Just as a company needs a business plan for success, every professional needs a plan for career success. Built into this career success plan must be strategies to ensure your career is somewhat recession proof. In other words, it’s important to take steps to safeguard your long term career success even when times are great and employment is booming. It isn’t wise to take your eyes of your career plan. Like business plans, your career plan will need tweaking and adjusting as you change directions and stay ahead of any curve balls that the economy can throw your way.
Long term unemployed
Right now there are many people consdered to be among the long term unemployed. The official definition for the long term unemployed is anyone unemployed for 27 weeks or more. This is seven months. Let’s face it, not many of us could handle being unemployed for that long without serious catastrophic ramifications on our families. Not only did the bad economy contribute to the number of long term unemployed, but the changing face of business means many American workers have job skills that have become irrelevant or obsolete.
Therefore, it is important that the alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities stay mindful of these 10 ways to safeguard careers from recession.
1. Keep learning. Experts widely believe we are in a “knowledge economy”. The more knowledgeable you are, the more committed you are to lifelong learning, the more recession proof your career will be.
2. Keep meeting goals. Find ways to effectively do more with less and to work as efficiently as possible to maintain and increase productivity.
3. Join professional associations and become involved with others who might be in the same kinds of careers or jobs. Don’t just stay connected to ask for help, but to bring support and value if you can.
4. Volunteer for tasks outside of your job description while not neglecting your responsibilities. Become a “go to” person on the job.
5. Do environmental scans both inside and outside of your organization. Pay attention to the marketplace. This does not just mean to watch the stock market. Keep on top of what is happening with your company’s key customers and suppliers.
6. Think about other ways to use your skills to make money. Use your job skills to earn additional income. Eg. If you do medical billing for a large hospital, could you take on medical billing work for smaller independent medical offices?
7. Don’t fall for career myths like you are too old to change careers. Good organizations are way more interested in your ideas and the passion you bring, than they are in your age.
8. Make your boss look good. Don’t think about what your are doing for your boss, but see it as a way to prepare for your next opportunity. Know what keeps your boss up at night and offer solutions. Think beyond your own job.
9. Spend time on your career plans. Way too many people get into the routine of working and totally forget they had goals when they graduated. Read about successful people in your profession.
10. Get a tune up with a career coach or mentor at least once a year. It’s just like taking your car to the shop for tune-ups or just like a small business owner speaking with his/her accountant once a year.