How to Get Ahead by Recession Proofing Your Career

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During the recent recession, workers both young and old, found themselves jobless after relying on a false sense of security in their full-time job.

The recession not only caught us all off guard but showed us that we became too complacent and dependent on others for our success.

Did you suddenly realize that your safe and steady income wasn’t so secure anymore?

This is something I discovered before I decided to become debt free and start my own freelancing business.

It gave me a much needed kick in the butt to pursue other career passions and revenues of income. One of the best ways to avoid this mistake again in the future, is to recession proof your career.

What is means to be “recession proof”

Recession proof is a term used to describe anything that is resistant to an economic decline. It also has to do with your mindset.

  • The economy does not dictate your job choice
  • You can say NO to jobs that sucks the life out of you
  • You have control over your lifestyle and career
  • To be happy in your work is possible

Creating a career and income that’s recession proof is simple. It’s all about doing something you love, while earning an income that supports the lifestyle you desire. That’s the goal of anyone who wants to live an epic life.

So how do you make your career recession proof?

As with other obstacles in life, whether they’re financial or career based, You’ve got to be proactive not reactive! Here’s how to start making life happen right now and recession proof your career.

1. Do selective work for free

Doing work for free is all about strategy. Because obviously I’m not talking about going out and getting random jobs for low or no pay. What I’m saying is to search for the right kind of work. Something that will bring in more benefits than just money.

And yes, there are many other benefits a job can offer besides just money.

To properly recession-proof your career, you need to find selective contacts that will build your network, increase your skills, offer invaluable recommendations or that give you once in a lifetime experience.

In the event you ever lose your full-time job or have to recoup from a freelancing slump, you will have no problem jumping right back into the game, because you’ve established the right connections.

2. Cultivate your network

Now that you’ve made the right connections, you should never stop cultivating them, because only reaching out to your network during times of distress will most likely backfire.

No one wants to only hear from you when you need something, so be sure to offer aid and assistance without asking for anything in return.

As long as a genuine relationship is maintained, your network will become more readily available and may even reach out to you in a time of need.

Remember to cultivate both your online and offline relationships too. It’s very easy to get consumed with all the online activities and social media, that we forget to touch base with our real life support team.

3. Make yourself more valuable

The best way to create a solid backup plan is to invest in you and your skills. Your health, happiness and well-being are just as important as increasing your marketable job skills, because all of these aspects combine together to make you a complete human being.

An important strategy to implement is to make yourself more valuable, either as a freelancer or an employee (or in my case both).

Some of the activities you focus on may or may not increase your bottom line directly, but it will have positive effects on you and your self worth – which does have a direct affect on your business.

Things like taking a yoga class, learning to dance or spending quality time with the people you love, will breath a little magic back into your life. And will have a profound affect on your well being over all.

And you can even recession proof your small business by taking control of your cash flow.

Did you lose your job and have to recover from a career setback? Head over to Twitter and Facebook to share your strategy.


  1. Jen@balancedlifebudget says:

    I’ve definitely had some setbacks in my career – being laid off, working for companies that ran out of money, companies that were unethical, etc. However, when I’m down, I’m not down for too long. I always bounce back. In part because I like change and am resilient, but I also made conscious decisions about projects I’ve taken on, degrees that I’ve pursued, and opportunities that I’ve taken advantage of. It really gives me a peace of mind at night when I think about not only how lucky I’ve been in my career, but I feel strongly that although I may not always have my DREAM job, I’ll always be able to find a job.

  2. I didn’t lose my job, but I love this post. I recently graduated so I am in the midst of building and cultivating a network as I grow into my job path day by day. And I definitely want to take some yoga classes or try some Zumba, feeling the ache for something new to switch up my day with !

  3. One thing that saved my bacon was I had a good year’s heads up that my contractor job was coming to an end so I had chance to really double down on saving up money because I really didn’t know how easy or hard it would be to find a new job.
    #3 could probably be a post on its own, I’m a little over 5 years into my career as a software developer and my career stewardship has been absolutely terrible. This is why I think it took me so long to find a new job after losing the one I had for 4 years. I wasn’t keeping my skills up to date, I wasn’t involved in the community at all, I didn’t read journals about my field, I wasn’t involved in IEEE or ACM – to be blunt, it was a pathetic effort. Austin, being a tech hub, has a huge community and I’m slowly integrating myself into that so hopefully any future job problems will be a lot more short lived than my last one.
    Networking is something I’m a lot better at now than I was a year ago, things like Linkedin are great starting off points but it isn’t something you can rely on solely. One tip I can give is if you apply somewhere, get on Linkedin and see if the company’s HR reps have a presence there and reach out to them. It will help you break through the wall of noise most HR people have to contend with. Because I was looking for a job so long I got to talk to a lot of HR people and one thing that they all have to contend with is getting hundreds of CVs per day and maybe at best 1/6th are actually qualified for the job. Plus every job I’ve gotten except 1 I got because I knew someone who knew someone who needed a computer guy – so that stuff matters, a lot.
    Sadly though sometimes it is just a matter of getting lucky, which is what happened with me but at the same time I did cultivate that a bit by getting my information out there.

  4. Jordann says:

    I’ve never lost my job but there have been a string of layoffs happening at my current place of employment. To combat that and keep my name off the chopping block, I’ve been working extra hard at showing my dedication to the company and taking on new responsibilities.

  5. AverageJoe says:

    Great points. One time I had a boss who threatened to fire me. I realized I had plenty of contacts in the industry and was a valuable part of the company (he’d lose tons of clients by letting me go) so I told him to please, go ahead and fire me. He wouldn’t do it because suddenly he’d come to the same realization. Recession proofed by growing a network and learning skills that many wanted.

  6. That’s definitely something I’ve been aware of once I graduated university and the recession was in full swing. No one is safe in their job, so it’s best to make sure you are doing lots of things and volunteering and basically always updating your resume to make you look awesome.

  7. I love the thought of “You can say NO to jobs that sucks the life out of you”. I’ve learned i can’t take just jobs just because they were the first to say “Yes.” A job has to provide more value to my life than just a paycheck.

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