I would love to tell you that you can recession-proof your career, but in the coming age of automation, it doesn’t look great. The best thing you can do is fight for basic income and pray for mercy from our Chinese AI overlords.
You don’t believe me? You want a specific way to recession-proof your career without worrying about an apocalyptic future where we take direction from titanium overlords?
Fine. The best thing you can do is have more than one skill.
If you work in HR, for example, there’s no reason why you can’t pick up some marketing skills. If you work in marketing, learn how to hire people. And if you work in sales, learn how to be a line cook at Waffle House. They’re always hiring.
(I’m not kidding about working in a restaurant, by the way. Most of the job growth in America is in the service and hospitality sectors. And while we’ve automated much of the kitchen, franchise operators still need people to show up and serve food. Right now, at least.)
The bigger point — finding a different, monetizable skill than the one you already have — is an important one. Specialists are great. When there’s money laying around, companies will compensate workers for specific and unique needs. But, as layoffs loom and businesses try to squeeze blood from a turnip, it benefits all employees — from HR to logistics to procurement — to take a personal inventory and diversify their knowledge, skills and abilities.
So start thinking about what’s next for you. Get certified as a project manager. Take some accounting classes. Learn how to be a massage therapist. Do whatever it takes to develop an additional skill so that your career — and your life — is recession-proof.
You might just have a chance against the robots.