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Recession Preparation – How to Not Just Survive But Thrive in Uncertain Times

Some say a recession is coming. Others, particularly those who’ve recently been laid off, might say it is already here. While it’s impossible to predict what the future holds one thing’s for sure: times are uncertain.

We can’t stop a recession or control when it will arrive. It’s something we simply have to accept and make peace with. What we can do is prepare as best as possible for what might come, mitigate negative outcomes as much as we can, and focus on building habits and taking actions that won’t just help us survive a recession but thrive.

Here are some things you can do to help you prepare for recessions and uncertain times.

Finances

Finances are one of the biggest sources of stress during a recession. To protect yourself from future financial stress, start looking at your finances now. Some things to consider:

  • Start building and growing your emergency fund

This will give you a cushion to fall back on if you lose your job or have unexpected expenses. Cut down on unessential expenses and start saving so you’re not caught off guard if a recession hits.

  • Diversify your income streams

If you have multiple sources of income, you’ll be less likely to feel the full effects of a recession. This could include investments in e.g. real estate (rental income) or ETFs, starting a side hustle, offering your expertise to people or small businesses as a freelancer, or creating and selling online/digital products. Recessions can often be great times for investing and building wealth.

Careers

Whether you’ve lost your job or are worried you might lose your job, it’s how you respond to a recession that will determine your career success. You can see the recession as the end of the world or you can see it as an opportunity to:

  • Reassess your career – are you happy/unhappy? Do you want to change companies, change industries, change careers entirely or invest your efforts into being even more successful where you are now?
  • Evaluate your skills gaps – what skills do you need to learn and develop to achieve your career goals?
  • Invest in yourself – take a certification, go on a course, get coaching – whatever will help you to upskill and achieve your aspirations
  • Network – people will help you, promote you or hire you if they respect you, like you, and trust you. It’s the key to opening up new opportunities!
  • Update your CV and LinkedIn profile. Recruiters use LinkedIn more than any other tool to find candidates for jobs. Having a keyword-optimized LinkedIn profile can help your profile show up in searches.
  • Start a new venture – many successful businesses started during a recession. Think about all the problems a recession brings, and see if there’s one you’re passionate about or qualified to solve. Let your brain dream big!

 Job Searching Motivation

As someone who lost their job in the financial crisis of 2008, I know how hard navigating a job search can be. Not to mention staying motivated when application after application is rejected or gets zero response.

To stay motivated you need to put a proper job search strategy in place. Firing off CVs to any old job isn’t an effective strategy and doesn’t help bring a sense of achievement. By setting clear goals around whom you will target, how many LinkedIn messages you will send, networking events you will attend, what changes you will make to your CV and LinkedIn profile and so on, you, facilitate the feeling of achievement. Because your achievement isn’t getting a response. Your achievement is completing the goals you’ve set for yourself.

It’s easier to stay motivated when you see no matter the result, you are committed to yourself and your goals. It’s also crucial to stay hopeful. Hope is the belief that what you want is possible. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But at some point, it will happen. Believe in yourself, keep upskilling, stay up to date with the latest industry trends and challenges, and keep assessing where you can add the most value and aim your job search strategies towards there.

Build Your Confidence

When it comes to preparing for a recession, one of the best things you can do is boost your confidence. Uncertainty can breed anxiety and fear, which can prevent you from taking the necessary steps to weather the storm. Confidence comes from taking action. The more actions and risks you take, the more confident you become. Fail to take action and your confidence skills don’t get the workout they need to build. What you don’t use, you lose.

1) Acceptance

Start by accepting that there is uncertainty and that it’s okay to feel scared or anxious. These feelings are normal and expected during tough times. Acknowledge them, breathe through them and encourage yourself to keep moving forward.

2) Focus on what you can control

Confidence comes from taking charge of what we can control. Our spending, investing, job search, and job performance, show up as the best version of ourselves at work and home. Taking control of what you can control will help you to weather the storm and come out the other side even stronger.

Stress Management

The looming recession and now talk of depression have left many people feeling stressed and uncertain about the future. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed – you’re not alone. Stress feels bad and can impair our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. While I’ve written more about stress management in a previous article, here are a few quick tips to help you manage your stress:

1) Develop a morning routine

How you start your day will set the tone for the rest of the day. Research has shown that having a good morning routine not only enhances productivity but also leads to increased feelings of motivation, achievement, and self-esteem.

Start developing morning habits that will help alleviate stress. Meditation, breathing techniques, gentle yoga or walking, exercise, and journaling have all been shown to be effective stress relievers.

2) Build a support system.

Social support is crucial during difficult times. Connect regularly with loved ones, join a community or support group and/or seek the help and support of a therapist, coach or professional in the areas where you need it most.

3) Take regular breaks

Don’t push yourself too hard. This will only cause you to burn out in the long run. Regular breaks are good for our health and will help you stay refreshed and focused.

Be Resourceful and Maximise Your Resources

There are plenty of FREE resources out there to help you with everything from finances, to health, to relationships to job searching. A simple YouTube or Google search can help you find the advice or information you need. Make a note of all the resources available to you (including people and mentors) that can help you survive AND thrive during this time. Here are some articles I wrote previously which might help you when you’re feeling stuck.

Decision Time: How to make a difficult decision in 6 simple steps

Overthinking: How to stop this destructive habit in 9 simple ways

Feeling Stuck? How to get “Unstuck” in 5 easy steps

 

About the Author

Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.

For further information and inspiration, please visit www.zetayarwood.com or follow on InstagramLinkedin or Facebook

Are you a career-minded individual ready to not just survive but thrive? Contact me to find out how my coaching programmes can help www.zetayarwood.com/contact