It seems like we just got out of the last recession. But the reality is that we are headed for another one. It probably won’t be as bad as the last one, but the fact that economies rise and fall is as inevitable as the seasons changing. For temporary workers, there is actually a fair amount to do to insulate yourself from a downturn in the economy and set yourself up well for the future. So whether you’re an IT specialist, administrative assistant, or industrial worker, here are 5 things that you can do today to set yourself up for success during a recession tomorrow.
1.) Acquire New Skills
Temporary employment is a great chance to learn new skills on the job. Building on skills you already have or simply learning something that you’ve never done, can help you compete when more people are looking for work. As companies favor specialized skills over general position to fill in the future, the more you can list the better off you’ll be. Document those skills and market them in the future.
2.) Build a History
While temporary staffing is often just that, the work history you are building with both your direct employer and the staffing agency is important. That history of employment shows initiative and proves your reliability. As a temporary worker you probably are working for a wider range of industries. HR directors and managers are likely to notice that you’ve worked in their industry so the more diverse your work history the better of you are.
3.) Staffing Agencies Are An Ally
Staffing agencies play many roles. They are the actual employer in a temporary work situation. But they are also career counselors, workplace advocates, and your ear to the ground in terms of employment trends in your area. In other words, they know what’s hot today, but they also know which industries may be vulnerable as the economy turns downward. Work with them to see what kind of long term trends are occurring in your area. They can tell you what may be booming now and what’s vulnerable in a recession.
4.) Diversify Your Own Economy
Most politicians and business leaders know the danger of putting too many eggs in one economic basket. Why not follow the same strategy for yourself? If you are finding temporary work in the same industry over and over, see if you can snag assignments in another. Work experience isn’t just skilled based. Employers often place a premium on work in their industry and hire accordingly. The more industries you have under your belt, the better chance one will be hiring in the future.
5.) Get to Know People
It sounds basic, but one of the advantages of temporary work is the mobility. And that means more chances to meet more people. A positive experience with someone, even in a very short period of time, can leave a big impression. Today, with a growing economy and low unemployment, most employers are happy to have someone show up to work. But an engaged worker, interested in the big picture is going to stand out? That’s going to stick in the mind when the tables are turned. A contact that might be hiring for your next job during an economic downturn could be the person you make an impression on today.