SURFING THE ALBERTA ECONOMY

16 Sep '16

Summer is over, but we Albertans are still surfing the waves as the oil and gas industry yanks us up and down in our powerful ocean playground.  This has been the Alberta way for decades, yet we still feel the exhilaration when at the top of a big wave.  You know, that wonderful feeling of joyful invincibility, when a free fall is not on your mind.  But big waves are powerful and have the tendency to recess and as the saying goes, what goes up…

And then comes the wipeout.  Surfers call it a hold down, and it’s a humbling experience.  They know that you can’t get good at what you do without learning the survival techniques.  It’s all part of the game.  Anyone successful has ridden these waves before and has learnt how to survive them.

Big wave surfing experts say that the key to survival is to overcome the mental hurdle and avoid panic.  Stay calm and relaxed, conserve your energy, and embrace the wave the best way you know how.  But what does this mean in our ocean?

Diversified Staffing Services owner and founder, Randy Ward, has lived by this philosophy.  With 38 years of guiding the company, he has seen economy highs and lows, and has passed on his wisdom of survival:  “Tough it out, stick to your guns and work hard.  The worse it gets the more you should push forward and use the support around you.  Use smart thinking by looking for opportunities, being innovative and having a back up plan.  Don’t spend unless you have to and save all you can, and you will do well in the long run.

After all, we spirited Albertans are big wave surfing survivors who are tough to recover from the wipeouts.  This is a bi-product of riding in the ocean of the Alberta economy.  And because it’s hard to forecast when the next big wave will come, try not to anticipate the time frame.  Waves can differ drastically from time to time, so let’s follow the advice of the experts by embracing the wave, using the support around us, and riding it out together!