Depending on what you read, some say Canadians are about to experience a recession and some say it’s already here. Generally, economists apply the term “recession” after seeing a negative GDP (gross domestic product) two quarters in a row so, under that definition, the earliest Canadians may experience another recession is in 2023.
In any case, anxiety levels are high and uncertainty abounds. How can jobseekers prepare for an event when we can’t even agree on whether it is coming or is already happening?
Thankfully, there are things you can do to prepare your career for a recession. Whether you’re looking for strategies to implement for yourself or to share with your clients, the following resources provide useful information for reducing the impact of a recession on one’s job and increasing the chance that one’s career is stable during uncertain times.
Background information on the expected recession and potential impact on the job market
Before we dive into career-focused strategies for preparing for a recession, it’s useful to first understand how this recession is likely to affect Canadians. Here are some resources that provide a sense of what to expect from the upcoming recession and how it might affect jobs and employment.
In clear, easy-to-understand terms, this article puts forth what a recession is, what causes it and how to identify one. This article explains why a recession was deemed to have taken place in Canada in 2020 until 2021, why one is likely coming in 2023, and how it may affect jobs and income.
Canada’s economy is already starting to shrink—and that could mean a recession is looming, economists say (Toronto Star) [Article]
This article explains how a recession is defined and provides relevant details to describe the current (August 2022) climate and anticipated economic situation in Canada, suggesting that Canada is not experiencing a recession yet but may in 2023. The article also explores the role the Bank of Canada plays in the possibility of a recession and explores which industries are most affected by a recession and why.
In a video and article, CTV News explores the nature of the expected upcoming recession. In a short video interview, Elke Rubach, president of Rubach Wealth, shares her insights into the upcoming economic situation in Canada. The article that follows explains that economists predict Canada will experience a “mild recession” and explores what that could look like for Canadians.
This detailed report by RBC provides a lot of information regarding when a recession is likely to occur and how the current economic situation is playing out in different industries and sectors across Canada. The report explores the different factors that are likely to cause a recession, including the roles played by the Bank of Canada, higher rates and inflation.
Resources for preparing for a recession and building resilience
The following resources provide strategies that career professionals and their clients can use to prepare their careers for a recession. More specifically, these tips can help professionals improve their financial situation, demonstrate their value to their company and be job-search-ready – just in case. In addition, some of these resources are designed to help workers boost their resiliency – the ability to cope with adversity and come out stronger.
This article by a self-proclaimed “older Millennial” is chock-full of vibrantly put tips and strategies to help you improve your financial situation and increase the chance of protecting your job during a recession. It covers the following topics:
- What is a recession
- How long does a recessional typically last
- How a recession might affect you
- 10 ways to prepare your finances for a recession
- Nine ways to prepare your career for a recession
This helpful article advises readers to network, develop their soft skills and update their resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. This resource goes beyond simply offering tips by also providing a multitude of links explaining how to do these things, including tools and resources such as LinkedIn Learning and this LinkedIn Live recording, with four tips on how to protect your career and stay ahead during a recession.
“Holding on to your job when the economy softens is a matter of cool strategic planning.” That’s one of the philosophies driving this Harvard Business Review article about strategies for keeping your job during a recession. While this article offers “only” three strategies, it also provides information from studies as well as multiple real-world examples to help illustrate how powerful these moves could be for your career.
While it does come with the risk of unreliable income, self-employment can also provide workers with more control over their work schedule, a back-up option in the event of job loss, and the ability to re-negotiate their rates quickly and more often compared to someone who has a full-time role with one company.
This PDF book – created through a partnership between CERIC and Life Strategies Ltd. – explores 10 useful self-employment survival strategies in detail. Please note that the facilitated e-learning course is no longer available.
Redirection: Work and Later Life Career Development (CERIC) [Research project]
While this research project on later-life career development and employment contains no direct ties to the topic of a recession, it can provide useful insights for workers who are considering postponing retirement as a way to increase their income in the face of a possible upcoming recession. This research can also help equip career practitioners with information, knowledge, resources and tools to help support the career development of older clients who wish to stay in the work force.
This project has resulted in the creation of a documentary featuring the stories and experiences of older workers as well as a companion guide, including a section on stimulating discussion with clients.
Resilience (LifeWorks) [Workshops]
Resilience – the ability to handle adversity and come out stronger – is a word that has become especially common during the global COVID-19 pandemic. It refers to a skill that can be very helpful, even essential, in the face of a recession.
Dedicated to supporting employees’ mental health, LifeWorks offers multiple resources designed to help employees develop their resilience. These include:
- An article with tips for building your resiliency through self-care
- Resiliency at Work: a one-hour training session that provides strategies for “thriving under pressure”
- Coping and resilience in the workplace: a two-hour session that explores different kinds of stress and the role resilience plays in supporting coping skills