Five top skills to ensure you are recession-proof

Business Impact: Five top skills to ensure you are recession-proof

Whether you’re a business owner, leader or employee, there are things you can do to ensure you’re ready to withstand any economic crisis that comes your way. Find out what with these top tips

As the cost of living continues to rise in many parts of the world and spending steadily slows, companies are bracing for a recession and it is time to think about how to make sure you are recession-proof. 

A time of significant and widespread economic decline often leads to businesses going bankrupt and people losing their jobs. However, there are things you can do to ensure that you can withstand these difficult times, whether you are a business owner yourself or an individual keen to expand your employability. 

1. Broaden your knowledge base

Having a wide range of skills is a good way to ensure you are recession-proof, for both employees and employers. Those with broad knowledge bases are highly valuable in the workplace and being able to apply your various skills to your work or business is a recipe for success. 

Whichever sector you currently work in, being able to develop your skills in other areas ensures that if a recession were to hit your sector hard then you can branch out and find other work in different areas.

For example, if you are currently working in fashion retail or travel – two areas which are already seeing a huge drop in sales – then exploring other qualifications or undertaking professional courses helps expand your career portfolio. 

Careers in IT, law, healthcare, trade, utilities and education, however, are deemed by most experts to be recession-proof, as they are essential jobs no matter where the country is economically. Although government cuts can lead to job losses in some public sectors, your skills in these areas will still be needed and relevant to a variety of other job roles.

2. Stay on top of technology and project management 

Having an up-to-date knowledge of the latest business software can help you stay on top of managing your business, as a leader, or simply having an understanding of the core aspects of business as an employee. Project management is one of the key elements of business and being able to streamline projects through software means more time available to consider other business aspects, such as finance. 

The main software tools you need to know about are:

  • DevOps: This software combines software development and operations, making it a streamlined way to manage different aspects of business. Business owners can ensure that they are not losing sight of the bigger picture when faced with recession-focussed financial decisions, as it allows companies to provide for their customers quickly and easily. 
  • Agile Development (Agile): This provides a simple way for teams to manage projects and work together towards project goals. This is one of the most popular software-building technologies with around 71% of US companies using it

Agile and DevOps encompass a forward-thinking, modern thinking for business management, which allows businesses to learn and adapt quickly. This means that not only are they ideal for day-to-day operations and regular business updates, but also in times of crisis when the wider economic environment is forced into rapid change. Using DevOps and Agile could mean the difference between surviving a recession and losing your business entirely.

3. Manage Your finances 

Paying off high interest loans as soon as possible, making a realistic budget and ensuring that you are keeping an eye on rising costs to see where savings can be made are all great ways to ensure that you don’t end up worse off during a recession. When the economy is steady, and especially during the times when your financial situation is positive, putting more money into secure savings accounts is a great way to prepare for a recession.  

As a business this will mean seeing where savings can be made across all areas. By assessing spending now and critically assessing where savings could be made, companies can avoid later financial losses and redundancies when a recession is in full force. Making smart investments when the economy is stable can also help you prepare for the future. However, if a recession is speculated to be on the way then you will want to stave off large investments for now to ensure that you have the finances to carry your company through a recession should it occur. 

4. Stay in the know and adapt 

Even the most financially intelligent people can be caught off guard when a recession strikes, so staying up to date with the latest economic news is essential. Keep track of what’s happening in the financial sector and make sure your plans are adaptable when things change. Planning for a recession is great but having adaptable plans depending on the economic climate is the best option to ensure you are truly recession-proof. 

In terms of business, this can mean adapting to new ways of working, for example using new digital platforms, or needing to source products from different places depending on the current global economy. For individuals, this can mean adapting to new working environments such as working remotely or taking on different roles. This you can prepare for in part using step one, by broadening your skillset and updating your CV with a diverse range of skills. 

5. Network with the experts 

Finally, networking with other business owners, or with those in your industry can help you gain inside insight into what’s really happening and how other people are preparing for it. Seeking advice from the experts, networking with other people in your industry and getting input from others can help you decide the right course of action and when to take it. 

Networking can also ensure further job security, as well as support if you are hit hard by a recession. The term ‘strength in numbers’ comes to mind, as when a group of businesses or independent workers within an industry band together and support one another, they are far more likely to recover from a recession than if they are alone. 

In times of recession, everyone is impacted. However, there are ways to make sure that you are not struggling as much during the hardest times. By keeping a keen eye on finance, finding savings and paying off any loans as soon as possible, you can face the obvious issue of rising costs. Through broadening your knowledge base, streamlining your business and keeping up with the latest business software you can also become an invaluable employee or a shrewd business owner whose career can withstand the hardest of economic times. 

Devin Blewitt is CIO at ITonlinelearning.

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