By Mel Sim

Recession? No problemo.

Recession, recession. That’s all we’ve been hearing about. You know what else? That you should really hold on to your job especially now with the recession! If I get paid RM1 each time I hear this from my parents, I wouldn’t need to be worried about the recession.

Ok but they have a point though (like they do with just about everything else). Along with the Big R comes a slew of other things – inflation, salary cuts, fluctuating economies, and if you’re unlucky, being laid off to cut cost. Add in the after-effects of a pandemic and there really is reason to be worried.

Sure, job security is never fully guaranteed (unless you own the company and even then, your company can go bust and you too could be out of a job so to speak!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the necessary steps to recession-proof your job. One of the most important things to do is to make sure you are nearly indispensable, and the best way to do this is to keep growing your careers with skills that are always in demand whatever industry you’re in. What would these skills be? For starters, great soft skills like being a great communicator and having leadership qualities. It is after all said that a large amount of your success depends on your soft skills. That is what truly sets you apart from your co-workers (who most likely share the same technical skills and expertise as you). The bonus? Soft skills are transferable so no matter what position you hold or which company you work for, your soft skills will set you for success.

Other ways to recession proof your career? Try these for starters:

#1 Stay up to date on evolving skill sets
We all know the buzzword these days: Digital skills. A lot of new roles require some form of it and being ahead of the curve will make you more relevant, recession or not. So subscribe to learning channels online, read articles or even enroll in classes (there are so many to choose from) to pick up the digital skill that applies to your role or industry. You can even opt to try something completely new so that you have that extra bit that’s super attractive to a recruiter if you ever plan to change what you’re doing right now.

#2 Keep an eye out on what’s trending
Trending as in the kind of jobs that are recession proof – IT, accounting, social work. Regardless of recession, these industries will always be in demand. So if you feel like you’re currently in an industry that’s volatile according to economic sentiments, you may want to mould your career to head towards an industry that’s more secure. You can even do the same thing you’re doing just in a different landscape altogether so there’s no need to feel as if you’ve wasted your degree. It is just about diversifying and accommodating your skills to suit the role.

#3 Invest in your future
A good time to further your education is during a recession. You may want to consider doing your masters or picking up a professional certification to add value to your knowledge. Speak to your company if they are willing to support this (either give you some time off or actually invest in your continued education). Some companies have no issue in supporting your interest for further education (with conditions, of course) and would in fact, welcome it as this will make you more skillful in your role – a win-win situation.

#4 Learn how to adapt!
Anything goes during a recession – whether it is you losing your job or maybe even having to shoulder two roles due to downsizing. In this situation, it’s your chance to show your resilience and readiness for change, two qualities that will come in handy for a recession-proof career. The willingness to creatively navigate tough times and then emerge out of it unscathed is a valuable skill to have – and something you can include in your CV! If you find yourself in this situation, take it as an opportunity to really show what you’re made of.

#5 Head down, do your work!
There are really no two sides to it – to recession-proof your career, you need to show that you’re a valuable asset to the company. To do this, you need to prove that you can do your job and has a lot to offer. To achieve this, you need to stay focused, perform and work smart and hard.

Photo by Jason Pofahl on Unsplash

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