How does an upcoming recession affect your job search?

Feb 19 2008 in Uncategorized by Phil Rosenberg

While it’s not here yet, 9 out of ten economists agree…it’s coming. It’s likely to be official by late May.

How will this affect your career plans?

Since a recession is defined as 2+ consecutive quarters of negative GNP growth, we won’t know if we’re actually in a recession until we’re already there. After 4Q07 and 1Q08 final GNP numbers are reported (probably by late May) you should expect the “R” word to be a reality, according to a 2/13/08 New York Times article.

This post goes hand in hand with my tribute to The Clash last week – “Should I Stay or Should I Go“, discussing the decision managers and professionals make in deciding if they ride it out, or find a new job.

The good news is that there are there are lots of jobs out there NOW – the immediate job market remains strong.

So let’s say you’re miserable, but yet you see a recession on the horizon. What do you do? Where are your risks?

You have risks either way:

    Risk of staying:

  • If you are miserable, you won’t be performing your best.
  • If you are underperforming, and so is your company, there’s a bulls-eye on your back
  • If you don’t get along with your boss, the bulls-eye is there also
  • Risk of going:

  • Your chance of landing a comparable or better job decline during a recession
  • You have a limited time to land a job before the recession is official
  • When you do get a new job, you’ve got low seniority, so you’re at risk if the company has cutbacks

While this might not be the best time to just up and quit, without another job to fall back on, the job market IS still strong now. If you can do an all-court press on nights and weekends while still performing on the job, you can still land a strong career move now.

But you’ll want to move NOW.

So if you decide to make the move now…get going. Get your resume updated, make it relevant to today’s job market, and get it out there. If you have to keep things quiet, post a confidential resume with your name and company name as confidential.

And please…use modern techniques – individualize your resume to the job, forget cover letters, use key words, and include details over generalities.

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we’ll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar “Accelerate Your Job Search – tools you can use”.

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