One of the American economy’s greatest fears is the possibility of a recession. A recession is defined as a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. A recession can be caused by unforeseen circumstances or caused by the slow downturn of the economy over time.
The last recession to hit America known as “The Great Recession” occurred in December of 2007 and lasted for a total of 19 months. Recessions can result in millions of layoffs, bankruptcy, and a drastic increase in the unemployment rate. It took several years for the economy to recover from the Great Recession America experienced throughout 2008 and 2009.
According to economists, the American economy is slowly but surely experiencing a turndown and a recession can happen as soon as the year 2020. As a working professional, you must ask yourself; Are you truly ready for a recession? You must be prepared for any type of crisis situation that may arise during your career. To prevent any unwanted situations, take these four steps to ensure that you’re ready when it hits.
Keep Your Resume Updated
Throughout your career, focus on keeping your resume fresh, up to date, and modernized, especially during times of economic uncertainty. More specifically, ensure that you are keeping up with your accomplishments and modifying your resume to reflect the significance of your current position. If a layoff is expected and a quick turnover is required, only slight modifications would be needed to fit the new role you would be applying to. This lessens the need to drastically update your resume and allows for a rapid job transition.
Build Your Brand
Be proactive in your current position. Seek to involve yourself in as many projects and work assignments as you possibly can rather than just “do what is required”. If you work harder than the next employee, you can very well avoid a possible layoff. Follow up with your director to update him/her on your accomplishments and allow yourself to receive constructive feedback in areas which you could improve. As a result of doing this, you are proving your value to the organization as well as showcasing your accomplishments. This can limit your chances of experiencing a layoff if a recession were to hit the economy.
Focus on Opportunities for Professional Growth
Albert Einstein once said, “the mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size”. New thoughts and fresh ideas change the shape of our minds. When you have these new ideas to explore, your mind opens up a window for greater knowledge to flow in. With this in mind, set yourself up for success by searching for opportunities. Take and engage in any opportunity you have to learn. Whether it be on your own or through outside sources, enabling yourself to engage in learning opportunities shows your commitment to professional growth and development.
If the opportunity presents itself, attend conferences to learn new techniques that can be useful to your current position. At the very least, keep yourself updated by reading industry-related news, books, and magazines to maintain your sharpness and keep up with trends in the industry. Go after as many educational opportunities as you possibly can. In the end, it will greatly enhance your professional portfolio and improve your marketability as a quality, long-term employee.
Network! Even during a Recession!
One fundamental rule of thumb for career development is to never stop expanding your network of contacts. There is a common misconception that networking should commence during the time you are actively searching for a new position, when in fact, you never know who could present a remarkable opportunity. Your next possible career opportunity could exist within your current network of contacts.
Networking presents itself as the most important and effective aspect of job searching. One of its most effective strengths is that it can always be beneficial, even during a recession. Recessions may call for employees to seek a change of scenery to successfully avoid a layoff. Aside from keeping in touch with your current network of contacts, continuously seek other ways to build your current one. Join industry-related groups through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and attend trade shows and conferences.
The crux of the matter is, a recession can plunge the economy into a crisis. No one wants to ever experience a recession or a layoff. If a recession is to hit the economy, keep your resume updated, build up your brand to boost your appeal, seek out as many opportunities as you can for your personal and professional growth, and engage in networking you build your current network of contacts and increase your chances of employment.