3 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Prepare for a Recession
“Here’s how to know if you’re being quietly fired.”
It’s the kind of stuff that you may be seeing out there more and more these days… internet posts that tell you how to get ready for the worst.
It may be showing up in your conversations with friends or with your partner—worrying about what’s ahead.
Nobody can prevent a recession—or even an economic downturn unique to your field.
But I don’t think it serves you to spend all your attention on fear-based thinking and doing the career equivalent of hunkering down in your fallout shelter.
(Sidenote—I do love the whole retro bomb shelter as fashion inspiration though. That atomic symbol? That’s sexy graphic design right there.)
What we focus on is what we attract.
And negative fear-based thinking makes us think and act small. This makes us timid and mediocre in our jobs instead of standouts—irreplaceable assets to our companies, and irresistible in the marketplace.
Instead, here are 3 ways to prepare for a recession as a creative thinker.
Focus on being the best.
The best at your craft, the best at so deeply understanding your company’s clients or customers that you anticipate their needs and they feel like you’re the only one they want to work with.
Being the best isn’t about outcompeting someone else to be the top dog, in some bro-ed out way, It’s about mastering your craft in a way that meets clients’ or customers’ needs, and then following your curiosity about their needs and your instincts to master the next skill or capability.
It means treating yourself as your own best investment.
I have treated myself as my own best investment for the last almost ten years and it’s paid itself back every time.
Build your power network.
And no, your power network is not about rubbing elbows with gals decked out in shoulder pads and brass chain jewelry. (Does everyone have the same eighties career woman image in their heads that I do?!?!?)
Your power network is your group of professional relationships inside and outside of your company. Inside your company they speak on your behalf, sharing about the good work you’re doing, and positioning you for promotions and opportunities.
Outside your company, they are collaborators, your professional wingwomen and wingmen. You send each other opportunities, you brainstorm ideas, and when the chips are down and you get reorg-ed out of your company or your project goes on hold and then dies, they introduce you to your next job.
Build your visibility.
Your reputation and visibility in your field is one of your most important career assets. It’s how you get hired for the project and hear that they never considered anyone else. It’s what spurs your dream company to hire you and create a position just for you even if they aren’t currently hiring.
Your reputation is a marketable asset.
It’s what makes you a “strategic acquisition” to a company that hires you, instead of just a replaceable employee. It changes the game for your interview because instead of being grilled, you and your interviewer start planning how you’ll leverage your role as an expert to bring work and opportunities to the company.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on the positive when everyone around you is focusing on what’s wrong.
But you’re a doer. You want to roll up your sleeves and do something. So pick one of these career assets and focus on building that instead.
(Your underground can collection will thank you!)