2020 to 2021 has been a long year of lockdown, health risks, unemployment, and salary cuts. If we had to name one important lesson that the pandemic taught us, we would need to recession-proof our career. While the country is weathering the economic slowdown, it is important to know how to safeguard our careers in a recession as forecasters predict a 12-15 per cent unemployment rate in 2022 and beyond.
You can’t control the impact of the economic shock, but you can stay ahead of the game by upgrading your soft skills for professional success. Read through these 5 recession-proof skills to make yourself imperative at work:
Refocus Your Career Lens
By focusing only on your job title, you are restricting your career possibilities. Know that you are much more than a designation. Shift your focus to your strengths, values, skills, and the impact that you can make through your work. A few ways to make yourself indispensable at work are volunteering for new projects, getting work done under a challenging budget or smoothening out the friction between two team members. This will differentiate you from the rest and ensure a recession-free career.
Invest In Growing Yourself
Learning never stops. So, however busy your schedule may be, find the time to reassess your skillset and take up a free or lost-cost course that will add to your strengths. For example, a digital marketing course or a creative writing course for those in content marketing. Apart from improving your technical proficiency, you can also brush up your communication and leadership skills, giving you a solid edge over others and recession-proof your career.
Nurture Your Network
Trying to work solo is not the name of the game during uncertain times. It is necessary to build new connections and leverage existing ones so that you have someone to turn to for help when life gets challenging. Expand your network beyond your co-workers to make connections in the industry. You can build your online presence on professional networking websites, attend seminars, or join associations. And remember, networking is a two-way process, which means you should offer to help others when they need it.
Prepare For the Worst
Don’t get too delusional about your current job and prepare for the worst, as a recession can strike anytime. For example, if your company goes out of business, you might lose your job irrespective of being your manager’s favourite. If you plan for a tough future today, you will be in a better position to save the day tomorrow. Keep your resume updated, add to your skill set, get back in touch with your network, and develop new connections through online and offline modes of communication to recession-proof yourself.
Look For a Recession-Proof Job
If you are doubtful about the stability of your current job, start looking for career options that can thrive even in an economic downtime. Some recession-proof career options include education, pharmacy, law, public utility services, image consulting, and training. The need for image consultants, for instance, is at an all-time high. Individuals and companies are always on the lookout for image consultants that can coach them to look and feel their best, polish their soft skills, and help them gain an extra edge in their careers and lives. Even in an era of physical, social distancing, image consulting can be done through digital media, thus making it the best career option in a recession.
Although nobody can predict the future, the more you are prepared for it, the better. By taking the above precautionary steps, you can recession-proof your career and be more efficient in finding a better job if need be, while ensuring continuous growth opportunities.
The author, Suman Agarwal, is the senior-most Image Consultant in the Indian Sub-continent and director of Image Consulting Business Institute. Image Consulting Business Institute is a pioneer in India and one of the biggest brands in the world in Image Management and Soft Skills Training Space. It offers programs for people to become Image Consultants and Soft Skills Trainers and at the same time offers Image Management and Soft Skills Training services to individuals and companies.