• Managing your career

Recession-Proofing Your Career: 5 Tips for Thriving in Tough Times

Recession-proofing your career

“The UK recession will be almost as deep as that of Russia, economists predict.” 

“Britain still faces recession, says Bailey.”

“Majority of UK tech workers preparing for layoffs”

Barely a month into the new year, 2023 began with an alarming number of layoffs and recession headlines across the internet, as some of the world’s biggest organisations, particularly in the tech industry, laid off a large number of employees. 

These headlines, no matter how scary, are the harsh reality of many professionals in the UK today. Currently, the unemployment rate is projected to increase from 3.6 percent to a worrying 5 percent by the end of 2023, resulting in about 200,000 job losses.

Despite the predictions of an impending difficult economic climate given in late 2022, the reality of job losses and recession has been more difficult to bear than many expected. Recessions can bring about widespread and prolonged economic downturns, leading to a painful cycle of redundancies and job losses. According to a LinkedIn survey, more than 50% of employees are expressing concern for their careers due to the current economic downturn, with some being “very worried.”

If you are concerned about the impact of the current economic downturn on your career, this article provides 5 tips to help recession-proof your career and thrive amid economic downturns.

5 Tips for Recession-Proofing Your Career 

Tip #1: Maintain a Positive and Calm Attitude 

Attitude is everything. Instead of succumbing to the challenges of a changing economy, focus on what you can control such as your outlook and mindset. Consider ways to demonstrate positivity in your words and actions by expressing gratitude, approaching situations with a solution-oriented mindset and engaging in conversations with confidence and calmness. This will not only boost your resilience during tough times but also increase your value as an employee.

Tip #2: Build a Strong Professional Network

Networking isn’t only for when you need a new job. It’s a continuous process that can benefit your current role and future career prospects. Developing a robust network of current and former colleagues is essential to tackle career challenges and finding new opportunities. Show genuine interest and commit to staying in touch, both formally at professional events and informally at social gatherings. A strong professional network can reap benefits short- and long-term, recession-proofing your career during an economic downturn.

Recession-proofing your career

Tip #3: Leave your Comfort Zone

“When you are delivering value and solving problems for people, you’ll never be irrelevant,” says Joy Adeyemi, the UK Head of HR Advisory, in the masterclass, Code Red: When your Career Goals go off Track. To do this, Adeyemi advises, “Always make sure you go outside your organisational comfort zone.” 

Don’t limit yourself to the same job functions for years on end. Take on new challenges and initiatives in your workplace. Volunteer for special projects and look for opportunities to drive business and innovate. If you have a suggestion to improve your company, present a plan to turn that idea into a workable solution. Besides this being a strategic way of recession-proofing your career, it will also earn you recognition and appreciation from your boss.

Tip #4: Diversify Income Streams

Diversifying your income streams is a critical step to recession-proofing your career during tough economic times. Depending on a sole source of income is risky during an economic downturn. It’s wise to seek additional sources of income. Consider starting a side hustle with your hobbies, or even taking up something you’ve always wanted to try. Websites such as Fiverr or TaskRabbit can connect you with people seeking specific skills or projects. This will provide additional income, sharpen current skills, develop new ones, and broadens your network.

Tip #5: Develop a Backup Plan

One more tip for recession-proofing your career and thriving during economic downturns is to develop a solid backup plan. This plan should include setting clear career goals, updating your resume and portfolio, highlighting accomplishments, researching companies, and exploring new industries. With a solid backup plan in place, you can weather economic downturns. It may also lead you to a new career path with growth potential, providing an opportunity for a career pivot. 

“What is unique about you?”

This was the thought-provoking question by Joy Adeyemi in the Masterclass, Code Red: When Your Career Goals Go Off Track. Do you know your value? Do you understand your unique strengths and skills? What do you bring to the table? How do you rank among others on your team? 

Regardless of an economic downturn, it’s crucial to know your worth, be confident in your abilities and recognise the value you bring to your employer.

To learn more about how you can build resilience in difficult times, watch the Masterclass, Code Red: When Your Career Goals Go Off Track

Featured images: pexels