Economic Slowdown and Your Career: Strategies to Keep Afloat


Global economy began to stall back in the spring of 2015, and economists marked down forecasts for 2016 even further. Most of them believe we have entered into a recession, which is technically defined as two consecutive quarters of negative total economic output. The effect on job seekers is significant and may extend well beyond the near term.

When the economy changes, your approach to the increasingly tight job market has to change as well. You can give yourself a competitive edge by taking decisive steps to assess your own career goals and potential, know more about the job markets in your field, and find a well-rounded approach to getting on with your life.

Take a Tip from Big Brands and Brand Yourself

When you’re trying to get a foot in the door of a tight labor market, you may want to develop your own brand, much as marketers construct a carefully thought-out image and campaign for products. You can begin the process just as an advertising agency plans strategy. The challenge is to capture the essence of what you have to offer, create interest and enthusiasm for it, and enhance your image in the business world.

You may not consider yourself a hot commodity, but you can be sure that most employers view productive, reliable, congenial workers as worth pursuing, regardless of the economic outlook. Honesty is as important in planning for your own “marketability” as it is in advertising a car or a line of laundry soap. List your best qualities as both an employee and as an individual. These are the qualities you’ll want to highlight in a resume or interview. Then list the qualities you might like to change.

Next, construct a “mission statement” for your plan to market yourself. Companies with powerful mission statements and employees that embrace these statements walk the walk and talk the talk. If you write down your mission statement and use it to define your goals, then you’ll be able to move your dreams closer to reality.

Constructing a personal “brand” can be as simple as listing your assets and coining a “slogan” for your own goals. This kind of introspection is often the last kind of activity you’re in the mood for if you’re concerned about the economic effects of unemployment, but it can help direct your goals and project the kind of image you want to prospective employers. Brand success asks you to think about your brand in this very intense, obsessive way: writing it down, talking it up, and putting it out in the universe to fulfill its destiny. But once armed with a strong set of skills and a distinct employment identity, the biggest question for many job seekers is how, exactly, to find the best possible market for their skills and goals.


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