How to Stay Employed During a Recession

The threat of a recession is in the news again.  It is enough to make even the most confident employee feel insecure.  During tough economic times, no job is completely safe.  However, there are actions that you can take right now that will help you either keep your job, or put yourself in a position where you can get another job with ease. 

Save your Organization Money:  When budgets are being cut, employers will remember those employees who saved or made them money.  This could be by introducing a new idea, increasing productivity, bringing in new customers, or retaining more existing ones.   Position yourself so that it makes good economic sense to keep you around.

Be in the Right Industry:  Do the labour market research to see where the jobs are and where they will likely be in the near future.  If possible, position yourself so that you can get a job that is in demand.  Make sure that your labour market research is current.  Don’t forget that every recession is different.  The industry that was hot during the last recession, could be cold in this one.

Bring your ‘A’ Game:  You should always bring your best effort to work, but it is particularly important during a recession.  Be professional, get results and go beyond the call of duty. This is not the time to coast.

Add Extra Value to Your Role:  Any role can be dynamic, and with a little extra effort and initiative, you can expand the role to reflect your skills.  If you find an opportunity to use your abilities to bring something extra to the position, you will move from being a cog in the machine, to being a real player in the organization.

Have the Right Attitude:  Employees are often let go because they have a bad attitude.  This includes talking pessimistically about the future of the organization, complaining about changes, and whining about daily responsibilities.  Complainers bring down the morale of the team.  Conversely, if you have positive attitude and show enthusiasm, the employer will be happy to keep you around.

Be Flexible:  During a recession, you may need to take a position that is outside of your realm of experience.  There may not be openings available for your current job.  If you are willing to try something new, it could help you to expand your profile and make you more marketable.

When job numbers are poor, we often feel that our destiny is outside of our control.  However, if you are smart and strategic, you can make sure that you are the one who stays employed (or at least finds a new job quickly).

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo From: digitalart /


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