Past Issues

July 13, 2009

Recession Proof Industries To Consider

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Recession Proof Industries To Consider

By: Megan Pittsley, Job Center Manager and Career Advisor

While pretty much every industry feels the pain of the economy, some stand to fare better than others. If you're thinking of switching career paths, or have very transferable skills, here are some industries to keep an eye out for in your job search to plan for the tough times ahead:

1.) EDUCATION - Many people go back to school for further education to sharpen their skills and gain a competitive edge in such a highly aggressive job market. During poor economies many stay-at-home folks also return to the workforce. There are many businesses within the education industry from daycares to colleges. There are multitudes of positions available ranging from bus drivers to administration to teaching to maintenance, and even self-employed tutors or nannies.

2.) UTILITIES & ENERGY - While people are cutting down their costs in many areas of their lives, we all still use gas, electricity, water, trash, and the likes. These aren't going anywhere. Additionally, with shrinking entertainment budgets households are more likely to stay home and watch movies on cable and internet services. Keep an eye on renewable and other more cutting-edge forms of energy as well. Roles in customer service, management, administration, training, skilled technical work and more can be found.

3.) GOVERNMENT - While many governments have hiring freezes on currently, a variety of positions can still be found, more often in the state and federal arenas. Lets face it -- when the government runs out of money they know where to get it -- US! Not to mention the great benefits packages.

4.) HEALTH CARE/PSYCHOLOGY - With the largest population group in the U.S. aging, and everyone under stress, healthcare and related careers are still there for the taking. It's not only physicians who are keeping solid work -- nurses, assistants, technicians, medical records techs, administrative staff, counselors, and home-care candidates are in demand.

5.) SECURITY/PUBLIC SAFETY/MILITARY - In desperate times, people make desperate moves, which is why positions in the safety field stay solid. Positions within security, loss prevention, police, armored car drivers, alarm installers, and the military won't be going anywhere. There are also related administrative roles.

6.) SKILLED TRADES - Pipes will burst, cars need oil changes, and hair grows regardless of the economy. Vehicle technicians, beauty professionals, and other skilled trades can provide ongoing income if chosen carefully. Not only can you use these skills in your day job, but they're also very useful in making money for yourself on the side, when additional earnings can be necessary.

7.) SALES - Who's the last person you're likely to lay off? The one bringing in the money, especially if it's a lot of money. If you're the kind of person that can sell ice to an Eskimo, or can find an opportunity that involves selling products that people use regardless of finances, you're likely to score a good gig with some companies desperate for the sales.

8.) DEBT & LENDING - We live in a world where we borrow more than we can afford and pay for too many things on credit, making loans and debt collection a solid field. Collections reps, loan processors, financial counselors, and debt managers can find salvage in other's misfortunes.

9.) ACCOUNTING - When profits are low companies seek to manage their finances carefully, and constantly seek new opportunity for savings and tax write-offs. This financial scrutiny can benefit those in the accounting and bookkeeping fields who do the checks and balances.

10.) PETS - Our little lovable creatures still eat and get sick regardless of how pinched our budgets are. Veterinarians, pet stores, and related products/companies will still make it through.

While working in any of these industries doesn't assure you job security, just as finding an opening doesn't assure you'll get to the top of the thick application pile, it's a good start on what to keep your eyes open for while planning for the future.

Looking for a job during a recession can be difficult and frustrating. To help organize your job search efforts put an action plan together. Consider using the many online tools to save you time so you can focus on networking. Always make sure you cover all your basis and distribute your resume online, join social networks and connect with others that might help you get your foot in the door.

Megan Pittsley is the Job Center Manager and Career Advisor for the City of California and career advice blog writer.

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