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How To Avoid Job Loss In a Recession

Updated on October 29, 2013

Essential Workplace Skills for High School and College Grads

First, it is important to finish one's education, whether it is a high school diploma, a GED, or a certificate or college degree of some level in your chosen field. It is increasingly harder to find a job in the 21st century without at least a high school diploma or GED.

Most recession proof jobs require either a vocational training certificate or a degree. Aside from that, workers need to keep up especially with their reading, writing, and mathematics skills in order to succeed in the world of work. Recessions tend to shine the light on those that do not do so.

Computer skills have been important since the rise in popularity of computers in the workplace. Nearly everyone needs computer literacy.
Computer skills have been important since the rise in popularity of computers in the workplace. Nearly everyone needs computer literacy. | Source


First, you need to be able to read English at above the 10th grade level and to use perfect grammar on your job.

Remmber that just because you graduated from high school or college does not mean that your reading skills are as high as you think they are; or that they will stay that high -- Newspapers are targeted at only the 6th - 8th grade level. Romance novels are 6th grade level. What do you like to read? Try to expand your reading interests if you are not already reading daily.

In addition, increasing numbers of employers require workers to be bilingual - in the US; this usually means Spanish in addition to English.

Business clients/customers and your boss do not want to hear slang and poor grammar. It is disrespectful to use it to them. This is true in person, on the telephone, and in online communications.

A report or memo for your job is totally not a text message -- Employers want workers who can produce well-organized written reports with no spelling or grammar mistakes, using full sentences that are meaningful and flow well from one to the next.

Anna Post - Communications

Customer Service

Everyone needs to know how to deliver good customer service. Your boss is your customer, because his company is buying your time on the job. Your company has clients or customers as well. If you won your own business, you certainly have customers and clients.

Use good manners -- Not "Whatzup?" Use good eye contact, a smile, and proper manners.

Be accessible -- Those you serve must be able to get a hold of you, if they have a question or they need service. Provide enough contact information: email, phone, mail, fax.

Respond in a timely manner -- Return all phone calls & emails within 24 hours or sooner.

Listen to customers -- Take the time to listen to those you serve.

Treat customers with respect -- Even if the customer is rude, don't lower yourself to his level. Learn how to diffuse a bad situation or take a class to learn this skill.

Don't argue with customers -- You don;t win arguments with a customer. Diffuse the situation. Then ask what they want and deliver it if you can.

Honor commitments -- Do what you say you will do. IN fact, give extra service to beat your competition.

Focus on growing customer relationships -- Sales & business will follow from good customer service, from repeat business, and referrals from satisfied customers.

Be honest about your products, services and time required to deliver.

Admit when you make a mistake and find out how to fix it fast.

Taking Care of Customers

Backing Down an Angry Customer

Information Technology

Some jobs require more technical skills, like programming language. However, even non-technical jobs require computer skills. Everyone needs to know:

  • Word Processing & Editing, including Spell-Check
  • Email
  • Internet Research Methods
  • How to look things up in directories and books
  • Database organization and search on Excel
  • How to navigate and read a PowerPoint presentation
  • How to use a cell phone and a pager

Soft Skills Very Important in a Recession

Leadership - What is it?

Companies lay off upper and middle management and expect leadership within the lower ranks themselves. This link tells you haw to work on those skills: Manager or Leader?


This buzzword is so overused that it is getting old -- Employers want employees that produce tangible results within a team. You have to get along with others, meet deadlines, and work extra hours when needed.

Your part-time jobs during school and summers and your extracurricular & volunteer activities should place you where you work with other people in order to achieve goals. This will help.

Independent Thinking

Employers want people around them that can work independently without having to be told what they need to do every day.

You need to be able to accept instructions and then carry them out. Figure out what you can and then ask for help by using specifi questions.

Adaptability and Ability To Accept Change.

Team members and supervisors are just passing through, because everyone wants to move up and out. Learn to adapt and succeed.

Tools against the recession.
Tools against the recession. | Source


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    • interviewcoacher profile image

      interviewcoacher 7 years ago from 2316 Brooke Street

      Wow! This hub couldn't be more informative without losing its presentational touch! Truly worth the time Patty!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      Milenia - Thanks for that observation. Although it is a shallow reason perhaps, sometimes those that are liked best are kept. It's happened to me, too. Best wishes in finding new employment if you have not done so.

    • profile image

      Milenia Chung 7 years ago

      In the last round of layoffs at my unnamed multinational corporation, those who were left behind (including yours truly) were shocked at how many high performing people were cut. Of course many of the high performers were also a bit lacking on the human empathy quotient and perhaps....that was their ultimate downfall.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Yes, it can be difficult. One wants to sometimes simply get up and walk out...

    • Nicki B profile image

      Nicki B 9 years ago from Orange County, Ca

      Very useful information for those worried about the job market. The most difficult thing to acquire out of these is definitely remaining calm when dealing with an irate and/or irrational customer/coworker/boss.

      -Nicki B.

    • gjcody profile image

      gjcody 9 years ago

      Great information ...having run my own business for years ...I know the necessity of good communication and body language. Thank you for sharing best to you!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Yes, always moving forward. Thanks for the comment!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      This is a great hub Patty. I love the different areas that you have tackled. I also agree that one needs to keep on growing constantly and improving oneself so to be able to do a great job at work. :-)


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thanks for the comments - Success in your career!

    • mzagzoug profile image

      mzagzoug 9 years ago from Washington, DC

      Very well written and thorough hub. The videos are extremely useful! I'm definitely saving this for reference. You've definitely helped many people by sharing this info Patty. Thanks so much!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you jimmythejock; I think it's a useful page. Hope it helps us all.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 9 years ago from Scotland

      Nicely written and presented Patty, full of great info, topped of by great videos, thanks for sharing....jimmy