4 Essential Job Skills to Have During a Recession

4 Essential Job Skills to Have During a Recession

There’s still a lot of economic uncertainty. A CivicScience poll taken earlier in the year estimated that more than one-third of Americans believe the economy has begun a recession. According to Forbes, the U.S. has already experienced two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product, which some analysts use to determine if a recession is already happening. However, the White House estimates that “trends in the data through the first half of this year used to determine a recession are not indicating a downturn.”

While recessions are a natural occurrence in any economy and are often unavoidable, job seekers and new graduates can take steps to prepare themselves for an economic downturn. 

Here are four essential job skills to cultivate to help weather a recession:

1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project management is a collection of several skill sets that employees in every profession should cultivate: 

  • Collaboration skills like communication, keeping information accessible and transparent, and interpersonal skills.
  • Technological skills that involve using various planning, tracking, and deployment applications to keep projects properly monitored and completed on-time. 
  • Problem-solving skills to keep projects on-schedule throughout changing timelines, budgets, and team members. 

While these skills are all valuable in themselves, Project Management Specialists are hired full-time to coordinate project budgets, schedules, and resourcing needs. To start their careers, many project management professionals receive a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and complete a bachelor’s degree in business or project management.

Our Introduction to Business course can help you learn the common concepts used in the private sector and give you a head start.

2. COMMUNICATION

Whether you’re working in an office, remotely, or in the outdoors, communicating with others is an indispensable part of your daily activities. Nearly every job that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists as the fastest growing in the next ten years requires a  high level of interpersonal communication and collaboration. When trying to match yourself to the right career, BLS suggests that “workers should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide and to read, write, listen and speak.”

Not only is communication important for your day-to-day work activities, it’s also essential when searching the job market. Writing a strong ré·su·mé, interview skills, and the ability to network have never been more important. 

Changes in technology have further broadened the communication skills workers are expected to have. It’s estimated that videos now make up nearly 80% of today’s internet traffic, and as podcasts and audiobooks gain popularity, audio communication is becoming more prevalent. Learning how to communicate across written, audio, and video platforms can give you a sharp professional edge.

To learn the basics of conflict resolution, negotiation, and interview techniques, consider signing up for our Introduction to Communication course.

3. COMPUTER & TECHNOLOGY

From collaborating with colleagues and giving presentations to delivering projects and conducting research, nearly all of today’s job responsibilities require a great deal of computer and technological literacy.

As technology continues to advance, the skills required to use it effectively are becoming increasingly demanding. Even within the same industry, different companies may use different platforms to create and share documents, hold meetings, and store information. Nearly half of the world’s population is now on social media, and companies host hundreds of millions of video teleconferences on Zoom, Teams, Skype, and other platforms every day.

As computer technology becomes commonplace in more industries, it’s also become more important for employees to become skilled in good information security, identify cyber threats, and conduct their own troubleshooting.

If you’re looking to take a deeper dive into information technology, check out our IT Fundamentals course.

4. FLEXIBILITY 

The U.S. economy is undergoing an unprecedented period of change. BLS predicts both wage and salary workers will stick with their current employer for about four years before they change jobs. Among 35- to 44-year-olds who begin a new job, 26% of those jobs ended in less than a year, and 61% ended in fewer than five years. Professionals change jobs—and entire careers—at a faster rate than ever before. 

In addition to increased frequency in job changes, new advances in artificial intelligence and robotics have the potential to further disrupt the job market for years to come. It’s more important than ever for professionals to remain flexible by adopting new technology, cultivating a breadth of skills and experience, and being willing to adapt. 

While gaining new skills is an essential part of any career, education expenses are often cited as the number one reason why professionals delay or avoid working on their professional development.

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