There’s no hiding from it. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to hear someone talking about the recession and more specifically, the recent record breaking numbers of unemployment in the U.S. Yours truly wasn’t even recession proof – but there’s got to be some sort of light at the end of tunnel, right? Well, there’s no reason to wait until you get to the end of the tunnel. With the staggering number of people that are getting laid off, we all need to remain vigilant on what could happen and take the necessary steps to be ready if it does.

These steps have helped me immensely as I go through this phase of my career and I hope it does the same for you (though I hope it doesn’t reach that point for you):

  • Connect with people - Network your butt off and build positive, mutually-beneficial relationships. I can’t preach this enough as every day, I am thankful for my network and the people I’m truly able to call friends. Twitter is a great starting point to connect with like-minded folks and build those relationships. Taking it to the next level, make your way out to tweetups and conferences. They not only helped solidify the relationships I already made online but was able to meet many more smart people in the process.
  • Keep your resume current - This should be a no-brainer. No matter if you have a solid job or not, always keeping your resume up-to-date is critical. Competition is fiercer than ever and though your qualifications matter, getting your resume out quickly is also key. Additionally, keep your LinkedIn profile current. Job seekers aren’t the only ones Googling names. Employers are doing the same to see what type of presence you have online and at the least, what your LinkedIn profile says. Here are some more tips from Chris Brogan on making LinkedIn work for you.
  • YourName.com – If you haven’t done so already, reserve yourname.com now. Seriously. Go to 1and1.com or your domain provider of choice and scoop it up. I admit, not everyone has to be a blogger, but I’d recommend at least making a static page with your elevator pitch, a picture of yourself, links to all of your networks and ways to contact you. This way, employers have a one stop shop to your entire online presence.
  • Network when in need - This ties in with my previous point of connecting, but takes it a step further. The work you put into connecting with folks in your industry and building those relationships comes into play here. Lean on your network and let them know your situation. You might be hesitant to tell people, trust me I was, but there’s no shame in asking for help. The people that you can call upon to read your blog post will undoubtedly be willing to help in your time of need.



I can honestly say that following these steps prior to going through the latter (and during) has definitely helped me in my search and connecting with even more people than I would have without. We all pray that none of our friends or family will have to go through this but if it does happen, I hope tackling these steps beforehand will make the ride a bit smoother as it has with me.

These points were what I found most helpful but I’m sure there are other ones that people can benefit from. What tips would you recommend?

Spread the word or voice your own through the options below!

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14 responses to “how to kick the recession in the butt”

  1. Some very wise words Sonny. I’ve been enjoying getting to know you.

    You have the talent & passion to make social media work. Hang in there – we’re here for you!
    Connie

  2. @Connie – Appreciate the kind words. As I told you, you epitomize the meaning of a Community Manager but more than that, a great person that just loves to connect with people. Cheers to that :)

  3. Hi Sonny,

    Excellent advice, all, especially the last one. Too many people forget that those in their network want to provide help & support–but you first have to ask. I’d add one footnote: job loss (or losing a major client, which can have a similar economic impact) can sometimes be liberating once you get through the sucker-punch phase as you find the world opening up to new opportunities you may not have thought about before.

    Best, Daria

  4. A great list Sonny! I would just add that people shouldn’t wait until they are laid off to start networking (a lot of people do this). Networking is important all year round and throughout a career.

    Sonny you are a talented marketer and social media professional and I know a great company will scoop you up soon!

  5. @Daria – You are totally spot on with your footnote of job loss being liberating. It’s been a positive experience and really feel it’s the start of a new beginning.

    Appreciate your thoughts!

    @Beth – Well, this coming from Mrs. Networking herself, picking up clients in airports ;) Such the truth though. If you take anything from this, make sure you’re constantly networking and expanding your network every day.

  6. Good advice! The number one thing I would say is maintaining a positive attitude. It seems like once you get all down and negative, the problems snowball from there.

  7. @Renkai – No doubt about it! Not to mention well wishes from friends & family, which is the best support you could ask for.

  8. ABN = Always Be Networking! Not rabidly mind you, but constantly searching out new people, reaching out to old acquaintances, and continuing to stay in touch. I left a job of 13 years 19-20 months ago, and chose one of three positions that came about via my constant conversations with people via LinkedIn. All 3 positions were essentially created or modified by me as a result of having side-door entries into these organizations that completely bypassed the “normal” channels.

    Just started a new company 3 weeks ago, already working with (or will be – knock on wood) several people as clients, headed into 2009, who I’d known in virtual or real life (if there’s a distinction) and am connected to via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or my blog.

    But if I hadn’t already built up both the network and “social capital” – I wouldn’t be nearly as fired up to be launching a new company in the middle of a recession/depression/not-happy-economic-time. :)

    Highly recommend reading “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi, BTW. He is WAY over the top, but if you don’t find a dozen tips in there that you can apply at WHATEVER level of energy you care to apply to it, I’ll eat a copy of the book. Borrow it, read it standing up in the bookstore, go to the library, etc., but take a peek. Reach out to people, make it clear that you’re not robotically amassing a network, but are reaching out for a reason, and with a clear topic/thought that connects you, and you’d be surprised how opportunities can arise. Please don’t do “cold call” networking however – you’re a person, they’re a person, and being the creepy networking guy is not a great role to play. Be positive, be genuine, and see how you can help THEM while you’re at it.

    One connection at a time, and before you know it, it adds up to a ton of connected individuals.

    Cheers!
    Dan

  9. I really do hope people adhere to this advice. Now is the time to get your plan B in motion and really focus on career security. Job security is not the name of the game any more. I can attest to the power of connections. I am in the process of signing a publishing contract that I would not have in hand were it not for a wonderful person I met via twitter.

  10. Excellent advice, Sonny. I think always networking and building your social capital for times like these is the best thing that one can do. Hopefully, we both will make a smooth and fast transition to life’s next adventure!

  11. Sonny,

    All very good suggestions (I have a similar unpublished blog post I’ve been working on too.) Many of which I’ve been building over the past year: yourname.com, resume, Twitter, networking on Social Media and industry sites. Building your network is key. Start sooner rather than later. It takes time, but it is worth it in the long run.

    Don’t forget your local clubs and associations for networking. I.E. local small business chapter, young professionals club, marketing, sales, and teaching clubs. There are plenty local associations for just about every industry. Heck, even Toastmasters International! Get out, network, and stay current.

  12. great post sonny!

    your tips are spot on and in fact another indication that the idea behind my new blog http://markwherehismouthis.typepad.com is not completely crazy (although they are certainly many naysayers still around)

    i have been hit by reality a couple of weeks back myself when my employer asked me to take 3 month unpaid leave. although this was certainly a sudden wakeup call I decided to kick the old rules of job searching in the bin (old rules = exclusively using cover letter, cv and recruiters) and have set myself a little challenge over the next 4 weeks (attracting 3 job offers by the 26th of jan by using the *new* rules of finding a job) which I hope will ultimately prove beneficial to ALL people who are looking for a new assignment

    your writing gives me further inspirations and ideas. thank you for that

    christoph niebel
    christophniebel at gmail dot com

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