4 Ideas to Make Your Career “Recession-Proof” by Mary White

Are you concerned about the impact the economy may have on your professional life? Whether you own your own business or you work as an employee or independent contractor, the fact is that you can take proactive steps to position yourself for success no matter what is going on in the economy. After all, each of us is responsible for our own success. Regardless of what is going on in the world around us, it’s up to us to be proactive in making sure that we are prepared for success – for today and tomorrow. Even though you might not be able to control what is going on in the world around you, it is a fact that you are responsible for getting prepared to deal with whatever tomorrow brings.

There are steps that every professional can take that can have a positive impact career success. The precise things you need to do will vary based on what type of work you do ant the industry you work in. The key to making your career as recession proof as possible lies with being proactive. Don’t wait for something bad to happen to start thinking about what you can do to prove yourself invaluable to your customers or your employer. Take a hard look at your job and your profession and make some tough decisions about what changes you can make now that are likely to position you for long term success – difficult economy or not.

4 Ideas to Recession Proof Your Career

1. Differentiate Yourself with Customer Service – The only thing that truly makes any organization unique is the service provided to customers. After all, competitors can copy any company’s products, services, and prices. What they cannot duplicate is your people and the level of service they provide – good or bad. When times are tough, customers know they can afford to be picky, and they are more likely than ever to choose to work with people and companies that have a culture of outstanding service. Whether you are an entrepreneur or if you want to demonstrate to your manager that you are an essential asset to the company, focusing on improving your customer service skills is essential to success in a difficult economy.

2. Take Your Professional Skills to the Next Level – The more skilled you are, the more efficiently and effectively you’ll be able to perform your job. By taking the time to learn new skills and improve the ones that you have, you’ll be on your way to positioning yourself as an invaluable asset to your customers and to your organization. For example, if your job requires working with compute applications, work on perfecting the skills necessary to do the types of tasks you need to perform. Learn to use new software applications or take your skills to the next level with the programs you currently use. Or, if you are a sales professional, learn how to apply proven consultative selling techniques to build relationships and improve results. No matter how experienced you are, you can always improve your performance through professional development.

3. Prove Your Skills with a Professional Certification Credential – When times are tough, employers and prospective customers are less willing to take chances when choosing hiring employees or selecting service providers. That’s why professional certifications have become so important. There is no better time than right now to begin the process of earning a recognized professional certification credential that can set you apart from others in your field. Whether you work in information technology, human resource management, healthcare, or any other occupation, earning a recognized professional certification credential can be a great way to differentiate yourself from others who have similar skills and backgrounds.

4. Build a Solid Professional Network – There is truth to the notion that “who you know” can have a significant impact on professional success. Whether you are in the market for a new job or you need excellent references to help yourself land a new account, having a solid professional network can be the key to success. The key to networking success lies with taking the time to build a network of other professionals that you can assist, and who may also be willing and able to help you in return. There are many ways to approach the process of build an effective professional network. Consider joining and becoming active in local chapters of professional organizations relevant to your field, attend activities hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce, or sponsor an event that benefits your community. You’ll have an opportunity to get to know and make a positive impression on many people.

The Next Step is Up to You

While it’s true that the current economic environment poses a unique challenge, it’s up to you to remain focused on professional success. Each of us has a choice – while you can’t choose what the economy is like, you can decide how it impacts you. You can sit back and whine and complain, or you can decide to take positive action that can keep you moving forward. That’s your decision to make. Ask yourself which course of action is more likely to help you “recession-proof” your career. After all, the only person’s behavior you can control is your own.

About the Author: Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR is the Training Coordinator for Mobile Technical Institute & MTI Business Solutions , where she specializes in human resources, management, and marketing training. She teaches open enrollment classes for MTI, provides on-site corporate training, and frequently speaks at conferences and association meetings. She is also the author of 101 Successful PR Campaign Tips and 101 Human Resource Management Tips in the LifeTips book series. MTI provides a variety of consulting services, including IT Training, certification testing, resume writing, HR & PR consulting, custom database development and website solutions. For daily professional development tips, follow MTI on Twitter (MTI_Training).