Money & Career

Recession-proof your career

Five ways to make sure your job is safe during tough economic times

Will we or won’t we? That is the question. Economists have some mixed views on whether or not Canada is headed for a major recession. But with soaring gas prices, massive heating bills and rising property tax looming on the horizon this winter, consumers across Canada aren’t taking any chances – many are cutting back on the five dollar coffees and getting ready to weather the storm if and when it appears. But while Canadians are good at battening down the hatches at home, what about work? Are there ways to help make sure your job is safe should economic troubles come knocking at your employer’s door? There are certainly no guarantees, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your job doesn’t do a nosedive if the economy tanks.

Go the extra mile
Secure your place as an essential employee by going above and beyond the call of duty. Volunteer to do work outside of your job description if you can. And, importantly, make sure your boss knows the additional value you add to your workplace (without coming on too strong, of course). In tough times, it’s important that your invaluable contribution is known.

Stick around
Don’t plan on taking that long vacation – your presence at the office during cutbacks and lay-offs might make the difference between a pink-slip and keeping your job. At the same time, be visible – show up on time and don’t cut out early.

Stay current
Is there a job-related course you’ve been meaning to take or a professional organization you’ve wanted to join? Now is the time to brush up your skills and show that you’re flexible, able to learn and serious about adding value to your employer. Courses and trade associations are also great places to start when considering the next step in recession-proofing your job.

Keep on networking
If you’re already plugged into a network of professionals through regular lunches, conferences and membership in professional associations, then you won’t be scrambling to make new contacts if you do end up getting the dreaded pink slip. Keep regular contact with other people in your field – or those who work in a field you want to be in. Doing so can make it easier for you to take the next step in your career should you lose your job.

Think about the next step
Don’t stop dreaming about your ideal job – even if you think your current job is safe, it’s always good to be looking ahead. Keep your resume current and always keep moving your career forward by training and networking in a field or role you would love to work in one day. If your job is cut, it could be an opportunity to pursue your dream.

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