There has been plenty of news about companies laying off workers and a hiring slowdown amidst the uncertain economic environment. Unfortunately, no companies or industries seem to be able to avoid this change in climate in the economy. Winter is here. How do you prepare for it?
Money Playschool asks Traven Teng, Global Recruiter at Tencent Singapore, about the best way to recession-proof your career. (Kindly note that the below are his sharing in his personal capacity and the views do not represent the company he works for.)
What’s the best way to recession-proof your career?
The fact that you are reading this article means you are eager to figure out the best way to recession-proof your career. As a recruiter with more than seven years of experience and currently at Tencent Singapore as its Global Recruiter, I’m ready to share with you the answer.
“Stop having the illusion that your career can be recession-proof.”Traven Teng
If the Singapore country manager of Tesla can be laid off, and if the many brilliant tech professionals in the growing industry can be affected, including those in the recent Twitter retrenchment exercise, then what makes you think your career can be recession-proof?
That being said, I’m not being pessimistic here nor asking you not to do anything. Always plan for a storm and be prepared in case a recession does happen.
I would also like to warn against the assumption that you already have all the strategies to survive a recession. Or worse, you will never be retrenched, or your company will not be adversely affected by a downturn. It is when you’re least prepared, that the damage will be worst.
Here’s what you can do in your career to better prepare yourself
Don’t get me wrong; there are still ways for you to get yourself prepared to be as recession-proof as possible.
Make a plan, give a good update on your CV/resume, brush up on your interview skills, and research more on the up-and-coming industries, be it blockchain, crypto or Web3.
Much has been written about the above, so I will not dive into the details. You can easily search for more resources on them online.
What I would like to highlight are the mindset and characteristics that recruiters and companies look out for in this rapidly changing economy and business environment.
The ability to pick up relevant skills and solve problems
You should constantly be upgrading and learning. Please do not only start planning only when you’re expecting a recession. You should get your umbrella ready even on sunny days. In fact, sunny days are the best time to prepare your umbrella.
Regardless of good or bad times, you should always focus on picking up relevant skills and knowledge to solve problems.
There will always be problems to solve. The types of problems, though, will change! Because the world is changing so fast, new challenges keep coming up. And some of these are new issues that have no past answers to refer to.
They require new ways of thinking, knowledge, and skills to analyse, understand and solve these new problems. Whenever there are problems to be solved, there is value to be created, and there’s when monetisation can happen.
You should adopt the mindset to learn new skills and knowledge regardless of good times or bad times. Because when good times come again, there’s still an undeniable risk. Plenty of jobs are at risk of being replaced by AI automation.
Hence, this is an opportune time for us to take stock of our skill set and to continue upgrading.
At this point, I would like to share with you a book I’ve come across that would be a great read this winter – “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder”.
The keyword is Antifragile, which is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.
While the recession cycle may not spare everyone, the good news is that there are still ways for you to INCREASE YOUR VALUE, even in recession times.
Keep learning to be a lot more resilient than before. That is one great way to work towards making your career ‘recession-proof’.
About Traven Teng
Traven Teng is the Global Recruiter at Tencent Singapore. Prior to Tencent, he also recruited for other Giant Tech Companies, including Alibaba/Ant Financial/Lazada, Google, ByteDance/TikTok.
Outside of his day job, he enjoys having career coaching conversations with those who wish to accelerate their career growth.
The sharing in this article is in his personal capacity and does not represent the company he works for.
Good news for Money Playschool fans!
Here’s your chance to receive a complimentary 15-mins Career Coaching Call with Global Recruiter Traven Teng! Please note that it is subject to availability, and it is for a limited time only.
You may book a session at https://forms.gle/zTXmdssYELmr1FNe6