Which are the best jobs and careers that weather a downtrend? Do you know which ones may not last?
When you’re in between jobs or just starting out, one wise move you can make is to consider work that may possibly be immune to economic shifts. And what exactly are these recession proof jobs like? Here are some things you should be looking for:
- Jobs that are in high demand,
- that require special skills,
- that continue to provide goods and services regardless of what goes on with the economy,
- that are found in specific industries that show resistance to downturns,
- that are offered by stable companies that have the foundation to weather financial and market cycles.
I’ve got my own personal story that illustrates what I’ve done to get through some tough economic periods: During the high tech boom of the 1990’s I took a lot of risks and jumped from one employer to another, eventually landing a job at a small startup that wasn’t making any money. But in the early 2000’s, I was one of the numerous casualties of the dot com bust. So can you guess what I did after I got laid off? After a short break, I decided to sign up with a mature, stable and large company that offered me a full time job. Gone were my days as a contractor as I no longer had the nerve to take chances with my paycheck. And there I stayed for a good long four years (the longest I stayed anywhere!) until I decided to leave on my own volition.
Goes to show that when you join a larger, more mature company, you will probably be the most secure as you can ever be as an employee, though there may still be no guarantees. But your risks of job loss are greatly reduced.
How Are Jobs Affected During A Slump?
For those of us on the lookout for work, I thought these additional facts would be helpful: the latest unemployment numbers released some weeks back indicated that certain job sectors were recently negatively impacted,
- Professionals: lawyers, architects, management consultants
- Transportation, Warehousing
- Few feds lose their jobs during a recession and most downsizing in the federal government is based on attrition, not filling vacant positions, rather than letting people go.
- Sales and marketing positions and others supporting them are fairly sturdy. Anyone who makes or saves money for a company will be relatively safe.
- Recession proof jobs are those that the population demands regardless, like healthcare and pharmaceuticals. People are getting older, people are getting frailer, and demographics of the population are aging. Biosciences, physical therapy, occupational therapy are recession proof, being in demand and requiring specialized skills.
- Even during boom times no job is fail-safe. But some industries are safer havens than others, experts say, such as education, health care, the federal government, clean technology, information technology, and sales and marketing.
Top White Collar Jobs During A Recession
So if you’re a high school teacher, health care worker or computer engineer, you may be in pretty good shape. This table, reprinted from CNN Money (in conjunction with PayScale.com), shows us which professions provide the best combination of attractive pay along with solid job security.
|JOB||GROWTH RATE||GROWTH* MEDIAN COMP||WHY IT’S SECURE|
|Financial adviser||41%||$74,000||As boomers retire, they’ll need financial hand-holding.|
|Software program manager||29%||$103,000||Someone has to prevent complex systems from going kerflooey.|
|Database administrator||29%||$77,000||See above. It’s good to be a computer nerd.|
|Physical therapist||27%||$67,000||The baby boomers’ backs and knees aren’t getting any younger.|
|Physician assistant||27%||$84,000||Managed-care companies love PAs: They’re cheaper than docs.|
|Environmental specialist||25%||$53,000||Ever heard of global warming?|
|Hydrologist||24%||$59,600||Water is in short supply. People get thirsty. Enough said.|
|College professor||23%||$79,000||It’s Econ 101: Demand for schooling is growing.|
|Certified public accountant||18%||$64,000||Thank complex tax codes and audit-hungry regulators.|
|Teacher||12%||$48,000||Try to get fired from this union job. Just try.|
Looking For A New Job?
If you’re job hunting right now, you may want to try these online resources to help you with your search:
- Monster.com: is one of the most visited web sites in existence and is the largest employment site out there. It’s an incredibly popular job search engine, which hosts job postings and resumes numbering in the millions.
- Job.com: a resource for local jobs, career advice and other services to manage your job and career.
- Executive Search Online: a leading nationwide job matching service for more experienced executives. Pay levels for these executive jobs are typically higher.
- Beyond.com: an extensive career network that’s set up as a community of niche sites in various industries.
- ResumeEdge: a resume editing resource for those who need a little help writing a high quality resume and / or cover letter. They are the leading provider of resume writing services online and the chosen resume partner of well-known job sites such as Yahoo! Hot Jobs, CareerJournal and Dice.com.
- Resume Rabbit: a resume distribution service that submits your resume to top online job banks such as Monster, HotJobs, Career Builder, Dice, etc, as well as job search engines.
- Snag A Job: a tool to help you find hourly jobs. This job site specializes in finding part-time and full-time hourly jobs.
- Yahoo Hot Jobs: a popular online job board.
For more ideas, check out this article that lists 25 careers to pursue during a recession or this piece I wrote last week detailing the steps you can take to recession proof your job and career.
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