How safe is your job? Are you making as much as you think you should? Do you feel worried about the future of the economy? You’re not alone. Millions of professionals wonder how things will change, or at least hope for everything to stay the same.
But the world is changing more and more, needless to say in 2020. When things move so fast, you can’t solve your problems by just working harder. Recessions use to come sooner than anyone projected, but the question is: will it reduce your career opportunities?
Whether you’re just starting your journey or have years of experience already, there are working strategies to recession-proof your job. It’s as simple as understanding demand: what do people need in times like these?
As employees, we forget about market value. Although keeping the employer’s instructions is important, the clients are the ones who review and pay for the service. If you can find what they want and overdeliver, you will make as much money as the value you provide.
Do Recession-Proof Jobs Really Exist?
The answer is Yes, with a catch. Some jobs don’t lose relevance when the economy changes. Others become even more profitable because recessions originate from problems. Whoever offers the solution to those problems will get more demand.
The thing is, the world and its people are always changing, and so is demand. Although recession-proof jobs exist, the only way to keep a stable job forever is by reinventing yourself all the time. So even after you pick those high-demand niches, you still need to improve as a professional.
You could, of course, work on different careers, so whenever one falls behind, you rely on the other. But you’ll likely make more money if you focus on a single job.
You must have already spent some time on the formation to become competent in your current job. Do you think a new career is worth the time, also leaving behind your current job?
We will give you examples of recession-proof careers you can start and how to charge more by increasing your market value.
Examples of Recession-Proof Jobs
If you thought of waiting for the recession to pass, we have bad news for you. Although crises don’t last forever, they do have lasting effects on the economy. Buyers think about what matters, and trends change.
This isn’t a temporary plan where you can go back to normal after the events. You may need to change and accept the new direction the market has taken. The good news is, you will have more and more control every time you reinvent yourself, which will eventually get you a “stable” career.
Here, we’ve picked four areas that work well regardless of the market winds. Some make more money, and others make less. Some require years of training, and others need almost no skills.
Education: Always learn something new.
It couldn’t be more true with this example. In this incoming recession, we’re creating value by teaching others how to prepare for recessions. You’re reading this article right now because of it.
The economy booms may come and go, but education always remains relevant. In times of difficulty, people need to be more resourceful to get ahead, thus investing more in education.
What’s best about education is, you can teach as much as you have learned. You’ll never know everything, but you’ll neither know nothing. Even if you’re not successful, you can still share your experience with others so that they can save that time.
The only thing that changes is the audience you’re addressing. If you know anything about any relevant topic, there’s probably someone willing to pay to learn about it.
But why during times of recession?
When you look at the past events, both problems and opportunities, you find out you had more control than you thought. “Had I knew that I would have done so much better. I would have got the opportunity and be successful already, or at least avoid that expensive mistake.” Does it sound familiar?
Financial Services: Paying for results.
Who doesn’t like to invest money? Put one dollar in, get two dollars back. In times of abundance, people would risk money, even if they only get a chance to make an extra 1% return. Everything (in general) was growing, so whoever tried the most would find the best opportunities.
With recessions, however, people have become more selective. Although you can’t guarantee results all the time, you still want to make sure the model works.
They say people spend less money on these times. In reality, they spend just as much (if they spend less, it’s unrelated to the economy), but they change their allocation. They don’t buy goods and services which aren’t essential.
If something is valuable enough, people will keep buying, especially during economic downturns. It’s not that financial services aren’t relevant, but the strategy needs to change. Clients want to know how investing money with you will give them a better return later.
For example, you could teach a client how to make money for free, so that they make a profit and consider your services later. Most sales relationships require months before you can get a high-ticket offer.
As an existing agency, you may instead focus on helping existing clients over the new ones. If you help a few people enough, they will likely refer you to other clients.
Technical Careers. Expertise over generalism
Who hasn’t heard of these careers? Doctors, lawyers, engineers. They heavily rely on knowledge and skills, which is why these careers pay so well. As you improve your abilities, your rate can increase exponentially, thus doing more with less.
There’s this belief that tech careers don’t matter that much. With digitalization, AI may soon replace most technical jobs. Although that’s true, there still needs to be the person who codes that AI. Who better than the specialist?
In particular, medical careers have the most demand. Some people value health more than money, and they don’t mind paying whatever it costs if their life depended on it (which sometimes does).
Now, just because these careers have demand, it doesn’t mean there is no competition. In order to get any attention, you need to specialize, so you compete with fewer people, but there’s still enough demand.
Public Services. Public order is more critical in recessions.
We may argue whether social jobs generate enough income or not. But when it comes to the economy, these seem unaffected. Stocks may grow and fall, but people will keep paying for their utilities, Internet, transport, and related.
Likewise, law enforcement and government positions get more relevant during uncertain times. Although you won’t make as much as a doctor, you can expect a consistent schedule as an employee.
Don’t worry if you can’t find your career in any of these four categories. You can still work on something else and recession-proof your job with the right strategies.
How To Always Be In High Demand
As mentioned earlier, in times of recession, it’s all about essentialism. What you don’t do will influence your success more than what you do do. Since resources are limited, our focus is on how to make the best use of our time and money.
