Ten Steps to Recession-Proof Your Career

Some experts say we’re recovering from the recession, others say we could fall back into an economic downturn. Who is right? I don’t know. What I do know is that you must be regularly building your brand to build a recession-proof career. Here are ten steps:

1.   Unearth and Build Your Brand
During a challenging economic period, highly differentiated branding becomes even more important. To thrive, your company needs innovation. Innovation comes from creativity. Creativity derives from a diverse workforce of individuals. And when we talk about diversity in the world of personal branding – we are talking about each individual delivering an ingredient that is not available from anyone else. So, unearthing and living your brand will give your company what it needs – making you an indispensable resource. Personal branding is the most effective way to clarify and communicate what makes you differentiated and valuable. It allows you to articulate why your company needs you. Unclear about your brand? Uncover it here: www.reachcc.com/360v5register (a complimentary tool from my company).

2.   Build Bridges
In a recession you may have to cross them. Reach out to former managers, employees  and colleagues. Strengthen relationships with peers, customers and business partners. Take a former boss or business partner to lunch. Build those bridges so they are solid, should you have to cross them. Schedule time in your daily agenda to build and cultivate your network. Are you a power networker? Find out with this quiz: www.reachcc.com/networkquiz

3.  Know your GQ – Google Quotient
Whether you’re looking for work or you want to be the best passive job candidate, you need a strong virtual brand. Today, a Google search is as standard as a reference check. If your online identity doesn’t impress recruiters or hiring managers, you’ll be eliminated from the short-list. Virtual brands are not built overnight, so investing now will reap rewards in the future. To start, first understand where your brand stands on the web with this complimentary tool: http://www.onlineidcalculator.com

4. Get Out of Your Office
If those around you don’t know who you are or what you do, management will think they don’t need you when it is time to start preparing the layoff list.  You must consistently make others aware of the value that you are bringing to your team or project. And you need to know what’s going on beyond the project you are working on. Don’t underestimate the value of networking with your peers, team and colleagues in other departments. So visit to the coffee machine or water cooler, go to the cafeteria for lunch and connect with those around you. It’s part of you job!

5.   Associate
Professional associations provide the greatest opportunity to demonstrate your value outside the company. If you find yourself looking for a new job or just want to do your job better, the connections you make at your local PMI chapter or AMA group will help. Remember, belonging to fewer organizations and taking on a leadership position or volunteer role that enables you to get to know the entire membership is the best way to build your brand.

6.  Create Career Karma
Now’s not the time for a ‘me me me’ attitude (as if there is ever a time for total selfishness). Helping others recession-proof their careers is one of the greatest karma-building actions you can take. Remember, what goes around comes around. If you build great karma now, goodness will come back to you at some point when you truly need it. Pen these activities into your do-list.
7.   Establish Metrics
Measure the value you bring to your employer. Whether it’s increased revenue, reduced expenses, improved efficiency, increased sales leads, reduced attrition, etc. find a way to quantify your contribution to your organization and to the company overall. And be sure your manager is abundantly aware of this. Don’t wait until your performance review to start measuring the value you deliver!

8.  Refine Your Career Marketing Tools
The time to get your resume, bio and cover letters in order is at least six months before you hear you have been put on the layoff list. And to make sure yours stands out (from the stack of others touting similar credentials and experience) hire a professional resume writer. They are well worth your investment.

9.  Get Coached
Every great athlete has a coach; you should too. From helping you excel in your current position to enabling you to find the ideal next role, career coaches are critical to turning a good career into a stellar one. Invest in a career coach now to keep your career on-course.

10.  Reconnect with Recruiters
You don’t have to be in active job search to be in touch with an executive recruiter. Remind recruiters you have worked with of who you are and what you do – and seek their advice on what’s happening in your industry or job function. They work with many different clients daily and have their fingers on the pulse. They can give you a perspective you can’t find anywhere else.



  1. I’m always looking for ways to get ahead. Many of these set you up to be self-reliant and independent of any firm you may be working for. Think outside the company and be top of mind across your industry.

    I bookmarked this one.

    Thanks for leading,