It seems that nearly every news outlet and bank has been warning that the next recession is coming. When you think of the last one in 2008, which was so devastating that it was named the Great Recession, these reports are enough to make anyone nervous. But with low unemployment and speculation of full employment, it’s hard to sort through the noise and know if the economy is truly trending toward the next recession.
The truth of the matter is that it is currently hard to say. What all economists and financial market experts do know, however, is that another recession is inevitable. “We will eventually go into recession,” certified financial planner Diahann Lassus explained to CNBC. “The business cycle is the business cycle.”
In other words, recessions are a very normal part of our economy. Technically, they occur when the economy slows down and economic performance declines for at least two consecutive quarters. There have been several recessions throughout U.S. history, including the Great Depression, and they have all varied in length and severity. The most recent downturn was labeled the Great Recession because it was the worst one since the Great Depression. However, there are little to no signs that the next recession will be nearly as bad as 2008.
“When we talk about recession we are not talking about 2008,” said Diahann to CNBC. “A recession doesn’t necessarily mean we are looking at gloom and doom. In fact, the banking system is still strong and companies are still making money.”
Still the thought of the next recession can cause a little anxiety, especially if you graduated or lost your job during the last one. If you fall into that camp, here are 4 steps you can take to help safeguard your career for the next recession:
Keep learning new skills
Recessions may force some employers to cut back on their staff, so you want to make yourself as indispensable as possible. To do this, you should proactively make the effort to learn new skills and keep up with industry trends. This can help make it clear to your employer that you are ready to take on more responsibility and stick with the company in the long run.
Stay on the lookout for a new job
In a similar vein, it may be time to look for a new job if you are no longer learning or growing in your current role. While you shouldn’t make a move unless you find the right fit, it’s important to be aware of whether you have become complacent and have the ability to secure a new job if it comes to that. After all, it never hurts to update your resume, discover new career interests, and go out on interviews for practice.
When you are happy at work and/or busy in your personal life, it can be easy to let networking fall to the wayside. However, it’s important to play the long game if you want to take advantage of your network. Rather than reaching out only when you need something (like career advice during the next recession), proactively make the effort to build and maintain your network.
Be open to temp or contract work
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to the growth of consulting and project-based opportunities, but perhaps one of the biggest ones was the Great Recession. Hiring on a temporary or contract basis was not only a great way for companies to pay for work only when they needed it, but also evaluate fit or their hiring needs before committing resources to a full-time hire. Now that we are out of a recession, this solution has stuck around as it allows for more efficient and cost-effective hiring. But in times of uncertainty, like the next recession, these jobs will most likely increase in popularity. Taking them on can help keep your skills fresh and gain new experience.