In the last few weeks I’ve been looking at a bunch of job postings at my company to try to find a promotion. I’m hoping to take my career to the next level while increasing my income.

However, there is a big “recession” cloud looming over my head. I need to make sure my career is ready just in case the economy doesn’t get any better and we head into another recession.

With this potential recession in mind, I am doing two things to make sure I can make it through a recession with a steady income stream.

Be Valuable to Your Company

Let’s be honest: any job is expendable. With that being said, make yourself as valuable as possible to your company. The more valuable you are, the less likely you are to get that pink slip when the bad times roll around.

suit and tie

photo credit: JonoMueller

First, be great at what you do. My job does performance evaluations every year and I work hard to make sure I’m in the high performing group. If your company doesn’t tell you whether or not you’re a high performer, ask your boss. It’s as simple as, “What can I do to be even more valuable to your team and this company?”

Then do what he or she says.

Finally, understand the nature of your role. You might be the best person on the entire planet at making powerpoint presentations look pretty, but your company can survive with ugly powerpoints. On the other hand, there are certain positions that are absolutely essential to a company staying in business. If you aren’t in one of those positions right now, try to move yourself into one as soon as possible.

Have a Backup Plan

You can literally be the single most valuable person at your company, but that doesn’t mean jack squat when that company goes out of business. In scary economic times like today there are two things that everyone should do to prepare for the worst.

First, keep your resume updated. If you get canned today, you should be ready to find a new job tomorrow. That means having an updated resume and maintaining relationships with business contacts. You should have a network of people, both within your current company and outside of it, that you could reach out to if you were looking for a job.

Second, diversify your income. If I lost my job today I’d be in trouble, but at least I’d have the little bit of income this website brings me. I could also start freelance writing or using my skills to do odd jobs until I could find a new career. Having multiple income streams gives you extra money in the good times. More importantly, it gives you at least some money in the bad times.

Understand Your Risk Tolerance

It’s a scary time to be looking for a promotion because the last guy in is usually the first one out. On the other hand I can’t pass up the right position if the opportunity presents itself. I’m a bit of a risk taker and can handle the idea that I might be in trouble if a recession hits.

If the thought of losing your job scares the pants off you then it might not be the right time to look for a promotion (as long as your current job is a vital position to the company and you’re good at it).

Readers: What precautions do you take with your income to prepare for job loss, a recession, or some other bad situation?

Carnival Links

Canadian PF Happy Hour at Canadian Personal Finance
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
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Carnival of Retirement at Young Family Finance
Festival of Frugality at CashNet USA
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Yakezie Carnival at The College Investor