No job is 100% recession proof. Life is too unpredictable. However, that being said; it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to help secure your employment. Nor does it mean that there aren’t any careers out there that thrive during a recession.

For those who were too young, to either realize you were in a recession or to feel the pain a recession can deliver to the unprepared, you should know that this is when the tables can turn. 

For the past ten years, we have been in a period of uninterrupted growth. Unemployment has been at an all-time low, resulting in a job search environment that has been partial to the job seeker.  

Nationally, as well as on the Cape and Islands, employers have had difficulty finding qualified candidates on all levels to fill vacant positions. Consequently, service to the consumer has suffered, and in some cases, so has the quality of the products being produced.

Employers who have been desperate for help, have often had to settle on hiring people who are either not committed or are unable to do the job well. Or when they did find and hire that perfect fit, they would lose them to another company able and willing to pay them more money or provide better benefits. Our job fairs are filled with employers desperately seeking qualified candidates because it often is as difficult to keep a good employee as it is to find and hire a good employee. There just aren’t enough qualified job candidates to go around.

In a recession that too will change. Unless you are in a recession proof business, when the economy slows down business slows down; employers are often forced to trim budgets, cut hours, and ultimately downsize. Jobs become scarce. Unemployment rises.

The good news?  Employers will no longer have to struggle to find qualified employees. They will have a countless number of qualified candidates from which to choose to fill the limited number of available jobs. The job search environment will favor the employer making the prospect of finding the right job much more challenging for the job seeker than it has been over the past ten years.

Which side of the fence will you be on? 

If the service you provide is indispensable to the consumer, your chances of remaining employed throughout the recession are good. Many positions within the healthcare industry and in the trades such as plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, provide services that are essential to the life of the average American. It’s the “must haves” that are most likely to continue to do well during a recession.

If you like your job and the company you work for and would like to continue working there, and the service/product you deliver is not considered “a must have”, now is a good time to start doing some self-evaluating to determine what your value is to the company and what you can do to increase it over the next year. 

Ask yourself, are you seen as the person that gets things done? Can people depend on you to follow through and follow up? Would you be considered the “go to” person within your company?

Are you flexible? Change can be traumatic for some people and yet, change is constant in our everyday lives.  Does change bother you or do you embrace it? Are you able to adapt and respond to change quickly? 

Are you versatile?  Are you willing to pitch in and take on other responsibilities outside of your “job description” when the need arises? Does the term “other duties as assigned” annoy you or excite you?

Are you a team player?  Are you willing to help and support your colleagues and supervisors when needed?  Are you respected and valued by your colleagues and supervisors?

Are your contributions to the company important to its bottom line? What is your time worth? How do the responsibilities you assume affect the growth or health of the company?

Do you understand and produce the results most important to the leaders of your company? What problems do you solve? Are there skills or responsibilities that appear to be more important to the company leaders than others? Is there a void that you could possibly fill with a little extra training? Once you’ve completed your self-evaluation you should be able to tackle the things that you can change. 

Remember one thing, businesses downsize for many reasons – some have nothing to do with the quality of the employee’s performance, so don’t take it personally if you find yourself unemployed. Many times, it has to do with the financial health or poor health of the company at the time the recession hits.

If you should ever find yourself unemployed or looking to change jobs or careers visit MassHire Cape and Islands Career Center. We are here to help. 

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