Nothing Lasts Forever. 3 Ways to Save Your Career from the Next Recession.

New year concept for 2019 with brow pocket watch







Things are good right now. Right? The economy is booming, unemployment is at its lowest rate in 50 years. Healthcare unemployment is virtually  at 0.00%. Professionals are enjoying the accolades of multiple offers, new grads who are in high demand sectors are being offered loan forgiveness incentives. As I write this from Liberty, Missouri blue collar workers are being hired steadfastly at Honeywell and Bayer. Opportunity surrounds us. Summer is upon us and Life is Good. Right?

Chuck Jones, Senior Contributor for  Forbes aptly wrote, “Recessions Start When No One Sees Them Coming,”   

So while executives are leaning back in their corner offices, while 20 somethings are buying new cars and middle aged workers take a second mortgage to remodel the kitchen- It’s time to snap back to reality. This too shall end.

When the last recession hit, the constant theme we experienced with our Career Coaching Clients was- I didn’t think this could happen to me. Unemployment, layoffs without severance, 25 applications and no call-backs, 90 days out of job and no prospects was the norm. Loss of employment opportunity for executives was especially precarious.  There’s only 1 CEO job at a hospital or a company and while there may be a hundred good paying blue collar jobs at a plant- There’s most likely less than 5 positions in the executive suite. Compound that with a refusal to relocate or living in a city of less than 500,000 and you may be  professionally stuck in the next recession.

So, for every person who isn’t ready to financially retire- It’s time to save your career from the next recession.

  1. If you’re going to make a move. Do it now. If you’ve being searching for an upwardly mobile position, interviewing yet hedging your bets- It’s time to make a move. For those who have an opportunity to earn more and leverage a position which will give you new skills, opportunity to add value and expand professionally- Interview, Get Hired and Go Now. If you’ve been in the same job for 10+ years with minimal growth- Interview and Go Now. Learn new skills, re-write that resume, take your LinkedIn and online presence seriously and act like the professional YOU would want to hire for that amazing opportunity.
  1. Something- Something on the Side. Since opening a Consultant office in Kansas City and dividing my time between Las Vegas, Nevada and Liberty, Missouri the past few months- I’ve learned some amazing lessons from the people I’ve met. Specifically having Something on the Side professionally. The work ethic of the Midwest is beyond impressive. I’ve met blue collar professionals who have created lucrative side businesses to supplement their income, pay for their kid’s college prep needs and future tuition, save and prepare for the next recession all with an impressive financial savviness. If you think you work hard- Think again. These exceptional, (quite often not college educated) individuals are out-performing and out-earning their college educated counterparts. They’ve taken the expertise from their blue-collar positions to leverage that into a trade business readily marketable on Thumbtack, Angie’s List, Upwork, etc. And, for the more ambitious and strategic moonlighter, they’ve enlisted their partner or super capable teenage kid’s to create a  professional website and a basic marketing plan. Everyone has something to offer, ( a way to earn) after the 8-5 job. Evaluate your skills, package them into 5 key services and start selling your time after hours. It could be the Something -Something on the side that pays your mortgage when the next recession hits.
  1. Be a Rock Star. Try harder. Are we really working at our zenith when we have a dozen opportunities waiting in the wings if today doesn’t work out? I’ve consistently heard from Clients that (occasionally) hired employees are good though maybe not great 100 days post hire. If you’ve been in a job 1 month or 10 years- We should spend every working hour as if our financial future depends on it, (because it does). From learning new skills, utilizing your off time to do R&D about your competitors, market trends or become more proficient in your IT skills- We can always end the day knowing we could have done more. Being an asset to your leadership, expanding your professional horizons without prompting will give you the confidence you need to stay and grow professionally- Or,  make the jump to a new opportunity when the downturn arrives and forces the professional shift whether  you’re ready for it or not.

Nicole Barbano, CEO | Hunter Ambrose Executive Search firm 

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