Recession Ready Your Career?

 

Introduction

 

Yes, the economic news can be discouraging. However, there is some good news in all of this. The slower economy is an opportunity to beef up your networking and personal branding and development efforts so that when the economy turns around, you will be better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that will be plentiful — because they will be!!!!!

 

 

The Good News and the Bad News

Recent reports of an economic downturn in the US provoked many professionals to wonder and worry about their job status. Will their company opt for lay-offs? Who will be among the pink slip recipients? How long until the downturn hits specific business sectors? What career opportunities are available during a recession?

 

The good news is that there are steps you can take to shore up your current job and ready yourself for a potential recession. In fact, the tips I’m offering are helpful steps to take at any point in your career, regardless of the state of the economy. Ultimately, none of us can predict the path the US economy might take, but we can take charge of our own career paths.

 

Stay Visible

It’s always helpful to keep yourself front and center at your current job. Think of this type of visibility as part of your personal marketing plan, which can include:

 

v     Stay positive in your attitude and actions — This means being proactive and suggesting “fixes” rather than simply complaining about issues or concerns at your organization. Be the person in a meeting who leads a problem-solving session and follow-up with members of the leadership team. Make yourself indispensable to the organization’s success.

 

v     Be visible to leadership and colleagues — By letting others know what you’re doing, you accomplish two goals: 1) You maintain ongoing, open communication about activities that matter to others; and 2) You highlight your accomplishments in a manner that promotes your value to the organization. Visibility can include your presence in meetings, well thought out e-mails, succinct presentations of your projects or role in projects, or frequent one-on-one sessions with your direct supervisor.

 

v     Keep your resume current — While this seems like a no brainer, don’t let it slide because there are other more “important” things going on. Having an updated resume gives you the freedom to apply for jobs that interest you, but it also gives you a concrete springboard for career discussions with friends, colleagues, and mentors.

 

Build and Extend Your Brand

As you work to create and maintain visibility within your current organization, be sure to connect with professionals outside of your company. Some external personal marketing activities are:

 

v     Networking — This includes in-person real-time conversations with colleagues, acquaintances, and other industry professionals that you could meet at networking events, trade shows, or industry specific conferences. You never know what might come from a sincere, relaxed conversation. Expand your networking capability by creating professional virtual connections on sites like LinkedIn, Ziggs, Ryze, or Plaxo.

 

v     Extend Your Brand Online — Think about your expertise and experience, and then share it online with colleagues through a blog, website, or social networking site such as LinkedIn. Similarly, search for websites related to your field and become a member and/or contributor to the content. Your goal is to become “digitally distinct,” making sure there is a great deal of content on the Web that expresses your personal brand.

 

Professional Development

 

v     Stay current in your skillsAttend professional conferences, seminars, and training sessions that will bolster and contemporize your skill sets. Be sure to network and exchange ideas at these events. Most importantly, follow up on leads you discovered. Sometimes an e-mail or phone call can prompt a discussion about possible opportunities that you might not have otherwise encountered.

 

v     Reconsider your career path — If you’re feeling like your current career is not a path you would like to continue following, evaluate your personality, skills, interests, and what matters to you most. Your experience may be transferable to another industry or profession. A career coach can help you assess the above factors that contribute to career success and support you in your career planning.

 

Whether you’re switching jobs within a company, leaving your current organization, or starting a new career, these steps will help you navigate your career and move you forward. Don’t let the “what if’s” prevent you from pursuing “what could be.”

 

 

Check out our related blog item on the industries that are weathering this recession:

 

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