Achieving Job Security in a Time of Economic Uncertainty
Is a recession coming? The verdict is still out. While some experts say yes, others say it’s not inevitable. Either way, this kind of conjecture leaves many feeling unsure about the future of their job. While recession-proof jobs may be hard to come by, there are some things you can do to help increase your job security and take control of your career development.
Prioritize Professional Development and Lifelong Learning
A commitment to continuous learning is essential for developing new skill sets and ensures you stay relevant in your field. Staying on top of current industry trends can increase your expertise in your field, lead to higher productivity and help you excel in your current role. Learning new skills expands your range and can also put you in a position to take on greater responsibility, increasing your value to your organization.
According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 92% of talent professionals say that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills. In 2022, LinkedIn doubled down on that finding in an article stating, “Soft skills have become even more important in the post-pandemic, largely remote work landscape.” So, when looking to build your skill set, don’t neglect soft skills, such as collaboration, problem solving, adaptability, mindfulness, self-motivation and conflict resolution. In today’s dynamic and technological world, developing a digital mindset is also important. “Employees who develop digital mindsets are more successful in their jobs, have higher satisfaction at work, and are more likely to get promoted,” according to a Harvard Business Review article on skills for digital transformation.
Find ways to put your expertise to use. Volunteer to take on projects that allow you to use your new skills or look for opportunities to apply what you’ve learned to help your team overcome challenges. Being proactive about your professional development is a great way to demonstrate how you add value to your organization.
Expand and Nurture Your Network
“Having a strong professional network is the secret sauce of career resilience,” says career counselor Andrea Weiss. Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, growing your professional network is important. Your network can serve as a valuable resource—now and in the future. It can contribute to your skill building and help you stay on top of the latest trends in your industry. Re-establish your professional relationships and build new relationships by attending networking events, serving on cross-functional or cross-departmental teams and connecting with your clients or customers. Networking, both in and outside your organization, can lead to new opportunities, help you find mentors and increase your visibility.
Be Proactive and Results Oriented
Understand the objectives of your role, department and organization and how you can help achieve them. Keep track of your goals and how they contribute to those of the organization—this can help you stay on top of tasks, meet deadlines and complete projects on time. Say yes to new opportunities and offer to help, particularly in areas that may not be part of your job. “This is a chance to build skills, gather accomplishments, stretch your capabilities and showcase untapped skills,” says Weiss.
Communication is essential, particularly in today’s work environment where many employees are remote. Regular communication increases your visibility (especially if you don’t work in the office) and lets people know what you’re up to. Provide status updates on projects and ask questions. Engage with your colleagues and supervisors. Inquire about challenges and share ideas. Regular communication can also be a good opportunity to share your creativity and resourcefulness. Keep in mind that when it comes to communication, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Learning to adapt your communication style to meet that of your colleagues and managers is important.
Share Your Accomplishments
Documenting your successes is an effective way to show how you add value to your company. Whether it’s part of your annual review or during regular check-ins with your supervisor, sharing your achievements in a clear and compelling way allows you to demonstrate your positive impact. According to Weiss, some questions to ask yourself when preparing your accomplishment statements are: “What problem did you solve? Did you exceed a goal or metric? When have you gone above and beyond? Have you streamlined a process? Did you save the organization money?”
Prepare for Uncertainty
Future Proof Your Career
Learn more about career resilience from Andrea Weiss. Check out her Future-Proof Your Career Webinar Series.
In the event that you do find yourself in the market for a new job, being prepared by keeping your résumé and LinkedIn profile up to date can help you feel more in control of your career destiny. Revisit your résumé. Clean it up and keep it to one page. Make sure your most relevant and recent experience is at the top and reflects the direction you want to go. Create a portfolio that highlights your accomplishments and can be shared during an interview.
Don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile—it’s your “digital brand” and should correspond with your résumé. Make strategic connections by joining professional groups and following companies that align with your career goals or aspirations, and learn how to maximize the platform as a job search tool. According to Weiss, “You want your LinkedIn profile to be putting forward the brand or the image or pieces of you that you would want a potential employer to see.”
Stay On Top of Your Job Security
While you can’t predict what the future holds for the economy or the job market, you can be prepared for its uncertainty. Take charge of your career with CPE’s courses and certificates that will help you develop a learning mindset and keep your skills sharp for both personal and professional development.