Recession-proof yourself |

Recession-proof yourself

Kathy Gamboa

Are we in a recession? Is it going to happen? What are the key indicators? All good questions that the experts can debate back and forth. While they figure out if we are truly in or heading toward a recession, there are a few things you can do to “recession-proof” yourself and your career. Take charge of your career and put yourself in good hands your own!

Review your skills: Are your skills up to date? This is a perfect time to invest in yourself. Education is the gift that keeps on giving! Take a class, sign up for a degree program that meets your needs, or simply attend a professional development workshop. There are a multitude of single workshops available as well as degree programs that fit the demands of working adults. Finding the right fit for you will help achieve success with your overall goal. The employee who reviews his/her skills and demonstrates not only willingness but their commitment to keep ahead of the curve is attractive to any employer. The workplace is dynamic and people receptive to change are a must! Ben Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Tune up that resume: The best time to work on your resume is when you do not need to use it. When you are actively seeking a job, you tend to put yourself in a job-seeking mode where you are likely to omit key pieces of your experiences and skills. If you can, invest in having a professional resume created. Professional resumes cost anywhere from $200-$600 but the cost is worth it! The benefits of having a professional create your resume, rather than doing it yourself, far outweighs the cost, and you can even take a percentage as a tax deduction. There are a few good books out there such as “No-Nonsense Resumes” by Wendy Enelow, so visit your local book store for more information. Resumes should not be a regurgitation of what you do. Rather spell out what you have accomplished and achieved in specific, quantifiable terms. Resumes should be written for the reader, knowing that it is a marketing document.

Look around: What are you doing? Look at not only the area but your industry. What is the market doing locally as well as globally? A strong analysis of the environment can always benefit your focus and at times, make the decision for you.

An effective environment analysis should evaluate the three levels of the:

* Internal environment

* Operating environment

* External environment.

The internal environment is comprised of the company, customers, suppliers and competition. The operating environment could entail new customers, competitors, products. The external environment would be the media, shareholders, financial markets, employees, technology, law, government and society. With effective analysis of these three dynamic areas of your industry and business, you can look forward and work proactively rather than being reactive in nature.

Become the innovator: Similar to the Terminator but with better people skills. Be progressive in the workplace think of ways to cut costs and generate revenues: Someone looking to innovate, eliminate excess and be progressive in the workplace is an employer’s dream! Get creative and see what you can do to improve output and reduce costs.

Born out of a garage in Menlo Park, Calif., Google provides 20 percent of their employee’s workweek toward creative

thinking. Employees are challenged to provide new ideas, innovative thoughts and new services. Services such as G-mail are a direct result of the 20 percent of the employee time directed toward creativity. Innovation Time Off or ITO can benefit your workplace if it is properly supported and quantified.

Network, network and then do some networking: With the multitude of organizations you can belong to and free meetings you can attend in the northern Nevada community, the more people you know and network with the better. Whether you belong to EDAWN, WIN or the Young Professionals Network, a solid investment in the business community is something that will pay immeasurable dividends, and future employers will be impressed to see your proactive approach to joining professional groups that in-turn, make you as an employee, even more marketable.

Kathy Gamboa is northern Nevada campus director for the University of Phoenix. Contact her at 770-2531 or


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