How to Recession-Proof Your Career

The Wall Street Journal

NEW YORK, NY — Recession fears are causing more than just stock-market jitters this winter. They’re also shaking some workers’ confidence. Even if there isn’t an official recession, a number of areas are already seeing layoffs and hiring freezes. Here are some strategies for recession-proofing your career.

Stick around. If you work for a company in distress, your first instinct may be to jump ship. But if your new employer later decides to lay off workers, you’ll likely be most at risk of getting a pink slip. Be a good sport. Following layoffs, you may be asked to take on additional work that was part of a former employee’s responsibilities. Haven’t been asked to take on extra projects? Volunteer to help. Work harder and smarter. Act the way you did when you were gunning for a promotion. Companies are less likely to get rid of star performers.

Prepare for the worst ahead of time by making sure your resume is up to date. Network now. Don’t wait until you need help finding a job. Take a pay cut. Consider offering to accept a temporary salary reduction. Search internally. If you see a layoff coming in your division or department, it may be easier to search for another position at your current firm.

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