By Sabrina Strong Gallagher, Director of Technical Services
Our world has gone through some major transformations these past few years. Here at JFC Global, we understand how quickly things can happen that can change the trajectory of a job, a future, and most importantly, a source of income that you depend on. With talk of a dip in the economy looming in the next year, the best way to protect your career is to take proactive steps before a recession presents itself. Below are several steps JFC Global recommends:
Recession Proof Your Current Job:
- Enroll in a continuing education course to round out or learn a new skill. Google Code Academy, Khan Academy, Coursera, and many others offer a range of free online courses. Showing interest in self-development can be in your favor to your employer should layoffs ever arise.
- Showcase your new skills! Volunteer to take on a cross-departmental project, take on projects that others don’t want, and try to get involved with mission-critical projects. It’s always a great idea to expand your skills and doing it this way will also give you exposure to additional managers and teams who can advocate for you.
- Continue to jump on opportunities that will increase your network and get your name out there, whether it’s speaking engagements, volunteering, leading workshops at your current employer, or mentorship programs through your local chamber. This is especially true in larger organizations.
- Make sure that you are connected to leaders across the organization and employees in different departments too. All are great ways to continue building your soft skills and making new connections for your network.
- Avoid office gossip and finger pointing. Do your best to remain positive and enthusiastic even through these uncertain times.
- Keep a positive mindset and maintain your mental health. Studies show that when people are stressed or make fear-based decisions, they reduce their ability to focus on rational thinking, long-term planning, and problem-solving. So exercise, limit how much news you watch, and participate in your favorite hobbies.
- Keep an eye on new positions that might be posted within your company – if your area could be affected by cutbacks, maybe another department won’t be.
- Be aware of how you are demonstrating your work ethic to your employer and your commitment to the people that you work with. Being viewed as a fully committed employee that always goes above and beyond may help to secure your future.
- Spend some extra time preparing for your next review. Whether it be a quarterly check in or an annual review, take the opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and be ready to share with your manager.
- Think bigger picture. If you spend time reflecting, do you have ideas that could help the company be more successful or more profitable? Have them ready to share when the time is right.
If you are caught up in a downsizing: Take a day or two to grieve the loss. Don’t stress! Take some time to practice self-care. This can look like getting into nature, spending time with loved ones, yoga, etc. This is when you will need to be mentally strong, block out any noise around you and prepare for the next steps. Reach out to your network and let them know you are looking. Connect with a niche-focused recruiter to let them know you want to engage in a search. Call your references to give them a heads up. Lastly, be intentional about where you are applying. Quality job outreaches vs. mass applications will result in more meaningful conversations and will help you land your dream job more quickly.
JFC Global is the largest locally owned and operated niche recruiting firm in the south-central PA area focusing on permanent placements in the IT, Engineering/Skilled Trades and Finance space. For the past 45 years, we’ve helped professionals move their careers forward by finding more meaningful work, career promotions, better work/life balance, and salary increases. If you or someone you know would benefit from our services, please feel free to reach out.
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