Approaching The Job Search In A Weakening Economy — Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching

Is the economy souring?

Recent stock market volatility has people on edge, even though the stock market is not the economy. Is there a connection? Of course, there is, but the people truly suffering from inflation and rising gas prices are not worried about their stock portfolios. They don’t have one. Meanwhile, unemployment is at pre-pandemic levels, the Great Resignation continues unabated as workers demand more from their employers, and most people are generally happy with their economic situation.

Mixed messages on the economy are like old minefields – they are not easy to navigate, and there is a very real danger, but the majority of the landmines don’t explode if you step on them. When you consider whether or not now is the time to jump jobs there is a certain amount of guesswork involved, but it can be mitigated with some good old-fashioned legwork.

What do you need to do next?  

1.     Assess your professional landscape. Economic downturns are not egalitarian. There are financial sectors that take the brunt of every recession, depression, and unforeseen calamity. For example, if you worked in hospitality, live music, or movie when COVID hit you took the brunt of it. The people who converted their garages into home offices and spent a year on Zoom were merely inconvenienced. Do the legwork. Make an honest assessment of your specific industry’s outlook. For example, healthcare isn’t going anywhere. There will always be sick people who need skilled and compassionate caretakers. However, if the U.S. suddenly shifted from private healthcare to universal healthcare a whole lot of people are going to be out of a job with nowhere to go. Become the leading authority on your professional landscape. Knowledge is power.

2.     Assess your tolerance for risk. Moving jobs is always a risk. You may think you’ve landed your dream job and then two weeks later they announce a merger or buyout. The new company has two people in every role and it only needs one. Job security is tenuous. It’s a cliché that the greater the risk the greater the reward. Are you ready to enter that uncertain space? If you are at a stable company that would most likely weather any storm, is it a good idea to leave? On the other hand, you may work somewhere that is “too big to fail” until it fails. If you truly believe you can increase your earning potential because you have specialized skills that are in demand, and are willing to accept the risks involved, by all means, take the leap. Just know there are no guarantees.

3.     Check Out PayScale. Do you believe you’re underpaid or do you know you’re underpaid? Once again, do the legwork. Find out what professionals in your field, in your area, should be compensated. If you’re getting the short stick, by all means, you should be open to any potential new jobs. If your company/industry/product is at risk because of a volatile economy, you may find your comfy job is suddenly not so comfy, lucrative, or secure as you imagined. When businesses experience trouble, payroll is the first thing they target. When you hear the word “freeze” being tossed around it’s time to consider jumping ship. Hiring freeze. Purchasing freeze. Promotion freeze. Bonus freeze.  The common element is a freeze in your professional development and compensation.

4.     Don’t get complacent. Do not be a spectator of your career. Be proactive if you know, or even sense, you may be on the front lines of a potential economic downturn due to your current job or company. You can’t warm the bench forever. At some point, you need to belly up to the plate and face the curveballs. There are times there will be a risk, but there will always be jobs – just not as many in a bad economy.

5.     Don’t panic. When the economy seems to be faltering, but nobody can say for sure what will happen, it’s easy to panic. Don’t be blinded by more money or a promotion that may be short-lived if the economy sours. A year ago, the global economy was still at the mercy of the pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues that continue to reverberate to this day, which is a big deal if you are a consumer, but a bigger deal if you work in the supply chain! Yet, an unthinkable war in Ukraine roiling the international energy and wheat markets wasn’t on anyone’s radar. When the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929 and ushered in the ten-year Great Depression. Keep calm and update your resume.

Scott Singer

Source link