Prepared for the Next Recession?
The next recession is coming! It is not if but when. Are you ready?
Many of us have lived through 2 horrible recessions in the last 20 years. The dot-com bust hit us when many of us thought we had it made. Our retirement accounts were fat and we figured we would have 10% annual returns for years to come.
The great recession wiped out whatever many of us had left.
We are approaching 10 years since the beginning of the last recession. The latest economic expansion has been one of the longest ever recorded. Admittedly it has been a slow expansion but it has continued. We all know this will come to an end.
Have you prepared your career for the next recession?
4 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Career
The idea for this post comes from my good friend, Thom Singer. He published his latest podcast called 4 Tips to Recession Proof Your Career.
I do not believe you can actually recession-proof your career but there are things you can do today to prepare for the next recession and Thom gives some great tips.
For those of us in the 2nd half of life, our next job will come from a relationship. It will either be an existing relationship, a resurrected relationship or a new relationship. Another way to state this it will come from someone you know, like and trust.
You need to work on these relationships NOW!
Here are Thom’s 4 tips to recession-proof your career.
Tip #1 – Do not assume a “like,” “link,” “share,” or “follow” is equal to a relationship.
Social media is a great place to interact with people but do not assume that being connected on LinkedIn or friends on Facebook or to follow someone on Twitter is equivalent to a real relationship. I use LinkedIn to manage and track my network.
How many relationships can you maintain? You may have 10K followers on Twitter or 5K connections on LinkedIn, but how many do you really know?
The number of relationships you can maintain is also known as the Dunbar Number. Evolutionary psychologist, Robin Dunbar, began a study of the Christmas-card-sending habits of the English and found that they sent on average 153.5 cards each year. The number of 150 has come up over and over in society. The Amish break up communities when they reach 150. Chimpanzee families reach a maximum of 150.
I have over 5,000 LinkedIn connections and over 38,000 Twitter followers. Are all of those real relationships? NO!
Tip #2 – Start participating in your industry trade association (and other networking groups) now. Do not wait until the economy falters.
Thom talks about the importance of attending industry conferences and being involved in your trade association. I claim this important for another reason. Creative destruction has accelerated. You MUST stay on top of industry trends if you want to be competitive and your employer will no longer take responsibility for you staying current.
Thom is an active member of the National Speakers Association(NSA) and he became involved BEFORE he became a full-time keynote speaker and master of ceremonies.
I make sure I attend at least one industry conference a year. This year it was Podcast Movement which is the premier conference for podcasters.
Tip #3 – Find ways to help others. Networking has to be about give and get.
When I network, I follow the philosophy that I am there to help others and expect NOTHING in return. What I am creating is good karma.
Thom talks about being a connector. He relates a story about how he helped a fellow speaker by referring her to his PowerPoint developer years ago. This proved invaluable and improved her business remarkably. She still expresses her gratitude to Thom everytime they are together.
Thom also tells a story where he acted as a referral for a substantial speaking gig to a colleague. His colleague landed the business and spent much of the next year actively promoting Thom’s business. Did Thom make the referral expecting something in return? NO. He was just acting as a connector.
Who should you be connecting with and acting as a connector? How about recruiters at the companies on your target list?
Tips #4 – Work to position yourself as an expert in your industry.
Promote your talents and skills to demonstrate you are an expert. You can do this by:
- Create a personal website and publish blog posts
- Offer to write for an industry website or magazine
- Publish blog posts on LinkedIn Publisher
- Upload work product to your LinkedIn profile
- Actively comment on social media
- Offer to present or teach at MeetUps or other events
There are lots of ways to position yourself as an industry expert.
The next recession is coming. It may be next month, next year or the year after but it is coming. We all remember what it was like in the depth of the great recession in 2009 when just about everyone I knew was touched by unemployment.
We all knew someone who was laid off. It may have been a parent, child, spouse, best friend or someone else close to you.
Now is the time to prepare.
What is your next step?Marc Miller
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