5 things you need to know to be recession-proof
A day doesn’t go by in Singapore without reading about the doom and gloom, the economic uncertainty, the Eurozone crisis, china’s inflation and the US government empty coffers. Even our PM is prepping everyone to be ready for what is to come and expect only a 1% - 3% growth in 2012. This is a forecast before any actual bad news materialized. During the 2009 recession, forecast was adjusted to a 6% to 9% contraction. We were ultimately hit with a 2% contraction.
Percentage aside, the upcoming events made many organizations very nervous and many have already begun implementing measures to control payroll costs. Banks are planning workforce cuts and others are enforcing unpaid leaves.
The chain of events that will occur will be beyond us but the obvious is life goes on and bills need to be paid. And if the down period stretches, the probability of finding a replacement employment will also be dented.
So if you are gainfully employed now, here are some tips that may help prevent you from getting the pink slip that your boss is preparing:
- Be observed doing the right stuff – Work ethics are important at all times and poor ones are viewed worse during bad times. No boss or manager, already mired in challenging macro situations, wishes to see his staffs’facebooking or tweeting away during office hours. If physical observation isn’t possible, copy him in emails of triumphant and constructive ideas.
- Provide solutions – Big or small, solutions are always welcoming and it shows your vested interest in the organization. Even small little things like changing a cheaper pen suppliers or a more cost efficient way to save on transport would show a great deal. It isn’t the actual solution that matter; it is the fact that you cared enough to think of one that is.
- Be the jovial spark – During my NS days, Basic Military Training days are the most demoralizing phrase as we are still acclimatizing to the regimental lifestyle while reminiscing the freedom that was taken away. But a canteen break never fails to cheer us up. Be the jovial spark to cheer your colleagues up. Morale in a company will be badly affected when layoffs occur and company would want to retain the spark that keeps the spirits high.
- Ask to help – Make yourself as irreplaceable as possible by moving beyond your job scope. Show that you can be there not just in good time but also the bad. Bosses need people like that to help steer the boat on bad tides.
- Network, network, network – Knowing more people have never, in any way, been a bad thing. And one connection you know in person is worth the thousand virtual ones online. These connections not only could possibly help to provide solutions (see number 2), they could also be links you can depend on if the axe were to drop on you. In a recovering market, companies tend to hire via referrals as that is the most cost effective option. The more referral you know, the higher the chances you have.
Adrian Tan, Managing Director, RecruitPlus Consulting Pte Ltd