During the times of economic hardships, we all have one thing on our minds. How do I find a job that would last me though a recession? Is there such a thing as economy proof career? If you lost your job during a recession, you know exactly what I am talking about. I had to learn this the hard way as I was in college when the first economic recession of the 21st century hit our market – the dot com crash.
It was 2001 when I was studying graphic design during my first year of college. Suddenly the internet market crashed, and I lost my internship position as a web designer. I was at loss and started wondering if graphic design was the right career choice. My big dream at a time was still to work in film and make special effects because it just sounded cool. I also enjoyed graphic design a lot.
I spoke to a few of my connections in the film industry. They assured me that the industry was “economy-safe.” Convinced that graphic design was not a stable career choice anyway, I pursued film. Then the post-production industry crashed in 2012, leaving me without work. In the end, I changed my career. The economic shift had something to do with it, but it was not the main reason. I really learned my lesson when it came to going after what I perceived as safe.
Does an economy proof career really exist?
Is there a career out there that can ensure you will stay employed, or at the very least, employable, when the economy crashes? And if so, what career is that? You would think people will always need medicine. For as long as I have known, nurses have never had trouble finding jobs. In fact, they are frequently in high demand. I remember a time in Canada, though, when too many people decided to pursue nursing careers for that very reason. A few years later, there were so many nurses in British Columbia that many of them had trouble finding employment.
Unfortunately, economic instability can affect virtually any career or industry at any time. None of us can predict the future. Any position that seems to be in high demand now can become almost obsolete under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Does that mean that no career out there is economy proof? Not exactly.
What does “economy-proof” really mean?
You see, I got it all backwards when I was in college. It only took me ten years and a couple of career changes to realize that. And I am sure, many people have shared my opinion. If we look back, the internet market has been flourishing, nurses are back in high demand and real estate agents are very much thriving again after the 2008 recession.
Most industries and careers experience ups and downs from time to time. That does not mean you have to be at the mercy of the circumstances. I am all for career change when it makes sense, but it is not always the answer. It doesn’t matter what career you choose, as long as you choose what you love.
The key is to become so good at what you do that you are indispensable. And that can only be possible if you are deeply passionate about your work. No matter what you do, if you are one of the best at it, you will be the last one to go when your company decides to downsize. If you do get laid off due to other unforeseen circumstances, you will have no trouble finding another job right away. And when the economy makes a sudden shift, you will find a way to get through the hardship and come out much stronger than before.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.