A new J.P. Morgan economic tool indicates there's a one-in-three chance we'll have a recession in the next twelve months. As an HR and staffing professional for over fifteen years, I'm seeing four major trends indicating it's not a question of "if." A recession will eventually happen.

Every Job Is Temporary

If you've been in the workforce for the last decade, then one thing has become clear: no job is safe. Every job is temporary. For some, they've adjusted to this mindset (i.e. becoming freelancers), recognizing they're a business-of-one that must always be looking for their next customer. Yet, a large portion of the working population is living in fear of losing their full-time jobs. Unfortunately, that can actually make things worse. Here's why...

Fear Can Trigger Bad Behaviors

The founder of The Passion Institute, Sandja Brugmann, says "When we think of fear, more often than not, we view it as an emotion we'd rather avoid... It is a feeling that can be so paralyzing and scary that it automatically triggers our instincts to survive. Unfortunately, this can surface behaviors that are not in alignment with moving us towards our dreams and business success."

In short, trying to hold on to your job can make you do some short-sighted things, such as:

  • Keep your head down and try to fly under the radar at work.
  • Criticize and put other co-workers down so you can try to look like a rock star.
  • Stay in a bad employment situation that isn't advancing your skills and abilities.

What can you do to let go of the fear? Simple. Assume you'll be let go.

Embrace It's Not "If," But "When"

Knowing every job is temporary means building a gameplan for the day your job ends. There are three things every professional can work towards to help them let go of the fear of losing their job. There are:

  1. Always be networking. Today, your network is your net worth. The more you stay in touch with old colleagues and reach out and meet new professionals, the easier it is to mobilize a job search when the time comes. It's a lot  easier to say, "Hey, I'm looking for my next gig!" to people you've stayed in touch with.
  2. Have a six to nine-month unemployment fund. Back in the day, they used to call this the, "F!@# You Fund," for people who couldn't stand their job and want to quit. Today, it's never good to quit a job without another one lined up. Recruiters and hiring managers will assume you might do it to them. But, in the event of an unexpected loss of your job, having a savings cushion is key. The average job search in America today is estimated to be about nine months. Therefore, you don't want to be so stressed about money that you have to take any job you can get.
  3. Launch a 'hobby career.' When you take a passion and turn it into something that can earn you a little extra cash, you create a fun way to supplement your income. For some, that side job a/k/a a hobby career, can even turn into a full-time gig. Diversifying your income streams enables you to worry less should you lose your primary income unexpectedly. With extra time on your hands, you can immediately crank up the hobby career and have it earn you more.

The Best Defense Is a Confident Offense!

The way to crush your fears is to be confident in your ability to cope with what happens. Use the tips above and you can stop worrying about losing your job, because you'll be able to say, "I've got it covered."

Published on: Aug 9, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.