How to Make Your Career Recession-Proof

How to Make Your Career Recession-Proof

Turn the crisis into an opportunity by preparing for the recession in advance. 

The recession has been hitting us hard in the past couple of months. Major employers in the U.S., such as Walmart, Amazon and FedEx, have announced a slowdown or freeze of hiring. In the U.K., while jobs continue to be available, workers are seeing a record fall in regular pay by 2.8%. Similarly, in China, one in five urban young people remains unemployed.  

All of these figures spell trouble for job markets across the world. For the average person like you and me, they are a threat to the job security we worked so hard to build. If you are worried about your job amidst the growing threat of recession-related job losses, here are some tips to help you safeguard your career from the tides of economic downturn. 

Gauge your value

The first thing you need to do to prepare yourself for a recession is to understand what you bring to the table as an employee. Are you a great communicator? Highly skilled at the tasks you perform? Great at ideation? To help you better quantify your achievements at work, you can even update your resume or LinkedIn profile and add all the things you have picked up at your current job to it. 

Observe your industry for signs of trouble 

Not all companies are hit by the recession in the same way. It is important to know how your company and your industry at large will be affected by the recession. If your industry hasn’t been growing for a while now, it might be time to consider switching to recession-proof spaces. (you can consult our article about recession-proof jobs for the same). If you work in a startup, one of the biggest signs of trouble is massive spending at an alarming rate. A startup that is spending a lot of money is usually relying on venture capital (VC) aid to keep things running smoothly and will have to cut back once they are no longer able to raise money. 

Try to make yourself indispensable  

At a time of financial hardship, those who are proactive and get projects done quickly and under budget would be the last ones to go. Thus, you need to make sure you pick up tasks that others are unwilling to do and get things done efficiently to establish yourself as an invaluable asset to the company. This will also help you pick up new skills that would be a great addition to your resume if you end up in a position where you have to find another job. 

Build transferable skills

There are certain skills that are specific to your career. For instance, let’s say you are a writer like me, then the beat you cover on a regular basis and your knowledge about it would be a job-specific skill. But there are other skills, like being prompt about your deadlines and the ability to socialize and network with whoever you meet, that are more general in nature. These are necessary for almost every job and thus are your biggest assets during a recession. They ensure that you are able to secure a job even if you have to look for work outside of your industry. 

Consider starting a side hustle

If shifting to a recession-proof industry isn’t an option for you, then you can try to diversify your income stream by picking up a side hustle. Freelance employees are in high demand today with more than 28% of the workforce in an average enterprise company being made up of non-permanent employees. Besides, according to a study conducted by the job listing website UpWork, a majority of the American workforce is going to be made up of freelancers by 2027. So, it might be a good idea to get a head start on the trend and try freelancing. Not only can this help you stay afloat in case of a recession-related job loss but it can also give you a better work-life balance if you choose to entirely shift to it in the long run. 

Economic hardship has been proven to lead to an increase in depression among the general public and so, the final tip we have for you is to be mindful of your mental health. Focus on your goals instead of being worried about things that are beyond your control. Avoid turning to habits like binge eating and drinking and instead, use healthy ways to release stress by working out and socializing with people. 

Ultimately, making a recession-proof career boils down to being prepared for anything. Make sure you are financially secure and have enough savings to tide you over in case you end up losing your job during this recession. As long as you are mentally resilient and follow the tips we shared above, you should be able to brave any crisis with ease. 

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Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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