I called it:
What does this mean?
- Looking for a job will SUCK. Creative job seekers who employ stuff you find in Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters will probably do better than many, and those who get professional help from job search coaches and career coaches will do better.
- If you are unhappily employed, TOUGH LUCK. Stay where you are as long as the money makes sense. Leaving for something “better” might land you in laid-off land (staying might also, it’s a crap shoot), and leaving before you have something else lined up is asking for the opportunity to spend many months at job fairs.
- You have to, HAVE TO, get more serious about Me, Inc. Tom Peters’ Fast Company article is over 10 years old. Why are we still letting the boss (who has no job security) and HR (who has no job security) manage our career? Why are we letting our employer (who might go bankrupt tomorrow) be responsible for 100% of our income? Because we’re nutz, I guess…. that seems to be the only logical reason.
- Get ready for plenty of “sky-is-falling” propaganda, along with a bunch of “how to find a job in a recession” articles… all over the place. But seriously, don’t let it get you down. The job search can be depressing, but it could be a lot worse. You have OPPORTUNITY…! Seize the opportunity!
What can you do?
- Get your finances in order. Follow Trent at The Simple Dollar. Well-written, great information. He just came out with a book titled 365 Ways to Live CHEAP! and I’m sure it will be a great resource for many. Read his story and you’ll realize he’s just a normal dude who’s trying to get along, just like the rest of us.
- Don’t panic. Don’t follow the stock market daily… especially if you are closer to retirement. Get a good financial adviser, but don’t panic.
- Sit tight and work on a career hobby. You know, working on more education (formal or informal). Or hone current skills. Or write your book. Or catch up on professional social networks (get your Profiles beefed up). Reach out to long-lost contacts and renew relationships and friendships.
We’re in a recession… so what? YOU have power to control certain things, so work on those. This recession will correct itself… we had plenty in the 1900’s and we’ll have more in the 2000’s… just work on what you can and don’t fret over what you can’t control.
Oh and get your JibberJobber account… it’s a good time for that, don’t you think? 😉
13 thoughts on “We’re Officially In A Recession (and why it matters)”
Wow, it only took them a year to figure it out. Nice.
The sad thing about the ‘finding a job in a recession’ tips is how few of the writers are really talking from personal experience.
And I want to add again, let’s try to help one another when we can. Does inclined to close in on their own situation can think of it at a healthy part of networking; and I think of it as what’s right. As you keep an eye on opportunities, it’s an excellent idea to send any you can’t use to those who can.
Jacob, I can’t really give tips about finding a job in a recession because my job search happened in a boom economy, when things were going great. I still failed :p
Sophie, totally agree… it’s a time to give and share and help, not hoard. Thanks for that ever-important reminder.
Great post Jason.
I agree with the comment about staying put (Amish term) even if you aren’t happy. However, this is not the time to stick your head in the sand and fall into the false illusion that your job is safe. It isn’t. Long term corporate loyalty (as you said) is long gone. Now is the time to lay the ground work of preparation … figure out your marketable value proposition and how you are different from the competition (brand), get your marketing documents together, network, and build online visibility … so you can shift the job search paradigm in your favor.
If you are too busy working your job to manage your career, you need to be prepared to pay the price. Once you lose your job, regardless of the size of your severance package, your marketability takes a big hit.
You’re very right, Cindy! More than ever, everyone needs a Plan B — and a Plan C and D!
Excellent article Jason and great comments. Thank you all for sharing.
Speaking from 40 years of personal business experience I have done well in my career no matter how the economy rolled up or down. I have always worked from the perspective of being the “business owner” of my career, not a corporate employee. This mind set has always empowered me be in control of my income and where/when I worked. Running a career as a profitable business provides career insurance, way better than unemployment insurance.
No one is afraid of losing their job. People are afraid of losing the income associated with the job. Eliminate the source of this fear and life is always grand. First order of business as an owner of your career is don’t have one source of income. If it takes 3 years to find a job, so what – the bills are still paid.
As already mentioned in some comments, Networking is a continuous process to bolstering our career insurance package. Using Jibber Jobber to help identify 200+ “5 Star” contacts means anyone can be up and running within 20 days or less, after being dropped from their job abruptly.
Carl E. Reid, CSI
COO, Empowering Today’s Professionals Network
Publisher of Savvy Intrapreneur
Thank you, Jason and all of the other commenters! Jason, you and I have talked before about this. I can see the negativity growing. Feedback that I am getting both locally and throughout the world is that fear aspect. People who have been through a Depression like my father-in-law are pointing back to history and saying it took 37 years to recover. Times move so much faster now but with that in the mindset of the older population, fear grows and with that reactionary moves that only add to the problem.
Cindy, I have been telling people exactly the same thing. Don’t hide in the sand. You have to be proactive and prepared. All those of us in the career management field can do is keep echoing that and be visible to help.
Carl, Jason has been talking about multiple lines of income in Jibber-Jobber One Thing as well as this blog. I have always had multiple sources of income but even those are shrinking and I find myself totally excited about moving forward one day and then terrified the next day. I’ve been working on a debt reduction plan for multiple years now with a goal of being debt free but it gets harder when you have to continually stall projects hoping it will be better next year.
The tone of this comment tells you I am in one of those struggle days myself. At these times, I fill myself up with positive reading and music and try to connect with positive people on a daily basis. You have to refuel to be an example or you will be part of the problem.
It’s so important to maintain a positive mental attitude, and avoid people who can only focus on how bad things are. Whether we’re in a recession or not, we all have value to offer to our next employer.
Focus on the good and not the bad.
Remember, finding a job is challenging no matter how good or bad the economy is…just keep plugging away. A bit of useful advice: if you do not currently have a job, you should treat finding a job like your full time job. Eventually your hard work will pay off and you will land a great job (it might just take some time).
Keep your head up!
I remain convinced that the concept of a “job” is fundamentally flawed.
There’s much greater job security in working independently and having a variety of sources of income. Whether as a plumber, or a writer, an accountant, or a dentist, those people who have customers and/or clients rather than an employer will be in a much stronger position to weather this recession.
If your entire income derives from one source, that one source holds your future in their hand. If you have 20 or 30 “employers”, all of whom contribute a smaller amount to your bottom line, you can afford to have one of them fire you.
Getting you finances in order is very important during this difficult time. Don’t use credit cards, look for ways to decrease monthly expenses adn try to save an emergency fund.
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