Should You Change Careers During A Recession?

Many people are wary of changing careers during a downturn and for good reason.  It may be difficult to find work in a new field at a time when most companies are cutting costs.  Conversely however, perhaps a career change is actually a good way to cope with recession. 

If you’ve felt hard times biting – such as being laid off – why not try a different career path.  After all, chances are that if your company has let you go, other companies in that sector are doing the same thing with their employees.  This doesn’t bode well for your chances of finding another job in that industry. 

For Example….

The mining industry’s renowned boom and bust cycles, where companies hire during boom times then downsize during busts, demonstrates nicely why sometimes a career change is necessary, even during a downturn.  The constant cycle of hiring and firing in this industry has forced many to change careers after their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc bust.  Most have done so very successfully.  Unfortunately for the mining industry though, it means that when the next boom comes fewer people are willing to work in it because there’s no long-term job security.

Changing Careers For Job Security

It may not have occurred to you to prioritise job security when taking the job that launched you on your current career path.  However, job security is becoming increasingly important whether you’re considering a career change or looking for your first job. 

Whilst no job is 100% guaranteed, some industries do offer better long-term prospects than others.  This means that should you lose your job due to cost cutting or similar, you’re more likely to find another one fairly quickly.

Recession-Proof Industries That Offer Job Security

So, how do you choose the right career when economic times are tough?  One that not only provides job satisfaction but also offers long-term security?  The answer is to look at sectors that have proven themselves largely recession-proof.  These are industries where demand doesn’t stop just because there’s an economic downturn.  The list includes:

  • Healthcare and medicine – people don’t stop getting sick because there’s a recession. Quite the opposite in fact!  Stress, anxiety, and depression, and their associated health problems, often increase during a recession, brought on by uncertain financial and economic circumstances.  Therefore, healthcare (aged care, therapy services, nursing etc) and medicine generally are amongst the most recession-proof sectors to work in.  
  • Education – although this isn’t one of the best paid professions out there, teachers will always be in demand, regardless of the state of the economy. Children have to go to school.  Unemployed adults may be looking to further their education so they can find work.  Others may be looking to upskill so they can work their way into a position that is more secure.
  • Public utilities – demand for these services doesn’t stop during a recession so there is always a requirement for people in administration and maintenance
  • Financial services – financial professionals often stay employed during recessions because money must keep moving, even during a recession. Furthermore, businesses need to stay on top of their finances more than ever, so they’re going to be entrusting that task to trained professionals. 
  • Government and military – if you can land a job in these sectors, you’re usually more recession-proof than if you had a similar job in the private sector
  • Law enforcement and security – crime can escalate during recession; however, local and state government investment in community safety and security is ongoing regardless of economic circumstances
  • Emergency services – emergencies don’t stop during recessions; in fact, like crime, the chances of emergency events, like fires and accidents, can actually increase. A career in these services i.e. as an EMT, fire fighter, fire inspector etc is therefore usually more recession-proof than some others.

If you’re worried about changing your job or career during a recession, consider instead the many reasons why you should be considering doing exactly that.  There are a variety of career choices offering good job security, even during the toughest economic times.