A recession is not a good time to be asleep on the stick. Most people get nervous in an economic recession but don't know what else to do--unless they're on the street looking for a new job.
Here are four important issues to stay attuned to in a recession:
1. Pay close attention to your company's business. What's happening to the firm's customers or clients, and what affect is this causing to your the company income and cash flow? Does it look like your firm is going to be fairly stable over the next few months? Is it time to take some personal steps to cover your personal career? Should you recheck your credit line with your banker? How much does the firm require your service? How relevant is your service to the company's market strategy and its customers?
2. Watch for personnel changes in the firm. Although a few firms actually recruit in a recession, lay-offs are more common. But look for other personnel clues. Are there managerial changes in the firm? If so, what do those changes mean? How might those changes impact your career? Do you need to realign your network, or build further alliances with other managers?
3. Nervousness or fear about your career can drive your own development. What skills do you need for success? And what skills should you be adding to your toolkit to make yourself more valuable to your company?
4. Do you have a knowledgeable network in place? Do you have a trustworthy contact in every department of your firm--someone who can keep you updated on significant direction or change? Do you have contacts that seem to have a sixth sense about company opportunities--people who can help you improve your standing and value within the organization? Do you have contacts that know not only the important rumors and gossip, but also have a direct line to employees who are really critical to the firm's success? Do you have a well-rounded contact who can help you make sense of the information out there and give you insights into how to use the information to your own advantage?