Stay Employed in Difficult Times

Stay Employed in Difficult Times

Yes, the “R” word is being tossed about more and more frequently these days. With the rise in gas prices, the declining U.S. dollar and the craziness of the housing industry many experts are predicting a recession in our future.

That means that employees need to think about what they can do to steel themselves against the possibility of unemployment, either by working for a stable company or industry (if there is such a thing) or developing skills that employers realize they cannot live without.

For all those American workers out there who want to know what steps they can take to help recession-proof their job, consider these options.

Six Industries That Hold Up Well in an Economic Downturn

According to recent information from Challenger, Gray and Christmas there are careers in certain fields that appear to be the best bet during weak economic times.

  • Education. Teaching has historically been one of the few fields that is relatively recession-proof, though expectations are highest in the Sun Belt.
  • Energy. Alternative energy is high on this list, although with the global economy in full swing even oil and gas are expected to do well.
  • Healthcare. Most people have heard this one before, but half of the 30 fastest growing occupations are in health services – at least according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – because of the aging Baby Boomers, so there is an expectation that this field will continue to grow.
  • International Business. Being multi-lingual and multi-cultural could lead to an international job. Some things employees might need to know to work in this field include international policy and tax issues, environmental concerns and different business practices in foreign countries.
  • Environment. Eco jobs are hot right now so working for environmentally focused companies or having a background in sustainability issues will make job seekers in demand.
  • Security. Crime is always in the picture, so police officers and security experts as well as IT security will continue to be needed.

Any employee who wants to stay ahead of the recession curve may want to consider how his skills and background fit with these top six industries. However, for those workers who are not in a position to recession-proof their specific job, they may be able to recession-proof their career.

Six Steps Employees Can Take to Maximize Their Career Opportunities

Though right now is probably not a good time to be a mortgage lender, that doesn’t mean to give up. Instead employees need to look at other factors that impact their ability to stay on the job.

  • Organization Financial Health. Employees need to assess how their organizations are doing by staying on top of current events. Look for clues of problems – like the cancellation of key projects – and get prepared in case.
  • Network, Network, Network. For anyone who has not already done so, start compiling a list of contacts now and then add to it as often as possible. If things look dicey, start making calls. Consider making at least one to an outside recruiter.
  • Stand Out. Be visible and shine, no matter what is happening in the market. By being essential to the company’s success, it is less likely an employee will be cut.
  • Know Who to Hook-Up With. Employees need to connect with the company all-stars (or become one themselves) in order to have an important friend who has their back when budget cuts come. Consider volunteering for important projects.
  • Consider Something New. The formula used to be that every $10,000 in salary meant a month of job searching. With that in mind taking less money may land someone a job quicker. Consider it a foot in the door. Or what about working part-time? That, too, could eventually turn into full-time or a better opportunity. Finally, consider a smaller organization not just the Fortune 500.
  • Get That Resume Up to Date. The one thing that human resources professionals all have in common is a ready-to-go, up-to-date resume. It’s just something they’ve learned to do. Now is the time for other employees to do the same, so they are prepared at a moment’s notice. Then they need to go out and identify exactly where they want to work and conduct a targeted job search.

It’s all about thinking ahead and planning what to do during the tough times and then taking the right steps to recession-proof a job.