With many people, including the Queen, advocating looking back at 2013, I am yet again jumping on the bandwagon of looking forward and having a tongue in cheek crack at a few predictions for 2014. Caveat emptor!
1. Confidence will continue to increase
In 2013 the 5 or so years of austerity and the watering of green shoots finally seemed to start to have some impact and the data finally started to swing in the favour of growth (and George Osbourne). Whatever the reality of the situation, confidence in the economy will continue to grow and people will start to feel better about it. The banks will ignore this and continue to charge exorbitant lending rates for mortgages relative to the base rate.
2. The Chinese will be to blame
With George and the bankers seemingly being let off for the last 5 years we will of course need someone new to blame for the things that aren’t working. Increasingly this will become the Chinese. The blame will take many forms – the impending spectre of their economic supremacy (latest predictions are 2028), their over-investment overseas (China apparently now owns most of Africa), their interpretation of international trade and copyright law or maybe just their overuse of MSG.
3. We will be told our lot is better
With a general election due at the latest in the UK in 2015 and a certain Mr Obama becoming a term limited lame duck President with only 2 years on the clock electioneering will begin in earnest in 2014 (does it ever end?) In service of this we will be told what we have is better and who is responsible for that (they won’t be) and what we don’t like is the other guys fault. Very little will actually change but the manifesto promises will be corkers.
4. Vince Cable will further distance himself
With said election looming Mr Cable will bid to further distance himself from Mr Cameron (and Mr Clegg) anticipating an Ides of March moment and the inevitable “Et tu, Dave?”. This will take the form of lobbing, smearing and general malcontentedness. Mr Clegg will wake up to the fact he’s got a marginal constituency and that a TV debate ain’t gonna help
5. The job market will flip
With confidence increasing companies will become marginally less risk adverse and start hiring more people. More importantly confidence will mean more people are comfortable to change job. The job market will flip from being driven by companies and vacancies to being driven by candidates. McKinsey will dub this with some title. Recruiters will use this to try and negotiate better rates. Very little will actually change and companies will still want the best people to hire.
6. We will continue to worship false idols
Whether Beliebers will still be Beliebers at end of 2014 remains to be seen but whether it’s Justin, the CEO of Snapchat or someone else enjoying their 15 minutes we will continue to be overly impressed with those who enjoy short term large scale success and have lots of Twitter followers.
7. Big sporting events will compare unfavourably with London 2012
2014 will bring the Winter Olympics, the Football World Cup and the Commonwealth games. Coke will spend a fortune, McDonalds will have specially printed cups, some people will win, others will lose. Whatever happens nothing will be as good as the Olympics in London and no cauldrons will feature in opening ceremonies. Danny Boyle will make a new film
8. The next big thing will arrive
Facebook will continue to flog it’s dying horse, Google will continue to innovate more broadly (personally I like driving my own car), people will continue to post too many selfies (shame on you Barack) and I’m sure there’s a start up somewhere for an app that will only post pictures for 6 seconds. Whatever the next big thing is, it will arrive in 2014 (or has already arrived and will now come to the fore). Whether it has any impact is quite another thing…
9. Social will continue to be over hyped
Since Cain defriended Abel and man came out of his cave and ask his friend Terry if he had a light, people have been social. Recent technology has of course evolved how people have socialised but didn’t introduce the concept. Social will continue to be bandied around as if it is was something invented in Silicon Valley or a in brainstorm at PWC. People will continue to go to pubs.
10. I will conclude the most complex recruitment assignment of them all
The assignment began in the late 1980s and I confess the spec has evolved and been revised a great deal in the ensuing time. There have been some promising candidates along the way – some didn’t apply for the role and others were rejected during the interview phase. I can’t discuss the assessment centre but in Spring of this year I will finally appoint Mrs. Jones. Herself will be issued with a permanent contract and I think I will be told where to stick my ideas for personal development planning.
Whatever 2014 holds for you and yours, I trust it will be everything you wish for and more.
Happy New Year!