Surviving a Recession

With talk of a recession, there is no surprise as to why we are starting to worry about the future. For professionals, this means that companies are cutting jobs to save money and many employees could face layoffs. What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some proactive tips that can help you get through a recession while holding on to a sense of security and hopefully, your job.

1.) Be the company go-to

Layoffs usually happen to people in positions that are thought to be expendable, so be the person that does the work. Specialize in a specific area and accumulate the skills and knowledge in that niche that no one else has. To do this, use convenient online courses to train in areas that appear to be emerging growth areas for your industry. In addition, take on tasks that no one wants to do and ask your boss how you can help your business. You’d be surprised how many people do their jobs each day without really understanding how it fits in with the overall company objectives, so make sure you understand what your company does and how it makes money so you can contribute meaningful work. That way, if your company is looking to cut jobs, you have the knowledge and skills that identify you as a necessity.

2.) Distinguish yourself from other employees by applying the basics of being a model employee

A recession means it’s time to prove to your company that you are a valuable asset. Make yourself stand out positively in comparison to others by going above and beyond your job requirements. Now is the time to be a model employee, so turn your work in on time, be respectful to your boss and don’t be late to work, be early! When it is time to let workers go, executives will remember your enthusiasm and quality effort and they will be more likely to fight to keep you employed.

3.) Network like there’s no tomorrow

Networking can not only make you more effective in your current position, but it broadens your opportunity if you find yourself suddenly clearing out your desk. Remember that great jobs can come from unlikely places, so make yourself visible and build a list of contacts. Get in touch with the people you know – friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues and bosses – and mention your availability for work. The more people who know you are looking for a job, the greater chance you have of landing a new position. Be sure to do this via your personal e-mail address and not through your company e-mail which is often times monitored. Many people have found out the hard way that employers frown on those who search for jobs on company time using company resources. You don’t want your exuberance to land you on the street sooner than later.

4.) Expand your job skills

Another strategy, rather than specializing in one niche, is to have a broad base of knowledge and skills that can be utilized by your company. Having a wide variety of skills allows you to qualify for jobs in many different markets and eases the transition into new work. As well, when workforce consolidations are made, many times they keep the individuals that appear to have the capacity to take on tasks of those let go. Take time to grow yourself vertically by developing expert skills or horizontally by being versed in a number of skills and jobs. Enrolling in online classes is an affordable and convenient way to get this done quickly. You can even earn certification in many industries through courses offered at online learning portals like Learn as much as you can and remember to update new job abilities on your resume.

5.) Just be prepared

It’s like Benjamin Franklin once said: “Failure to prepare is preparing for failure.” In a time of economic uncertainty, it’s important that you have a backup plan. Find your resume, make sure its current and keep it handy. Picture yourself at other companies and make a list of employment options – just in case. Be the go-to at your workplace and hold on to what you have. Remember what they say about a bird in the hand being better than two in the bush or, possibly, better than pounding the pavement for another ‘ideal position’. Now is a good time to create alternative income as well. Look into a part-time or temporary job, sell stock or list some items you don’t mind parting with on virtual marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist. If you’re ready for the worst-case scenario, then you’ll find it easier to deal with and adapt to whatever situation comes your way.

Economic downturns can be a time of growth for you as you re-assess and even retool your future. With the unemployment rate rising, it’s important to be proactive in protecting your career or preparing for a new opportunity.

Mark Lamkin is the Chief Operating Officer of Gatlin Education Services, Inc., the world’s largest online career training programs provider. Mr. Lamkin oversees the company’s day-to-day operations and performance along with that of Gatlin International in England and Gatlin Learning.

Written by: Mark Lamkin, COO of Gatlin Education Services


All the stats say unemployment is up but when I look at all the 100K and 200K jobs posted online I wonder what gives?

So I'm not sure I understand why everyone is'nt making $150K you know?
Yes, I understand. Unemployment is up and well not everyone makes $150 because not everyone has experience in the same field, hence, different fields pay different salaries.

It would be a wonder if we can all make at least 100K and over regardless of field.

Thanks for the post...have a nice day!

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