5 Tips for beating recession in techical roles

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

It’s hotly debated whether we’re heading into a global recession or not; my personal view is that the economy is slowing down sufficiently enough to spur me to prepare for recession. Taking positive action now could soften the blow if such a disaster were to happen, and I’d confront it on the front foot. Below are 5 tips I’d like to share, gathered from a number of my colleagues across technical industries.

Tip One: Speak to your boss
This is at number one for a reason, it’s in my opinion the most important thing to do of all. Talking to your manager about a possible recession will give you an opportunity to air your concerns and to get feedback on how it might affect your department and organization. You may get insight into particular issues faced by your superiors, such as the impact of a reduction of sales or budget squeezing. Most of all it shows you are interested and aware of the threat ahead and that you’re willing and able to contribute to withstanding it.

Tip Two: Reconsider major expenditure in your organization
If your department is considering, or has chosen, to make any large purchases such as new software, new IT systems, etc. then get together with your colleagues and manager to reassess whether it is absolutely necessary. Can you live without it for a while? Is there an alternative measure you can put in place temporarily? Think outside the box, and try to hang up your own personal biases just whilst you consider alternatives. If you come up with anything that has legs, document it and present it to your department head. Whether the alternative is taken forward or not, it shows you are taking initiative and care about the future of your organization.

Tip Three: Push for training to widen your skillset
This might sound counter-intuitive, but read on. In hard times, organizations begin to freeze recruitment and also look at their staffing levels and consider laying off people in roles that are not central to the organizations continued core operation and folks whose role does not add immediate value. By widening your skillset, you can put yourself into a position where recruitment isn’t necessary, or that some roles (particularly those filled by contractors) can be made redundant. Training can be expensive, so you may need to strike a deal with your boss to ensure your organization gets value from it. Also consider offering to take distance learning and CBT based courses rather than residential courses which considerably reduces the cost.

Tip Four: Fortune favors the brave – be brave
This classic phrase has meaning in hard times. In my opinion, one of the most damaging organizational behaviors before and during an economic slump is inaction. That is, organizational resources are channeled into projects and initiatives that are not moving fast or delivering enough value rather than strengthening core operations and departments. You may know of things going on in your organization that are wasting time and energy. You may see projects that are slipping and will only slip further as recession bites. My advice – be a whistleblower. Speak up and say how it is. Be brave. Nobody will thank you later for saying ‘I knew that would fail’ – but you’ll be festooned with kudos for calling foul on initiatives that will go belly-up. Whats more, if you see colleagues loafing and lazing about, then deal with that too. They will only bring you down with them if not.

Tip Five: Polish your CV/Resume
Who knows what will happen? You maybe the unfortunate one who loses their job. It happens, and accepting this as a real possibility now means you can think about how you can deal with it later. Preparing a sh*t-hot CV now that sells you and your services can give you a head start on others who will be in competition for a dwindling number of vacancies.

Getting feedback on your CV is important. But still 62% of CVs submitted to recruiters from all industries are considered ineffective in selling the individual to their potential. Worst still in the IT recruitment sector, 72% of CVs fit this category. I am happy to review your CV and offer helpful advice free of charge – get in touch: simon@simonstapleton.com

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