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Tips to protect your career against the recession

As fears of a global recession grow and interest rates soar, a growing number of companies have announced job cuts and hiring freezes in a bid to cut spending. Tech companies that once thrived at the height of the pandemic were among the first to show signs of slowing down; Year-to-date, more than 100,000 tech workers have been laid off globally, according to Layoffs Tracker.

Employees who once found solace in their job security, thanks to the Great Resignation and subsequent staffing shortages, are changing their tune. In fact, according to TopResume’s US Job Seeker Sentiment Index, which tracks job seekers’ views on labor market conditions and overall job security, job seeker sentiment respondents was 92 in July, a drop of 11.5% from the previous and second year. lowest score since the index was first calculated and benchmarked in April 2021.

If you’re worried that layoffs will hit your business soon, now is the time to perform your best while preparing for the worst. Here are some ways to work to “recession-proof your career.”

Promote your own work

When making hiring decisions, it’s important to remind management of the value you bring to the company. Consider the goals that have been 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 are meeting or exceeding your goals or working on a project related to one of the company’s key 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 isn’t one on the calendar) to update them on your role, responsibilities, and performance. Often, managers are unaware of the workload and accomplishments of their employees. You can start by saying something like, “It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed my performance at the company. I would like to take a few minutes from this meeting to update you on my progress, as well as the new responsibilities I have taken on over the past quarter. »

Stay on the Radar

If a layoff at a company seems inevitable, it’s important to look for ways to stay on your manager’s radar, especially if you’re working from home. Remote work has its advantages, but it also makes it easier to forget.

Another way to increase your visibility is to come to the workplace more often to spend more face-to-face time, even if you have the option of working from home. You don’t want proximity bias to negatively impact your chances of keeping your job. Whenever possible, plan your days in the office to coincide with the days when 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 faster updates on your successes between 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 that you are fully present and speaking up when you have something meaningful to offer for discussion. It’s harder to connect with leadership if you’re just another empty box in a Zoom meeting.

Become indispensable

The more valuable you are to the company, the more secure your job becomes. Volunteer for the missions no one else wants to do. While others are complaining about the way things are, focus on staying positive and looking for creative solutions. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that employers value workers who can think things through and adapt to workplace challenges.

Be proactive in looking for ways to reduce costs or generate revenue within your department. For example, could you cancel subscriptions to certain online tools or publications that are not vital to your work? Perhaps you could negotiate a lower price with suppliers or consultants? Taking steps to save the company money will definitely help save your own job during a downsizing.

Adopt a Portfolio Career

One of the best ways to minimize your risk in an uncertain economy is to diversify your sources of income. In other words, don’t rely on a single job as your only source of income.

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

Think realistically about all conclusions

As the saying goes, luck smiles on the prepared. Although you do everything you can to avoid a layoff, you have no control over yourself. 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 resume to incorporate your most recent responsibilities and accomplishments while you still have access to this valuable internal data; update your personal “bragging book” so you can refer to these details when it’s time to prepare for an interview; audit your online profiles to ensure that your personal accounts remain private and that your public accounts match your new CV; and explore LinkedIn and various job boards to see what’s available and who’s hiring in your industry or an adjacent industry.

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

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