How to Safeguard Your Career During A Recession

The job market is not nearly as good as it was in 2021, as numerous layoffs have started happening of late, and people are understandably getting nervous. With COVID-19 still floating around, shifts in the workforce regarding remote and hybrid employment up in the air, and ongoing supply chain constraints, it is not a great time to be unsure regarding your career. This is especially true with inflation and the cost of everyday living being higher than ever. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to prepare for a potential economic downturn; here are our tips on how to safeguard your career during a recession in the modern 2022 era.

Become Indispensable in Your Role

If you enjoy where you work, or even if you don’t enjoy it but view it as a necessity, try to embed yourself into the fabric of the organization to prevent a potential layoff. This is certainly harder at bigger companies with more colleagues and bureaucracy, but even there you can take on additional duties that will make you much harder to move on from. If you have a good deal of experience, take an active hand in mentoring, coaching, and guiding more junior colleagues. If you see areas to streamline workflows or processes, show initiative and pitch suggestions to management. Maybe there’s a void that’s been left empty by a recently vacated employee – step up to the plate and offer to take on some of those responsibilities as well, if able. You don’t need to do all of these things, but even some of it will raise your value to the organization.

Learn New Skills

One way to be a step ahead of the recession curve is to undertake constant education. This could be done extremely formally through something like an MBA, a high-profile certificate like a Project Management Professional (PMP), or even informal learning of an important tool or technology you haven’t used before. The more relevant credentials you can bring to the table, the better off you’ll be in the job search. But more importantly, as you learn more skills, you can expand your horizons in terms of roles and positions you’re capable of holding, enabling you to stay in your current organization or more swiftly find a new one.

Be Present on the Job Market

Nothing gives you more preparation for being on the job search than consistently applying for new roles. Maybe you don’t want to take on a new role during a recession for fear of the “last in, first out” policy that many companies hold, but by checking sites like LinkedIn and Indeed daily, you can keep an eye on what positions and companies might be hiring and be prepared to apply as needed. Also, it’s always good to keep interviewing to keep those skills up to speed, so that when you really need to nail an interview, you’re fully ready for it.

Most critically, if you do need a new job, you should be applying to at least five jobs per day, if not 10. That sounds like a lot, but many modern job applications just need a resume and some basic information, maybe a cover letter. Uploading a couple documents and filling out a page or two online shouldn’t take too long, especially if you have an updated resume and cover letter template that you can use for most of the jobs you are applying for.

Prepare for Contingencies

Speaking of updating your cover letter and resume, you should always keep such documents up to date. Even if you’re in a job that you love with no intentions of moving, and think your position is totally safe, you simply never know when a big change or industry hit might come and unmoor everything. There’s no time to waste in the job market – if you do need to find a new job, you want to be able to do it right away without wasting valuable time then updating your documents. Similarly how applying to jobs while you already have one is coming from a position of strength, keeping your resume updated ahead of when you need it will help you transition quickly during urgent situations.

Recessions are challenging times, and are very difficult to predict, both in terms of timing and who will be most heavily impacted. The best way to safeguard your career during a recession is to always be prepared – remain up to date on important industry tools and technologies, keep an eye on job applications and keep feelers out there, and maintain updated resume documents. That way, even if something unfortunate were to happen in your current role, you could shift into active job hunting mode instantly and be interviewing in a few weeks, or less.

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Ryan Miller
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ryan.miller@employmentboost.com

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