HOW TO BUILD A RECESSION PROOF CAREER…
It has become normal practice in organizations to hire in bulk when there is high demand for product or service. And shortly after, reduce head count through whatever means possible to stay afloat. From the outside, it looks like sheer lack of vision or planning, however, in reality most of these behaviors are organization’s responses to the market conditions. Those are necessary actions for the company to survive in harsh market conditions. Any amount of planning can only minimize the variations in overall resourcing strategy but can not eliminate.
“Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy. Profit from folly, rather than participate in it – Warren Buffett”
Considering above reality, employees should adapt few strategies minimize impact and stay afloat in the ever-changing job market with market proof career.
Few facts to considering before we jump into the core topic:
Fact #1: Since 2008-2009 recession period, there’s no up or down periods in the industry – its a constant “watchful” period in the economy.
Fact #2: Predictions & planning are only as good as the data available to make decisions. Its mostly the reactive method, that works in most cases – which is, after that fact response.
Fact #3: The notion of “safe job” is a myth.
Here are 4 time tested methods which cultivate few behaviors that build solid stability in careers, if followed consistently.
1. Stop speculating!
When there’s a leadership change, slow down or hiring freeze, there will always be a outburst of speculations across the company. Rumors range from most probable outcomes to totally bizarre predictions. Fact the matter is, these are just predictions for the future that is yet to take place. Another important fact is, not just regular employees, sometimes even the company’s senior leadership can not predict far into future, accurately. If they could, there would make billions in stock market for their ability to predict. Only thing they can bet on is continuing to execute.
Last I checked, speculations only complicate things in an organizations. It feels good to take part in rumors and water cooler talks when things get harder in a company, but they really don’t solve problems.
When you have a question, take it the person who can answer it. When you have a problem, take it to the person who can solve it. Discussing with anyone else would be a mere speculation
2. Embrace change
Its normal that we are woken out of the bed abruptly when unexpected changes occur in the organization. Change could be in form of people, process or technology. It could be something you never expected, or something you have always been fearing and praying that it should never happen.
Irrespective of the feeling, “expect” change and you will emerge a winner.
Change is the only thing that that doesn’t change. Expect change, accept change and embrace change…
I would always tell my teams and co-workers, “lets make maximum impact in areas we have control on, and lets hope for best in areas we don’t control”, the opposite is a non-starter.
3. Build relevant skills
We need to be well informed, knowledgable person in our own industry domain. Research on what are top trending skills, certifications and traits. Understand industry trends, market sentiments, which give clarity on where to invest your time for maximum returns.
Learn continuously and consistently. You are only your inspiration & competition as well. In this age of disruptive innovation, seemingly successful products or services might be wiped out and will be replaced.
This could happen due to no fault of the product or its team, thats the nature of business and consumer expectations.
4. Build some relations inside & outside the company
Relationships in the industry have become more critical than ever. Considering its a small & connected world, most leaders are comfortable in working with known/predictable above average skilled person than unpredictable/smart co-worker. With Emotional Intelligence & EQ becoming more & more critical in corporate success, its our ability to built trust, relationships within organization that defines make or break.
Personal referrals are the single largest source for sure shot job offers these days. Keep your relations intact from previous companies, industry contacts and continue to build them. You could use personal references, introductions or through seminars of mutual interest to build your contact base.
Its very critical to understand industry dynamics and your role in it. Ensure you do not feel victimized, that will cause inaction. Only things thats important is to act on all above areas with commitment and create a market proof career for yourself
Industry is like ocean’s tides, it moves up & down – Build your career like a stable ship, which is unaffected by the rising & falling of water levels. Good luck!