In October 2008, the U. S. Labor
Department reported the tenth straight month of job losses. With the
current economic situation, it can be anticipated that this trend will
continue. Most industries are expected to suffer although jobs in security,
environmental sector, energy
are expected to fare somewhat better.
So how do you manage
your career through an economic crisis? The best thing to do in
uncertain times is to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario.
Stay where you are – if you can
During a recession, even if you are unhappy with your current employment situation, it is best to stay in your current job until the market picks up. In a tenuous job market, leaving an employer without a back-up plan is extremely risky. As long as your current situation isn't causing you mental anguish or affecting you physically, it is best to stay where you are and weather the storm.
Keep your skills current
classes or join trade organizations in an effort to show that your
skills are up-to-date. Inquire if there is some additional training your
boss would like you to take. If you don't have cash to pay for
additional training, consider unpaid internships or do volunteer work
for a nonprofit to gain valuable skills and potential job contacts for
future employment possibilities.
Don't pull a vanishing act
Now is the time to be visible.
Shelve the plans for an extended vacation. Strolling in at ten o'clock
in the morning or leaving early is not going to cut it if your employer
is faced with how to reduce their workforce. Employees that show up,
ready to work, with a positive attitude are likely to be asked to stick
Make yourself indispensible
Make sure that your boss is aware
of recent contributions, but not in an obnoxious way. Be professional
and make note of the fact that your contributions are above and beyond
your current job responsibilities. If you can make a case that you are
valuable to the company there is less of a chance you will be shown the
door. Now is the time to volunteer for extra projects.
Keep your attitude in check
Attitude can be a real deal
breaker right now. Nobody likes a whiner. An individual who clearly
demonstrates dislike for his or her current job is more likely to be
shown the door than someone with a positive attitude. So even if you are
unhappy where you are, try to keep smiling.
Start networking now
Don't wait until you are on the
unemployment line to start getting in touch with former bosses and
colleagues. Making those connections now can ease the transition to a
new opportunity should you lose your current position.
Update your resume
Keep your resume up-to-date and
even consider having it written by an expert to give you that extra
edge. You may also want to contact a good career counselor to help guide
you in a job
search. Think about looking for a position such as the one you have
in a different, perhaps more robust industry right now such as
healthcare, etc. Target certain companies and search their current job
postings. It is likely that not all of the positions they have available
have been advertised.
Finish your degree
If you have course work to finish
in order to complete a degree, now is a good time to finish it. You may
also want to consider certificate
programs or an online
degree program that can be finished more quickly than a full degree
program and that offer you additional expertise to include on your
resume. Not to mention that it is far less expensive than launching into
a full degree program that you may not have the time or money to
Broaden, rather than deepen your skills
While it is human nature to want
to be really good at one thing, this can actually work against you.
Employees that are versatile and have a broader scope of knowledge and
skills are viewed to be more valuable. Consult job
search websites and research jobs that interest you paying close
attention to the skills that are required to fill that type of job. Look
into getting training in order to fill that type of position.
Consider learning a trade or specific skills
Certain blue collar work that
requires specific training and licensure such as plumbing
may be easier to find than non-specific, office oriented white collar
of all levels are generally in demand. Individuals with this type of
specific training can often find project work as they search for a more
permanent position with an organization.