Hard times are inevitable, especially with an economy in shambles. With these five strategies, you can keep your career intact and avoid a financial crisis.
An economic recession is just one of those things bound to happen at some point.
Experts can usually come up with estimates on the timeline of an expected recession and its nature. But the reality is: these are just estimates. And you can't really predict a recession.
If you were wondering what causes recessions, they happen as an outcome of an economic downturn.
The worrying reality of recessions is that they hit hard. People lose their jobs, and the rate of unemployment rises.
Is it possible to avoid the impact of a recession?
When the economy tanks, it'll affect you one way or another due to the general financial decline. Still, on a personal level, you can take steps to maintain financial security in such a hard time.
With estimates pointing towards a possible recession in 2021, now is the time to prepare and recession-proof your career. Here’s how:
Acquire In-Demand Skills
Job scarcity is a direct effect of recession. With most sectors hit and unemployment rates soaring, you can still stand out from the crowd if you’ve backed up your career with valuable skills.
You can't afford to sit back unless you feel pretty secure. If you don't, maybe it's time to pick up some new skills.
The first step is to analyze your skillset, the whole package that makes you the best person for the job. Take out your technical skills — stuff that primarily relates to your job description — and see what secondary skills you have left.
Your secondary, non-technical skills are what we call soft skills, and they're super important in every field.
Here are some popular examples of soft skills that could set you apart from your colleagues:
● Team management
● Good communication
● Attention to detail
Hone Your Talents
In most cases, many people can do your job as well as you do. Of course, this lowers your job security.
People tend to be satisfied with the knowledge that they qualify for the positions they have. Don't forget that there are people with similar or better qualifications than you.
What’s likely to guarantee your job security when recession hits and people are getting laid off en masse is the value you bring to the table.
It's easy to tell if you're an asset to your company or not because those who end up going home are often people a company can afford to lose.
So, you may want to ask yourself:
Do you belong to the group that calls in sick, and immediately there's someone available to pitch in for you until you get back?
Or are you one of those who are usually still on the phone on their day off?
Aim to be the best at what you do. Focus on solving problems and going the extra mile, not just doing your job. Continue to expand your knowledge within your field to make yourself indispensable.
Prepare for Uncertainties
The future is always uncertain, and if you don't want the rug pulled from under your feet, prepare for every eventuality.
It's wise to take steps to better your career, as we've mentioned, but you shouldn't focus on that alone.
One of the most terrible scenarios that follow a recession is companies going out of business. When that happens, it won't matter how decorated your resume is; you'll go home like everybody else.
Another scenario is that some careers will descend into a lull.
Let's say you're self-employed and your business is in tourism and hospitality. Tourism is one of the sectors usually affected in the event of a recession.
During the great recession of 2008, estimates show that the rate of growth in the tourism sector dropped 6% over six quarters. In other words, you can't entirely rely on your skills to stay afloat during an economic downturn.
So, what's the other way to prepare?
Start saving. Maintain an emergency fund dedicated to these kinds of eventualities. It's easier to protect your career when you're not worrying about how you'll pay the bills.
Your environment offers you the perfect opportunity to make and maintain strong connections. You don't want to be a sitting duck and end up with few options when the ride gets tough.
Remember, the more options you have, the better your chances are.
How is that?
Think about it.
People are more willing to offer you chances if they know you personally or you know a friend of a friend. It sounds unfair, but unfortunately, that's just how the world works.
So, get out there and start networking if you're not already. You never know whom you will meet.
Create a Backup Plan
There’s more to a career than a day job. You’re probably good at something if you have a career in the first place.
Have you considered doing something along the same lines on the side?
Say you work in finance. You already know a lot more than the average person, and there are people out there willing to pay for your insight. Maybe that could be your backup plan when the going gets tough.
After all that, there's something you need to remember:
There are no recession-proof jobs, at least not entirely. During tough economic times, anything can happen, and the worst can happen to even the best of us.
Companies will do anything to balance their books and avoid bankruptcy, even if it means laying off their best talents. If it cuts the costs, it's fair game.
So, what should you do?
Work on yourself. Polish your resume just in case. Who knows — losing one job may lead to better possibilities.
Most of all, avoid a financial pitfall by creating an emergency fund. That's how you prepare yourself to maintain career growth before and after a recession.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with
Grove at Flagstaff to help them with their online marketing.