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The Recession is Coming… Is Your Career Ready?

It’s in the news every day. Sure, there is debate about when it’s coming, but there isn’t much debate about if it’s coming. Often, when one talks about preparing, it’s in terms of how to protect savings, cut back spending and recognizing that change is needed to accommodate fiscal uncertainty.

But all of that may not be enough if your employment picture changes. The unemployment rate during the recession in the 1980s rose to about 12% and the last great recession in the early 2000s resulted in unemployment rates of about 10%.


We all know someone or have personally experienced a layoff off due to restructuring, reorganization or a downsizing of the workforce. Not all people let go during a recession are poor performers or in bad standing with their company. Very few people are totally “safe”. They say it’s nothing personal, just business. But I know, after experiencing a layoff after almost 25-years with a company, that it is VERY personal. Nobody is immune to it, but you can prepare for whatever the future job market becomes.

Now is the time to look at your professional life to begin to try to make yourself as recession proof as possible. If you haven’t had to look for a new job in a while, you need to get your act together quickly. The horse is still in the barn, but it’s getting restless.

Here are three areas of focus to begin… today:
  • Resume: If you haven’t looked for a job in a while, it’s time to update and modernize your resume. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have changed what good looks like and what it takes to get in front of a recruiter or hiring manager. There are also other considerations that are specific to the point in time that your career is currently. Do you include years with your education and work experience? How long should your resume be? What format? Etc.
  • Understanding Social Media: Your social media presence can either hurt or help you tremendously in finding your next opportunity. You don’t need to be unemployed to benefit from the power of social media. LinkedIn is the most powerful source for business today. It helps recruiters find you, whether or not you’re looking, and it helps you find contacts who will likely lead to your next opportunity.
  • Networking: The reality is that, more than ever, it’s not necessarily what you know, it’s who you know. This has always been the case to some degree, but today it’s been reported that up to 80% of jobs are gotten through someone you know. In other words, through networking. It is always more comfortable and easier to network when you are not in job search mode than when you are looking for work. There are a few reasons for this with the most common being the discomfort of calling on someone you haven’t spoken to in a while with the self-inflicted feeling that you’re intruding on them, asking for a favor or looking for their help.

The recession is coming, and you have time to get ready for it now. Regardless of your current state of employment you need to prepare to land on your feet with your next opportunity when the employment landscape changes.

Ken Sher is President of Sher Coaching and he is dedicated to improving individual and team performance by focusing on Career Management and Executive Coaching. If you would like to receive a free guide on “The Sher Way to Your Next Job: 5-Steps to Making Your Comeback”, reach out to Ken at (215) 262-0528 or email him at 

Ken Sher

Ken Sher is an Career Coach and Executive Coach who focuses on the whole person when helping them with professional or personal issues they are trying to manage. Ken's areas of expertise include job search, career management and leadership development. If you would like to reach out to Ken, please call him at (215) 262-0528 or visit his web site at