You’d have to be hiding under a rock with earbuds not to hear the constant barrage of talk of an impending recession in this country. While some may argue we are already in one, it does seem apparent to most that we are at least on the brink of some tough economic times ahead. If you have yet to feel the impact of the rising interest rates and the rising inflation, whether when trying to buy a house, at the gas pump, or at the grocery store, you are likely to start feeling the pinch soon. We will all feel this impact on our lives in one aspect or another—and for many, that may include levels of job security.
As spending more money on everyday items becomes a financial hindrance, it becomes an even bigger financial problem for those facing the loss of a job due to economic hardships that often cause layoffs.
No one wants to face the potential loss of a job, especially during a recession, so it is imperative to take proactive action to ensure that you are in the best position possible to keep your job and the securities that come with it. The first thing to remember is don’t panic! There are things you can do and steps you can take to recession-proof your career. Read ahead to find out how!
Instead of getting overwhelmed during challenging times, try to keep in mind that you always have options. If you enjoy your job and want to continue to thrive in it, there are things you have control over. Consider the following six tips for recession-proofing your career:
Recession-proof your career, not your job
Recession-proofing your career doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your current job (since the worst can happen through no fault of your own)—but more precisely, it means establishing and strengthening your professional value.
Spend your time and energy refining your skills, talents, experience, and resources. If you need to secure another job, it will be easier to do so with a higher professional value.
Boost your skills
There is never any harm done by investing in continued learning. Use the skills you have already attained to provide as the base of your skill set and continue to create ways to develop new ones to open new opportunities. Sign up for classes, take workshops, get involved, and learn from others in your field. Sign up for classes, take workshops, get involved, and learn from others in your field. By updating your skills to stay current, not only will you put yourself in a better position to keep your job, but you will also be growing your love, knowledge, and passion for your career.
Give your supervisors reason to think twice before letting you go. When you stand out, they better see and respect your value. Volunteer for the projects others may be intimidated by—suggest ideas or methods that simplify processes, engage with fellow team members, and complete your work and projects on time and below budget when possible. As you prove effective and efficient, new challenges will be sent your way—which will only garnish you more opportunities to stand above the rest.
Strengthen your network
Especially during trying economic times, it is a good idea to network and keep your connections to others open. If you find yourself needing to move from one job to another, you will be in a better position when you have the relationships to do so. Join local organizations, be active on LinkedIn, and attend professional gatherings where you can have the opportunity to share your knowledge and build connections with others in your field.
Nurture a side gig
When you are able to devote some of your energy to skills separate from your main job, not only will you be developing a more well-rounded skill set, but you will be able to interact and network with professionals outside of your professional circle.
Having another job or side gig will diversify your revenue stream, which can be helpful when trying to build up your emergency fund—giving you a bit of a buffer if and when you need to take a minute in between jobs. A side job can help you decrease your financial strain if there is time unemployed while searching for another job that fits your value.
Understand your industry and have a plan
Periodically review the health and stamina of your industry and the prospect and strength of your career within it. Make sure there is room for growth and assess whether or not your industry is making moves that suggest longevity. In the case of a recession, does it seem that your job is one that will remain in demand? Is there potential for new opportunities given that the economy may be struggling?
Also, it is important to self-reflect, asking yourself if you have the skills necessary to shift to another industry if your health is failing. Once you assess these things, you can formulate a plan to be prepared in case you need a new job.
Consider past recessions and the industries that were affected by them. This will give you a good sense of where your job and career stands as we proceed forward.
When you follow these tips, you can get ahead of the fallout from a recession, have a contingency plan, and lay the groundwork to maintain control over your career and your financial success for the years to come. No one can know the direct impact a recession will have on them, but it’s always a good idea to employ these tips to be recession-proof and grow your professional value.
“First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.” –Dale Carnegie