It’s always a good idea to perform well for your employer and be prepared for possible career bumps in the road, but with economic indicators pointing toward a possible recession, it’s more important now than ever to safeguard your career.
Here are nine tips to help secure your employment, or help prepare you in case you find yourself without a job.
1. Be in the know. Make sure you know what’s going on in your market. Read the newspaper, conduct online research or simply ask your boss what’s happening in the industry. Knowing what’s going on in your field and company will keep you from being blind-sided by potential layoffs.
2. Self-assess. Take a look at yourself and determine if you’ve grown in your current position. Make sure you have skills that set you apart from your co-workers. If you find yourself lacking in these two areas, put career development at the top of your priorities. Volunteer for more projects, or assist your co-workers on some of their tasks so you can grow beyond your current role.
3. Be a leader. Take the lead on projects if you don’t already do so. Be the one who others come to for career advice or the one they ask tough questions. Showing your boss that you can be a leader in your department will demonstrate your strong work ethic and dedication.
4. Vocalize your success. Sell yourself to your boss. Make sure they know what projects you’re working on and the successes you’ve achieved. This will show your boss how valuable you are to the company and that you’re capable of producing results.
5. Know top management. Make sure you’re aware of who the decision makers are and get to know them professionally. Getting in with top management who have the ability to protect your job will prove valuable during troubled times.
6. Be flexible. Don’t be so dead set on keeping your current position that you don’t see other job opportunities in your company. During times of recession, most job cuts happen in areas that cost the company money. Your willingness to transfer to a different department will increase your chances of keeping a job during possible layoffs.
7. Update your résumé. Be proactive. Make sure your résumé is reflective of your current capabilities and accomplishments in case your company starts handing out pink slips. Keeping a current résumé on file will help you get a head start on your job search in case you find yourself looking.
8. Network, network, network. Don’t wait until you’re out of work before you start joining organizations or contacting old friends for help finding a job. Get involved now in professional or social organizations and start making contacts sooner rather than later.
9. Continue your education. Learning new skills is always a good idea. It not only shows employers your willingness to improve and grow in your career, but it’s necessary when marketing yourself to other companies.
Economic downturns can be unsettling, especially when the job market takes a turn for the worse, but by following these tips, you can potentially safeguard your career and be prepared in case you need to search for a job.