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Recession-Proofing Your Career


Recession-Proofing Your CareerWithin the current economic climate, reports of job losses and personal bankruptcies affecting Canadians across the country remind us of the volatile and uncertain nature of work. Rapid increases in the unemployment rate can create a sense of worry, panic, dread, and anxiety – even among people whose industries feel fairly “recession proof” (e.g., healthcare, K-12 education, career management practitioners).

A quick Internet search turns up a multitude of articles and websites about “recession-proofing your job.” However, a broader approach worth considering is “recession-proofing your career.”

As individuals, you may not have a direct influence over whether or not an employer lays off employees to enable a business to survive in this economy. However, each of you can take actions to secure your careers over the long term. Jobs may be at risk, but careers may still thrive with an increased awareness of, and openness to, other potential opportunities.

It is not enough to simply hope that the recession will not directly impact your job and result in you following the unprecedented numbers of people applying for Employment Insurance benefits. Being hopeful does not mean sitting idly by. Rather, this might be a good time to adopt the principles and practices of H.B. Gelatt’s “Positive Uncertainty” approach.

Gelatt focused on taking a proactive approach to an uncertain future; he encouraged people to use the Positive Uncertainty approach to decision-making. This means combining a positive outlook with several decision-making strategies (i.e., rational, creative, traditional, and intuitive) as a way of dealing with uncertainty. Without a doubt, there is little certainty today about what future economic conditions will be; daily news reports offer a range of possibilities. Accepting uncertainty, and adopting a positive approach to managing it, can help you thrive during challenging times.

Some ideas for recession-proofing your career include:

  • Conduct a personal SWOT analysis; become aware of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential threats
  • Take stock of the skills in your personal toolbox
  • Try to maintain a positive outlook – research has confirmed a link between optimism and both career success and job
  • satisfaction
  • Continue to build your personal and professional networks
  • Keep your skills current; be aware of skills most needed in the current economy
  • Refresh or update your resume
  • Be flexible – you may need to be willing to take on other tasks at work that you don’t normally do; if you experience job loss,
  • you may need to be flexible about returning to work in a field that is not necessarily your first choice
  • While most people worldwide are experiencing recessionary impacts, directly or indirectly, how you prepare for and manage potential change is within your control.

Resource: An Overview of Positive Uncertainty

Republished with permission from Life Strategies

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