Developing Recession Proof Skills

It would be nice if all jobs were recession proof! But unfortunately they are not – which is why so many millions of people lost their jobs during the “Great Recession."  There are increasing signs that the economy in the United States is improving.

While an improving economy is an excellent indicator, there are still millions of people in the United States that are unemployed. Because of this, there are hundreds of people vying for every job opening, and the competition for available positions is harsh.

If you were affected by a layoff in the recent past, you’ve probably wished once or twice that you entered a “recession proof” career when you originally selected your profession. If you were in a recession proof career, you might not have lost your job.

The old saying “Hindsight is 20-20” is a great analogy in this situation. If only you had inside knowledge that the country was going to enter a sub-prime mortgage lending crisis in 2008! You could have prepared yourself by entering a more stable profession before the crisis began. But, you didn’t know… and neither did millions of other people. Therefore, all you can do is learn from your situation and move on to another job that will make you indispensible to your employer.

Following are Tips on how to Recession Proof Your Career – Even if You Work in an Industry that Might be Affected a Poor Economy:

  1. Make Yourself Invaluable to Your Employer. During times of financial difficulty, employers must often lay off large numbers of employees. When making choices on who to keep and who to terminate, they go through an evaluation process. They are more likely to lay off those that do not contribute as much to the company as those who are indispensible. Therefore, if you are able to prove your worth to your employer from the very first day you work there, you will ultimately have more job security in the long run.

  2. When You Work Hard, Make Sure You are Recognized. When you do your job very well, you do not necessarily deserve an award (you are already getting paid a salary to complete your job!), but you should make an effort to let your supervisors know how hard you have been working. In other words, make sure you get credit for yourself when credit is due. Being known as a “worker bee” is a good thing in a poor economy.

  3. Participate in Company-Wide Events. Some people dread attending yearly company holiday parties and summer picnics. Yet, your appearance at these events is important. By attending, you are showing your employer that you care about the company and you are a dedicated worker. By voluntarily attending these events, you will build stronger professional relationships with your co-workers, managers and supervisors.

  4. Don’t Get Stressed Out by Rumors of Lay-Offs. When a company is suffering financially, rumors of lay-offs might begin to circulate around the office. When some employees hear these rumors they immediately jump ship. They either resign from their jobs immediately in order to pre-empt their impending lay-off or they begin to apply for jobs elsewhere. If you keep a positive attitude and don’t give in to lay-off rumors, your manager will notice. Companies always prefer to keep employees that are able to calmly and effectively deal with potentially stressful situations.

  5. Offer to Help Anyone and Everyone. When a company goes through a round of layoffs, the remaining employees are often burdened with an extra-heavy workload because they must take on the work of those who were let go. This can lead to stress and job burn-out. Try to offer as much assistance as possible to others who are over-worked or over-burdened. This is a great way to show that you are a team player that will assist anyone who needs help.

Continue Your Education

In order to protect your career during a recession, it is important to stay educated. If you believe that your current profession is suffering due to a shift in the economy, enroll in school so that you are prepared for a career change if necessary. Also read "Are There Recession Proof Jobs?" for additional information about finding careers that may survive a down economy.  Even if you already have a college degree, it may be necessary to get trained in another vocation. According to the website MattAboutMoney.com, “there’s no such thing as guaranteed employment anymore. But there is such a thing as guaranteed employability.” Therefore, when you stay educated you are able to guarantee yourself a job during a recession.

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Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.