Let Recession Be a Motivator for Your Career Progression

Career expert Aisha Taylor tells you how to revive your career despite challenges

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In a period of economic downturn, the recession has left many of us discouraged and fearful of what our futures hold. Many professionals and business owners have faced layoffs, closures, and economic hardship. While there has been slight progress in our economy, many African Americans are still trying to recover from the detrimental effects of this downfall.

The good news is that there is still hope that lies within each of us. Our response to this recession can’t be one of surrender or defeat. Instead, we must look the recession in the eye, and boldly proclaim that “failure is not an option.” An assertive, proactive, and hands-on reaction to the recession is one that is most likely to generate positive results. Consider these options to face the recession with courage and come out on top:

Multiple streams of income. Entrepreneurship, even in this poor economy, is still a great way to create additional income. Consider turning your love for baking or your passion for children into your own small business. Many customers are turning to small businesses, and away from the larger corporations, for more affordable, one-on-one service during these hard economic times.

If you’re an expert in a particular industry, also consider consulting, freelancing, or blogging to generate added revenue. Visit Allfreelance.com to find freelance jobs and post your services.

Consider a career change. Even in a recession, people are still being hired. If your current industry is downgrading or experiencing a slow-down in hiring, consider switching to a career where there is still a high-demand. Careers in healthcare, pharmacy, computer software engineering, and meeting planning are among the list of “30 Best Careers in 2010” as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

Many professionals who have worked in the same field for an extensive period of time feel like they’re too old to start a new career, but it’s never too late to switch gears. Many times, the effects of a recession are just the boost we need to pursue that dream we’ve been putting on hold.

Enhance your education. It’s the perfect time to pursue the education or training that you’ve always wanted. When things are great in the economy, many of us aren’t thinking about going back to school. But when we get laid off and aren’t as qualified as our counterparts, we realize that education is an essential component to our careers.

So, consider responding to a layoff by using the free time to get a degree, enrolling in a continuing education program, or taking a refresher course to enhance the knowledge you already have. Furthering your education makes you more marketable and increases your qualifications.

The best thing about a recession is the knowledge that it will end. But in the meantime, respond by actively pursuing endeavors that will make you more money, more qualified, and bring you more satisfaction. The recession only has the power over our lives that we give it. So, take back the power, take matters into your own hands, and refuse to be a negative byproduct of the recession. Great things are in your future. You just have to believe!

Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.

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