Do Recession-Proof Jobs Exist?May 7, 2020
It’s probably safe to say that you have heard the economy is in a recession or headed towards one due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Hearing about a recession may cause you concern about your job security, but you’re not alone. In these uncertain times, it can feel like no job is truly safe. But, in fact, recession-proof jobs do exist. If you are in college and exploring career paths or if you’re looking to change jobs, keep reading to find out about careers that may lessen your worries during a recession. And if you find yourself currently in a position that may be affected by a recession, there are some actions you can take to make your job a little more recession-proof.
What Is a Recession?
A recession is defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research as a significant decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months. The decline in economic activity is seen in things such as income, employment statistics, and retail sales. Unemployment can increase during a recession because companies are earning less money due to less demand and are unable to pay employees. However, there are some jobs that are considered recession-proof, meaning you are less likely to lose certain jobs during a recession.
If you are trying to decide what career path is right for you and want to find one that is more likely to survive a recession, take a closer look at jobs such as these below. Here are some of the best jobs during a recession:
- Healthcare Industry – Most jobs in the healthcare industry are safe during a recession because people will always need medical attention regardless of how the economy is faring. In addition, these jobs can be done in many different settings that allow for more opportunities, such as hospitals and doctor offices. The jobs most in demand are registered nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacists. The only healthcare jobs that may see some decline in a recession are those involved with elective procedures, since people may put those off until more prosperous times.
- Teachers and professors – Children will always need education and teachers will always be needed. Whether elementary, middle or high school, teacher positions will need to be filled. Becoming a professor is also a solid career path, although it will require an advanced degree.
- Law Enforcement – This can include officers, detectives, and crime scene technicians. These jobs are usually protected from layoffs because the need for public safety is not dependent on the economy.
- Public utility services – The jobs in this sector are in electric companies, trash services, recycling, and water services. These services are considered essential and will continue in a down economy.
- Funeral director – A funeral director is involved in planning all aspects of a funeral. While it may sound morbid, death is inevitable and, therefore, this is an industry that will not suffer as much economic impact as others.
- Firefighters – Similar to law enforcement, firefighters are an essential part of maintaining public safety. Fire inspectors and fire investigators are similar to this job.
- Judicial workers – In a recession, the court system will still be needed. Whether civil or criminal cases, jobs in the judicial system will continue. This can include judges, clerks, bailiffs, bail bond agencies, prosecutors and public defenders.
Recession-Proof Your Current Job
Unfortunately, some sectors of employment are more susceptible to job losses during a recession, such as jobs in the construction field, travel industry, auto sales, and retail sector. If you are in a job that is not considered recession-proof here are some ways to increase your chance of not receiving a layoff notice.
One important thing we’d like to note: If you have been laid off, it’s extremely likely that it had nothing to do with your talent or likeability. Unfortunately, sometimes companies have to make difficult decisions to layoff people that they normally wouldn’t. These are just merely suggestions for ways you can rock at your job:
- Learn new skills – Learning new programs and strategies in your field may help you move up the ranks in your company and show initiative to your bosses. This can translate to being a more valuable contributor to your employer, and thus, more likely to survive a layoff.
- Be a team player – A likable co-worker who helps contribute to projects would be an asset to the company rather than someone who just does the minimum required for their position. Become a team player by taking on more responsibilities even if they don’t fit within your position.
- Have a positive attitude – When managers have to decide who they have to lay-off they will be more likely to retain the employee who has a positive attitude about their job rather than an employee with a pessimistic outlook who makes the workplace a negative environment.
- Network – Build relationships with colleagues in your field. This will help if a layoff is inevitable at your company and you find yourself looking for a new job.
If you are in a job you love but it’s not considered recession-proof, the best thing you can do is take control of your finances. Two things that will make the biggest impact are: creating an emergency fund and reducing your finances. Start saving for an emergency fund and aim to build at least 3-6 months of living expenses. If you are trying to reduce your expenses, one simple option that could save you hundreds of dollars a month is student loan refinancing. Check out the student loan refinancing calculator to see if this may be a good option for you.*
A recession is out of your control, however, preparing for it in advance can save you a lot of worries. Whether you choose a new career path, try to recession-proof your current job, or just bulk up your savings, all of these are great options for preparing yourself for a less stressful future.
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