A true sign of the times…

This is the queue last week on Stephens Green when the convenience store Londis advertised some jobs for some new stores opening this year, and had an open interview day. Applicants were forces to queue on the street outside which snaked all the way around to Grafton Street. It really is a throwback to the 1980’s – just check out the video below!

There were 100 jobs advertised but they had over 100 applicants. People from all walks of life – much like when a few months ago, McDonald’s advertised a new store opening in Ennis and got 500 CV’s – many from Bankers and Accountants!

Have a look at this video to see exactly how big this queue really is…

Swoponomics – Recession 2.0!

Here is a really great idea I just had to share with you. lets face it we are all totally head-melted with the recession ebign shoved down our throats, but here is a website that takes a positive turn to it.
www.swoponomics.com is a new Irish barter/trade exchange website. It provide a community where services and goods which you already possess can be ‘swopped’ with people who have services or goods you need. For example, take a solicitor who needs some painting done and a painter who needs some legal work carried out, Swop-o-nomics gives them the forum to find each other and get things done, without spending a cent.

There are many benefits of a service like this, especially in the current economic climate. With unemployment rising, many skilled people are finding themselves time rich but cash poor. With our service your time and skills are your payment so cash doesn’t need to change hands at all. Businesses can even get in on the action by providing their goods as payment for services, helping them lower costs and promote themselves. How about a new restaurant offering a few free meals to an accountant who helped them file tax returns? The possibilities are endless.

As well as these opportunities to swop goods and services, the site also has an Ideas Exchange which hopes to connect entrepreneurs with mentors and experienced individuals who are looking to get involved in new start-ups.

The name I’m sure is a pun on the popular Book “Freakonomics” – which is a favourite of mine. I think this site has great potential as really exchanging people’s skills and trades is somewhat of a lost art. I’ve always believed that web 2.0 technologies is bringing back some of the almost lost human interaction via the medium of technology.

I’ll have to put a few of my own posts up and see how it goes!

The Irish Property Market in 2009


About 9 months ago I watched a fascinating documentary on RTE1 called “Future Shock Property Crash” – a frank and honest report by an Irish Journalist called Richard Curran, about what he saw as being an impending properly crash – far worse than the “Soft Landing” that the banks were preaching. the cracks in the market were already starting to show, but he predicted that house prices would falling by up to 40% from their height in latest 2006 – and that it would happen very quickly. He also went into detail about the ramifications of this event.

At the time I was contemplating the thought of buying another property – and I think this cemented my initial gut feeling that the risks were just too high and that I’d be better off staying put for the moment. Boy am I glad I didn’t. Continue reading

Why the recession isn’t such a bad thing for everyone…

You can’t turn on the tv or read the papers these days without being bombarded by the doom and gloom of the world recession, and how everyone is tightening their belts and having to cut back considerably on their previously lavish standards of living. It’s like the entire population of Ireland has over a period of just a few months, suddenly adopted the mentality of a 1980’s like depression.

But really if you think about it, for most people, its not that bad at all… Actually, for many it’s bloody brilliant!

Ok so yes, unemployment in this country has now topped 300,000. But that is still less than 8% of the population which leaves 92% of us who are relatively safe in our jobs. Forgetting about the fact that there may be a slight chance you may loose your job, for the majority of people, things are not really that different.

Actually, there are a lot of good things about an economic slowdown. Prices are falling through the floor so (tac increases aside)  in reality you are getting considerably more for your money each month. For Example:


  • Oil Prices:  It usually costs me very close to €60 to fill my car – yesterday I filled it for just a tad over €40. From a peak of nearly €146, it is now under €50. This not only means cheaper petrol for your car, but it means lots of other things get cheaper too – flights being the obvious one.
  • Interest Rates: If you are on a tracker mortgage it’s happy days – you just got a 0.75% reduction in your mortgage. The lucky people in the UK have a base rate of 1.5%, the lowest it has been in the history of the central bank. Continue reading

The Jobs Market in 2009

I think this video sums it all up…

A fantastically simple yet effective piece, not exactly what you’d call politically correct though! I love it though – kinda South Park Esque…

I’m very happy and thankful to say that 2009 is looking good for me, and (afaik) my job is pretty safe. but its really scary too see what is happening to the people around me. I’ve been out of college and in the real world for about 6 years now – I completed a three year degree and was beginning my career in as short a time as possible. However I know quite a few people who stayed around the college scene, getting a string of further qualifications which promised to make them infinitely more desirable to the market, meaning they could climb the ladder to the big bucks at a far more rapid rate. unfortunately with the times that are in it, this probably did not pan out to be the wisest decision to have made. Often in times like this, real practical previous experience is valued more highly than raw qualifications. People are even saying that MBA’s are just not worth it any more -And that was before we entered a recession! Continue reading