6 Ways to Prepare for an Uncertain Job Market

Posted 12/14/2022 in Trends by Jen Lyons

Today’s job market isn’t just uncertain—it’s confusing. In August, CNBC reported that there were 11.24 million available positions in July, or almost two positions for every jobseeker. The talent market is tight, but we’re also teetering on the edge of yet another recession. Inflation is also impacting the job market; FlexJobs’ Career Pulse 2022 Survey revealed that 80% of participants’ career decisions were impacted by inflation. In a market where major tech companies like Twitter are laying off thousands of employees, it’s hard to feel truly safe.

It’s an intimidating time to seek a new job, but it’s also a vulnerable time to be an employee, with the looming potential of layoffs. So, how can you prepare for this uncertain job market? Whether you’re trying to find a new opportunity, or hold on to the position you already have, we have a few ideas:

  1. Assess the criticality of your existing role to the business

If you’re currently employed, now is a great time to consider how much your employer values your role. During hard times, like the recession many fear is about to begin, employers hang on to exceptional employees in key positions. 

You may feel confident that your position is business-critical and that you’re performing well—in this case, there’s likely no need to begin an active job search. However, you should still take the steps listed in this article to ensure you’re ready for anything.

Meanwhile, if you think your role isn’t critical, it could be a good time to begin seeking another position—either within your company or with another employer—that can provide you more job security.

  1. Stay engaged with your current manager and team

Workplace relationships are extremely important when employers are making decisions about layoffs. Prepare for whatever may befall your company and shore up your relationships with your current employer. This is a great time to focus on your performance and kick things up a notch if necessary. Proving you’re invaluable now could help you keep your job down the line if cuts need to be made.

  1. Keep track of your accomplishments

Your resumé should always be up to date. If you haven’t already been doing this, start tracking your professional accomplishments. If you use a company computer, make sure you have examples of your work saved somewhere you’ll be able to access them even if you are laid off and lose access to your work computer. Staying organized and being prepared will help you seamlessly transition into a job search and cut down unemployment time if you end up being laid off.

  1. Keep your network active

Networking is the name of the game, and it’s a great idea to stay in touch with professional contacts who could have a lead on your next position. Leverage your LinkedIn account and make a point of keeping in touch with important contacts via the site’s messaging system or email. If you do decide it’s time to look for a new position, make sure everyone in your network knows—someone may send you a great job listing if they know you’re looking, when they wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise.

  1. Keep an eye out for new opportunities

Even if you’re happy and feel relatively secure in your current position, it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes open to new opportunities or take a call from a recruiter. There could be something even better out there. Plus, the situation at your current company could change rapidly as the recession descends. You’ll be glad you kept your options open, even if you end up staying right where you are.

  1. Seek opportunities to learn new skills and grow professionally

Professional growth and acquisition of new skills will benefit you whether you stay in your current role long-term or end up looking for a new position elsewhere. If you stick with your current company, your additional skills and experience will improve your job security, and if you decide to take another job, they will beef up your resumé, giving you an advantage over other candidates.

There are no guarantees in today’s job market, but it’s always worth preparing to weather the storm. Flexibility is key, and by keeping your options open, you’re less likely to find yourself struggling to secure or retain employment. Employers are always looking for exceptional talent, even during uncertain economic times.
For more information about finding the right employer in these unique times, check out our Active Job Listings.