What can one do to recession proof their career? Is there something that can give people a safety net when times go haywire?
I believe that having a strong network of personal and professional contacts is an important part of securing your future. Establishing a good reputation with a wide cast of people is the key to uncertain times.
If you are known to be good at what you do, others will have the knowledge to send opportunities your direction. If you show up on their doorstep after you have lost your job, they do not have the background information necessary to become your advocate.
Greg Garrison, president of The Startup Staffing Group, a vcfo company, says that "networking is how you are going to find the best job the quickest." A staffing and recruiting industry guru, Garrison adds, "The more people who know you, the better your chances of being employed. The first place the a recruiter or hiring manager goes is to those they know".
Think about this for a moment - if you currently do not believe in networking or claim to not have enough time to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with those you meet in the business world, are you short changing your own future? You MUST network to ensure you have options if you experience a reversal of fortune.
I talk to people all the time who are out of work who did not believe that networking was important. When they see all the available jobs being given to those with connections they change their tune, but by this point it is too late.
A few years ago I was asked to have coffee with a woman who was "trying" to network. She had worked for a major computer manufacturer (okay, it was Dell) and had been laid off after five years. She had relocated to Austin for the job, and during her time with Dell had never made any other business connections in Central Texas. She had no network, but she did have a million excuses as to why networking had not mattered in her previous job:
2. Her territory was not Texas, so she did not focus on meeting people locally.
4. Her bosses did not care if she had a network.
6. She believed people you meet networking are just out to help themselves.
8. She traveled a lot for work, so was never in town to make connections.
If you want to recession proof your career, then you must dedicate a portion of your time make, grow and keep business relationships.
Have A Great Day.
**In full disclosure, the person I quote above, Greg Garrison, is a friend and co-worker.