It’s a complicated time to be a job seeker. With rising costs due to inflation, many are seeking new, better-paying jobs. But at the same time, a looming recession is leading to fears that a new position could be cut shortly after you’re hired.
To help you navigate the job search during these uncertain economic times, GOBankingRates spoke with Toni Frana, career services manager at FlexJobs and Remote.co.
80% of Working Professionals Say Inflation Is Impacting Their Career Decisions
A recent FlexJobs survey of over 4,000 professionals found that for the majority, inflation is affecting how they think about their careers.
“Inflation is certainly top of mind for the majority of today’s professionals and is currently impacting their career decisions, including whether to look for a new job with a higher salary or when trying to negotiate a higher salary with their current employer,” Frana said.
“What’s more, one-third of survey respondents cited inflation as being a ‘huge factor’ in their career decisions, while 46% said it is either a factor or a small factor,” she continued. “But while inflation pressures and recession fears can be concerning, we encourage clients and job seekers to remember that hiring still takes place even in times of economic uncertainty.”
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73% of Professionals Are Concerned About a Recession Impacting Their Career Decisions
While many employees are seeking higher salaries amid inflation, this desire to earn more is coupled with recession-related career fears. But even during a recession, there are ways to still land a new job that will meet your needs.
“The key to landing a job during a recession is to focus on what you can control as a job seeker, remain open to new opportunities and put yourself out there in as good of a light as possible,” Frana said. “In your job search, there are key ways to find employment during a recession that may just require you to restructure your search and find alternative avenues to market yourself to different industries.”
Specifically, Frana recommends following three steps.
1. Expand Your Options
“Staying open to industries and positions you normally wouldn’t navigate towards may be the key to finding a job during a recession,” she said. “Consider freelance, part-time, temporary and short-term assignments.”
2. Practice Patience
“Competition increases when there are fewer opportunities,” Frana said. “As a result, the hiring process may take a longer time than usual, and searching for a job during a recession means you’ll need to be as good a job seeker as possible to stand out.”
3. Follow Industry Trends
“During a recession, there will be layoffs and furloughs, as well as firings, but there are industries that will continue to grow,” Frana said. “Being in the loop on the latest industry trends and news will help you better assess, pivot and target your career search.”
More Tips for Navigating Your Job Search During Uncertain Economic Times
“Keep in mind that even in the best economies, a job search takes time and effort,” Frana said. “To find employment and avoid financial hurdles during this uncertain economic time, set clear and intentional daily, weekly and monthly goals to stay organized and on track in your search.”
To up your chances of landing a job, Frana recommends searching for remote jobs so that you’re not limited to positions based in your immediate area. She also recommends looking for nontraditional types of work, like freelancing and multiple part-time or side gigs.
“Know that these don’t have to be a permanent choice,” she said. “If history is any indicator, there’s a good possibility that remote freelance jobs will continue to increase, just like we saw in past recessions. When economic conditions become uncertain, companies often turn to freelancers when it’s not possible for them to take on a full-time or part-time employee.”
Because the job search can be more tedious in the current economy, Frana said that it’s important to practice “career resilience” — the ability to adjust to career changes and navigate all the ups and downs on your career path. To do so, she recommends the following tips:
- “Develop a strong, supportive professional and personal network, which can help you work through hard times and enable you to support others as well.
- Commit to lifelong learning that lets you take charge of your own career development and increases your resiliency and self-confidence.
- Think like an entrepreneur and know your career is yours alone to manage. You are responsible for charting your own path and building your personal brand. Managing it like a business gives you the power to set and achieve goals.
- Look at today’s setbacks as tomorrow’s opportunities, and think about how your career success may look five or even 10 years down the road.”
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