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Summary:

We could already be suffering a recession in the U.S., and the tech industry is not immune, as potential Yahoo! layoffs show. What should you be doing now to protect yourself? Keep building that online persona. Share who you are and what you’re about online — […]

We could already be suffering a recession in the U.S., and the tech industry is not immune, as potential Yahoo! layoffs show. What should you be doing now to protect yourself?

Keep building that online persona. Share who you are and what you’re about online — through a blog or other means. Raising your professional profile online is one of the best ways to attract new job and business opportunities your way. Don’t just create an online version of a resume; get active and connected online.

Create additional income streams, even if you are an employee. Or perhaps especially if you are an employee — because your salary is vulnerable to disappearing all at once, while freelancers and business owners usually have multiple clients.

How can you create additional streams of income? Find a side job as a freelancer (be careful not to break any of your employer’s noncompete policies by doing so), start an ad-supported blog, sell products online, or offer consulting services in your field of expertise. While none of these things will — at least initially — make enough money to replace a full-time-with-bennies job, they can cushion the pain of income loss while teaching you new skills and growing your professional network.

Stay aware of what the market wants. Even during a recession, jobs go begging when employers can’t find people with the right skills. Even if you’re not looking for a job or more contract work right now, subscribe to Craigslist job listing feeds using searches that match what kind of positions might interest you. You’ll keep yourself informed as to what skills you might need to add to your arsenal, what companies are hiring in your area, and whether hires in your field are trending up or down.

Invest in human capital. In other words, beef up your skills. You don’t have to spend money on classes to do so, though that might be the easiest way to learn the basics of something unfamiliar to you. You can spend your time: find an unpaid internship with training as your compensation, do volunteer work for a nonprofit, get involved in an open source effort, or start your own just-for-learning-purposes project.

Create social capital too. If you do lose your job or a major client, your next one may very well come through your online network of friends and associates. Your online social network can not only help find new opportunities just when you need them, it can also provide emotional support when you go through tough times. Not sure exactly how to go about creating social capital? Here are some tips for networking like a human.

For more tips on recession-proofing your career, see Robert Scoble’s article from December “Surviving the 2008 recession” and Penelope Trunk’s article posted today “Maybe there will be a recession. Here’s what to do just in case.”

  1. I or rather the position I have held in companies have been the subject of what I would classify as “mini” or “in-house” recessions. If anything my company had it’s “recession” last year but so far this year we are making greater strides and advancements in the first half of January than we did at least in the last quarter of last year.

    I’m currently a self-employed small business owner and I have pretty much been adhering the advice of the points above. We gotten either clients or made significant networking contacts through online social networking and being self-employed I am no longer bound to the environment of one employer but am diversifying my talents among many clients which for all practical purposes is like working for many employers. In fact one of my past employers is now a client. I don’t work for them 40 hours a week but they still need the skills of me or my company.

    while the economy may take a downturn in some places their is plenty of room for innovation and entrepreneurs in such a climate.

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  2. [...] venidera en EEUU. El segundo, en una línea similar, el blog Web Worker Daily brinda también maneras para poner tu carrera a prueba de recesiones. Con toda esa onda de pánico en el aire era difícil que no me sumara a la locura (he aquí mi [...]

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  3. Very useful information

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  4. nice tutorial !! i think my carreer is going to be fine

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  5. All good points. Especially that of building up the online persona – I was surprised, this week, to be asked to write a piece for an Italian magazine. And it was based entirely on what they found and saw on one of the blogs I maintain.

    Ultimately – if you work hard at it, the rewards are usually there. I said… hopefully!

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  6. [...] posted a great post about 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Career. This morning I am going to give you my own twist on [...]

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  7. Very well said. All of this information is important if you want to achieve any level of success. You must always be growing your network. If it is online or local doesn’t matter.

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  8. Don’t forget “Find a nice paying government job”. Not everyone is subject to recession necessarily. Many dismiss working for the government because of the “low pay” which is often wrong or mis-leading. Spend a couple of months looking for a new gig, and working for the Man doesn’t look so bad. Also, government jobs have often been viewed in the past as “behind the curve” but that is not true either. Where I am, we are early adopters and constantly stride to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not your father’s government anymore.

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  9. My husband just got laid off today. I’m working on getting him to look at improving his career, not just sticking to the same industry, which his father is telling him to do. I don’t think the quick and easy job is the right solution when it’s a field highly subject to recession (home decor).

    But we are doing a lot of networking and seeing what can be found job-wise.

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