to help them. They realize that there's no time to waste right now; all moves carrying monumental weight, so they may enter this new relationship with some trepidation; slowly giving their trust and business. They may be bombarded by recruiters clamoring for their attention and promising them the world. We on the other hand are hoping we've obtained a client that will remain loyal and stick by our side once they see how hard and well we work. We hope they realize how important this is to us, and see how much we aim to please them. We know we're in this for the long haul and we hope they are too.

So, as in any challenging time - I really appreciate my friends! I know “this too shall pass" and I know the good times will seem all the more sweet, and we'll celebrate them together!

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