While doing more will increase your income linearly, doing the right thing will multiply it. With the following tips, you can make this recession more profitable, or at least prevent losses.
#1 Focus on high demand skills
As you invest in yourself and improve skills, you increase your intrinsic value. The market swings can make it more or less relevant, but you’re always in demand, especially when you’re perfecting them every day.
Now, don’t make the common mistake of offering too many skills. Most clients and recruiters prefer having one person for every function, so they spend 100% of their resources in that area.
If you think about it, it’s the best way to outcompete others as well. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are. If you’re splitting your focus, you can’t become that specialist people are looking for.
But you can still bundle your skills to become more relevant. Some of them are built on top of more basic abilities (e.g., funnel building requires web design and marketing).
If you don’t know what to learn first, consider high-income skills. When your work helps others make money (copywriting, web design, closing, public speaking), they perceive you as an investment. And when recessions come, they will need these types of people even more.
Most experts earn around six figures after a few years of training.
#2 Raise your standards
The economy is challenging enough to make profits. Don’t make it harder for yourself and keep things simple. What do we mean? Accepting your career success will require more work than what you expected. Do not underestimate the challenge.
- Don’t back off when you’re making decent money on good times. Your income and profit margins should have grown enough so that you can still make money when the economy suffers.
- Seasonal businesses don’t do well in recessions. Neither do companies selling non-essential goods, with exceptions (look at Starbucks and Netflix). You can profit from trends if you know what you’re doing. Just don’t expect it to be sustainable, let alone in a recession.
Having high standards pushes you beyond average levels of success. More results create a safety net, so you can work without worrying about losing your job.
#3 Essentialism and “Value First” mentality
Often as professionals, we focus too much on our current projects and forget about the purpose of a company. Although you’re working for an employer, that person makes decisions based on what customers want. If you understand clients aside from following the boss’ directions, you become a valuable team member who takes the initiative.
Although you should focus on your work, it helps to have general knowledge about every other area. Don’t expect superiors to do everything: you could find opportunities they overlooked, propose new projects, and earn more based on your results.
We care about what customers want because (in times of recession), it’s all about essentialism. People want to spend their money wisely: “do I really need to buy it?” If you’re the one who advertises the company, mind that customers may not care necessarily about what you do, but what benefits and results you offer.
In the web design example, what most marketers do is advertising the features. They talk about sleek designs, clean code, mobile responsiveness, and so on. Clients simply don’t care in a recession. They want a website that sells.
Instead, you could use that focus when promoting web services:
- “We’ve tested these websites and got X conversion and click-through rates.”
- “We work with copywriters so that every word moves people towards your sales funnel.”
- “We offer A/B testing for you to optimize sales even further.”
- “In our case studies and testimonials, we show clients we helped to make X dollars in X time.”
- “If your website doesn’t sell, we refund you the payment.”
#4 Engage with communities
It doesn’t matter what job you have. If you’ve made money with it, there are likely thousands of people who’re interested in what you’re doing. Perhaps they aren’t looking to hire, but they like the topic itself.
It has never been so simple to create your personal brand voice online. With social media platforms, you can share your passion with others and grow valuable communities over time.
It’s not that nobody wants to work with you, but nobody knows you. As you grow your following, it becomes easier for recruiters to find you. They’ll also value you more because of the time and work you’ve put. Do you know how hard it is to create a community on Youtube or LinkedIn?
Aside from job offers, this side hustle may become your new source of passive income.
#5 Think long term to prevent recessions
Recessions don’t happen overnight; they produce because of causes repeating consistently. They have also happened periodically throughout history. If you weren’t expecting this one, what were you thinking?
You’ll find that with a bit of preparation, you could have got more opportunities, or at least avoid expensive mistakes. You may lack time to prepare for the current one, but not for the next one.
Whatever you’re doing right now, ask yourself about its income potential in the next ten years. What challenges do you expect to encounter? Don’t say you’ll figure out once you’re there; prevent. We choose our future with today’s decisions.
If you don’t know where to start, take these recommendations in case anything happens:
- You should develop high demand skills and focus on a specialty.
- Use your free time to create extra sources of income (preferably passive). If you’ve never marketed online before, you could make mistakes and take longer than expected (a few years).
- Your savings cover six to twelve months of expenses (or more). Can you maintain your current routine if you suddenly couldn’t make any money?
If you haven’t achieved those yet, you have no time to lose.
It’s not about the career you’ve chosen, but how you adapt to the world. People don’t stop spending on crises; they just become more selective.
It’s common knowledge that value matters. But what people pay for is scarce value. How big is the problem, and how many people are offering solutions?
A recession may affect differently depending on your industry. You may need to switch careers, or perhaps you just need to adapt to new trends and technologies. Know what options you have before you invest in another profession.
As a last tip, give priority to growing, not saving. It’s tempting to save money in recessions, but you can’t save something you haven’t earned yet. Don’t hesitate to spend more money if that brings you a good return. Economic downturns are known to be the best opportunities in history.