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10 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Job Search

All the uncertainty in the economy can easily rattle a job seeker's confidence. But experts say it's important to stay calm and think strategically.

"A recession doesn't mean there's no opportunity for work, it just means you have to think differently. It's a detour; the highway is closed but there are a lot of very interesting and scenic back roads-some of which may turn out to be faster and more enjoyable," says Bill Coleman, Chief Compensation Officer at

For a look at companies who are hiring, check our listings right here on And consider these tips as you launch or continue your search.

  1. Focus on industries that are less likely to be affected by an economic downturn - such as health care and education. Hospitals and schools will still be serving their populations. Even if your background is in another industry, there are often ways you can parlay your skills to one of these fields.

  2. Consider taking a position that you are over-qualified for. It's a way to get into a company and prove yourself so that when the economy is looking brighter, you'll be in line for advancement.

  3. Look for opportunities to propose a "contract" solution to a company's recession employment needs. A company may not be hiring people on staff or it may even need to lay people off, but it still needs to get work done. Could you propose doing a project on a "contract" or "freelance" basis? You'll get paid an hourly rate or a flat fee for your work, but usually will not receive benefits. But it's a way to establish a relationship with an employer that could pay off when the economy turns around.

  4. Consider temping. Some professionals consider this to be "beneath" them - but it can open up a world of possibilities. You get to experience a company's culture before deciding whether you'd like to work there. It helps fill your immediate cash flow needs. Plus, some temp agencies offer benefits to full-time employees.

  5. Cast a wider net. Prepare 2 or 3 different resumes to highlight different skill sets so that you can apply for a wider array of jobs. For example, if your background is in marketing, you might be able to position your experience to make yourself an attractive candidate for a sales or public relations position.

  6. Networking, networking, networking. It's almost as trite as the real estate adage location, location, location. But it's just as tried and true. Talk to EVERYONE you know - even if they are not connected to your industry. You never know who might have a cousin or a friend of a friend who might be able to help.

  7. Seek professional guidance. Go to employment agencies or your state's employment office. Keep an open mind to positions that you may not have previously focused in on. They might be a way to get in a door and set out on a path that could lead you to your ultimate career goals.

  8. Consider self-employment. If you have a skill or a passion, think about whether you could turn it into a business without substantial start up costs.

  9.  Look to the Government. Local, state and federal governmental agencies arefacing a labor shortage, as thousands of their workers are retiring. Look into a department that is related to your work experience or a hobby or passion. For example, if you've always loved the out of doors, the Forestry Service might be a good place to start.

  10. Think about re-wiring. If you can afford it, now is a good time to go back to school to get that extra credential or prepare yourself for that career change you were thinking of making.


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