It seems that nearly every news outlet and bank has been warning that the next recession is coming. When you think of the two most recent recessions in 2008 (which was so devastating that it was named the Great Recession) and the one triggered by COVID-19 in 2020, these reports are enough to make anyone nervous.
As of right now, there’s still uncertainty about when the next recession will happen. Some financial experts say it will happen early to the middle of this year, while others are predicting it won’t begin until the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024. The good news? Even if a recession is likely, many experts, including, Diane Swonk, a chief economist at KPMG, believe the next recession won’t be long, and that we’ll be able to recover quickly. Additionally, they are confident that the next recession won’t be anywhere near as bad as the Great Recession.
While it can be hard to sift through all the noise, keep in mind that recessions are a very normal part of our economy. Technically, they occur when the economy slows down and economic performance declines for at least two consecutive quarters. There have been several recessions throughout U.S. history, including the Great Depression, and they have all varied in length and severity. The Great Recession in 2008 lasted longer than a year, while the most recent one in 2020 lasted only two months.
No matter its length or severity, a recession can still cause a little anxiety, especially if you graduated or lost your job during the last one. If you fall into that camp, here are 4 steps you can take to help safeguard your career for the next recession:
Keep learning new skills
Recessions may force some employers to cut back on their staff, so you want to make yourself as indispensable as possible. To do this, you should proactively make the effort to learn new skills and keep up with industry trends. This can help make it clear to your employer that you are ready to take on more responsibility and stick with the company in the long run. Read also: Want More Career Development? Look Outside The Office
Stay on the lookout for a new job
In a similar vein, it may be time to look for a new job if you are no longer learning or growing in your current role. While you shouldn’t make a move unless you find the right fit, it’s important to be aware of whether you have become complacent and have the ability to secure a new job if it comes to that. After all, it never hurts to update your resume, discover new career interests, and go out on interviews for practice. Read also: 4 Signs It’s Time To Find A New Job
When you are happy at work and/or busy in your personal life, it can be easy to let networking fall to the wayside. However, it’s important to play the long game if you want to take advantage of your network. Rather than reaching out only when you need something (like career advice during the next recession), proactively make the effort to build and maintain your network. Read also: 5 Networking Tips That Will Boost Your Career
Be open to temp or contract work
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to the growth of consulting and project-based opportunities, but perhaps one of the biggest ones was the Great Recession. Hiring on a temporary or contract basis was not only a great way for companies to pay for work only when they needed it, but also evaluate fit or their hiring needs before committing resources to a full-time hire. Now that we are out of a recession, this solution has stuck around as it allows for more efficient and cost-effective hiring. But in times of uncertainty, like the next recession, these jobs will most likely increase in popularity. Taking them on can help keep your skills fresh and gain new experience.