Tips For Recession-Proofing Your Career| ItSoftNews

As fears of a global recession mount and interest rates soar, an increasing number of companies have announced job cuts and hiring freezes in an effort to reduce spending. The tech companies that once thrived at the height of the pandemic were among the first to show signs of a downturn; year to date, over 100,000 tech employees have been laid off worldwide, according to Layoffs Tracker.

Employees who once found comfort in their job security, thanks to the Great Resignation and subsequent staffing shortages, are changing their tune. In fact, according to TopResume’s U.S. index, which tracks how job seekers are feeling about job-market conditions and overall job security, respondents’ sentiment was at 92 in July, an 11.5% decrease from the previous year and the second-lowest score since the index was first calculated and benchmarked in April 2021.

If you’re concerned layoffs are soon hitting your company, now’s the time to operate at your best while preparing for the worst. Here are a few ways you can work to “recession-proof” your career.

Promote your own work

When employment decisions are being made, it’s important to remind leadership about the value you bring to the company. Consider the goals that were set to measure your performance, as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) the company uses to measure the health of its business. If you’re meeting or exceeding your goals or working on a project that ties back to one of the company’s major KPIs, make sure your boss is aware of your good work.

Take advantage of your next one-on-one meeting with your boss (hint: schedule one if there aren’t any on the calendar) to update them on your role, responsibilities, and performance. Often, managers are unaware of their employees’ workload and accomplishments. You can start by saying something like, “It’s been awhile since we last reviewed my performance at the company. I’d like to take a few minutes of this meeting to update you on my progress, as well as the new responsibilities I’ve adopted during the past quarter.”

Stay on the radar

If a company layoff seems inevitable, it’s important to look for ways to stay on your manager’s radar–especially if you work from home. Working remotely has its benefits, but it also makes it easier to be forgotten.

Another way to increase your visibility is to come into the workplace more frequently to put in extra face time, even if you have the option to work from home. You don’t want proximity bias to negatively impact your chances of keeping your job. When possible, plan your in-office days to coincide with days your boss or other key stakeholders will be there so you can schedule in-person meetings.

In the case of a full-time remote format, take advantage of digital communication tools such as email, Slack, and even Loom videos to provide your boss or team members with more timely updates on your successes in-between any regular check-ins.

If you’re attending a team video conference, turn on your camera and stay engaged in the conversation. Resist the urge to check your inbox or respond to Slack messages so you can be fully present and speak up when you have something meaningful to offer to the discussion. It’s more difficult to create a connection with leadership if you’re simply another blank box in a Zoom meeting.

Become indispensable

The more valuable you are to the company, the more secure your job becomes. Volunteer for the assignments no one else wants to do. While others are complaining about the state of affairs, focus on remaining positive and looking for creative solutions. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that employers workers who are able to think on their feet and adapt to challenges in the workplace.

Be proactive in looking for ways to cut costs or drive revenue within your department. For example, could you cancel subscriptions to certain tools or online publications that aren’t vital for your work? Maybe you could negotiate a lower price with vendors or consultants? Taking steps to save the company money will certainly help save your own job during a downsizing.

Embrace a portfolio career

One of the best ways to minimize your risk during an uncertain economy is to diversify your revenue streams. In other words, don’t rely on one job as your sole source of income.

Ask yourself if you have the bandwidth to offer your skills to other employers on a part-time or contract basis? Could you monetize a hobby on Etsy? Developing a “portfolio career”–typically defined as a combination of part-time, temporary, and freelance work or consisting of a full-time job and a side hustle–that allows you to work in a different vertical or leverage other skills is a great way to reduce your risk and maintain some level of income, should the economy take a turn for the worse.

Think realistically about all conclusions

As the adage goes, luck favors the prepared. While you may be doing everything you can to avoid a layoff, only so much is within your control. Stay optimistic, do what you can to dodge the layoff, but also embrace the Boy Scout motto and “be prepared” for what may already be a foregone conclusion.

This approach includes updating your résumé to incorporate your most recent responsibilities and accomplishments while you still have access to that valuable internal data; updating your personal “brag book” so you can refer to these details when it’s time to prepare for an interview; auditing your online profiles to ensure your personal accounts remain private and your public accounts match your new résumé; and exploring LinkedIn and various job boards to see what’s available and who’s hiring in your industry or an adjacent sector.

If you’ve neglected your professional network, now’s the time to reconnect with friends and former colleagues who may be in a position to help you identify job leads, introduce you to potential employers, and offer resources that could help you with your search. You don’t have to necessarily jump ship, but it doesn’t hurt to explore your options before your employer issues any pink slips.

Amanda Augustine (@JobSearchAmanda) is the resident career expert for Talent Inc.’s suite of brands: TopResume, TopInterview,, and TopCV.

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