What You Need to Do to Ride the Storm Out
Along with social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, making your career recession-proof is an essential element of protecting yourself during these uncertain times. Even before the pandemic, many economists saw a recession looming right around the corner.
Now, aided by COVID-19, the recession has arrived with a vengeance, with the economy shedding millions of jobs a week, countless companies shutting their doors, and whole industries undergoing dramatic changes in the way they do business.
Individuals in the IT industry are not immune from this economic fallout, even those who have yet to face furloughs or downsizing. But just as tech companies plan ahead for uncharted waters, so too should tech professionals. Planning means taking proactive, creative, and sometimes uncomfortable steps that can help you ride this storm out as well as any others the future may bring.
Here are four things tech workers can do to make their IT career recession-proof the proper way.
1. Raise Your Profile to Keep Your Tech Career Recession-Proof
Even if you consider yourself something of an introvert, as many IT folks do, now is not the time to keep to yourself. Instead, make this the time to build connections, increase your networking activity, and expand your circle of professional relationships.
Engage with colleagues both within and outside of your current organization, either directly or through social media. Contribute to conversations and dialogue about relevant topics and issues. Participate in webinars and other professional education programs, including acting as a panelist, speaker, or presenter yourself. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and other aspects of your online presence put you in the best light and contain the most up-to-date information about your career and achievements.
2. Make Yourself Uncomfortable
When things are going swimmingly, it’s understandable to want to stay in your comfort zone. Why rock the boat? But when the sailing becomes rough and you find yourself and your career battered by strong economic headwinds, getting out of your comfort zone may be the thing that keeps you afloat. (My apologies if all those sailing metaphors made you queasy.)
Going outside your comfort zone can mean many things. You can expand your skill sets and explore opportunities that you may not have considered under normal circumstances. If you are out of work, use that found time to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology and the industry. Even outside of the professional context, trying bold, new activities that push and test you can give you the confidence to do the same in your career.
3. Be Agile and Open to Change
People tend to be creatures of habit, even in the always-changing world of IT. But now the world itself has changed in ways that seemed almost unimaginable just a short time ago. You need to recognize that the way you’ve done things, the way all of your training and experience told you how to do your job, may not make as much sense anymore
Tech companies are rapidly redefining roles and responsibilities. You need to understand what drives these changes and educate yourself as to the direction the industry is heading to keep your career recession-proof. That means building yourself a business mindset, alongside your well-developed technical one. Stay up to date on industry news and get a sense of the big picture that frames your corner of the IT world.
4. Be Ready for New Opportunities that Can Make Your Career Recession-Proof
If you are fortunate enough to still be working at the IT position you had before the pandemic struck, you could just count your blessings, keep your head down, and do your job. But doing that will leave you vulnerable and unprepared if and when the economic fallout from the pandemic and the recession falls on you.
Keep an eye on top IT recruiting sites, job boards, and company career pages to get a sense of who is hiring and what positions are open. Be prepared to pounce on new opportunities by keeping your resume fresh and ready to send at a moment’s notice.
GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting the Right Tech Talent With the Right Tech Companies
Whether you are looking for a permanent position or temporary, contract-based work in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. In boom times, as well as times of economic uncertainty, we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape.
Contact us to speak with a tech recruiter today to learn more.