how to find a remote job during a recession

8 Steps to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

Job hunting is a challenge during the best economic times, and it is especially daunting to find a remote job during a recession. Recent news of layoffs in the tech industry coupled with some companies issuing return to office mandates has many concerned about the health of the remote job market over the next few years. However, recession job hunting doesn’t have to be intimidating. Even when the economy is experiencing a downturn, by applying a few tried-and-true job search techniques, you can still find the perfect remote position. Below are eight steps to find a remote job during a recession.

1. Create a Targeted Job Search Strategy to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

Creating a remote job search strategy is a key step to any successful job search but takes on added importance during a recession. Taking the time to pinpoint your desired career path and research opportunities in the current economy will save time and stress.

Focus on identifying your job needs and wants as well as your current skills to help point you in the right direction. Think of this job search as an opportunity to take stock of where you are and where you want to go. During a recession may not seem to be the right time to change careers, but it may also be the best time to take advantage of workforce changes. Take the career change quiz to get feedback on your situation.

2. Consider High Growth Industries & Recession-Proof Jobs to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

As part of your remote job search strategy, researching industry growth and job availability will help you to target remote positions that are in-demand despite a struggling economy. There are always pockets of potential in any job market, however they may be hard to find without a little digging. For example, even during the pandemic, when everyone was staying home and the economy was at a standstill, demand for online products and services exploded.

Industry and employment data can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. This U.S. government agency also produces a wide variety of reports on economic trends both country-wide and by geographic regions. Other sources of information include industry publications, professional associations, and the public library.

3. Research Companies Carefully When Job Hunting During a Recession

The last thing you want is to find a new remote job only to find out your job security is in jeopardy again. In addition to researching growth industries, make sure to do your due diligence with individual companies as well. Just because the company is in a growing industry, doesn’t mean that it is well-run or fiscally sound.

If it’s a public company, you can access their annual reports for a comprehensive snapshot of the company’s financial health, as well as any expansion plans. Of course, these documents will not focus on anything negative, so get a complete picture by checking for recent news stories. You can also reach out to current employees. If you don’t have one in your professional network, you can look the company up on an employee review site like Glassdoor.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Dropping a Rung on the Ladder to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

Avoid focusing too much on job titles when you’re looking for work in a recession. Pay more attention to the position requirements as listed in the job advertisement. If you feel you meet or exceed the requirements, then research the company and industry for growth potential. Even if you start at a slightly lower level, you can quickly move back up if the company and industry are expanding.

5. Call on Your Professional Network to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

Take advantage of what one researcher coined “the strength of weak ties.” This refers to the research finding that you’re more likely to find jobs through personal contacts, but not close contacts. Studies show that the most effective contacts for a job search are those who are not close to you, speak to you infrequently, and work in occupations different to your own.

LinkedIn is the most widely used professional networking tool and is a natural fit for finding remote jobs. However, don’t be shy about expanding your search to include your alumni association, professional societies, local chambers of commerce, or any other options that make sense for you to explore.

6. Refresh Your Job Search Documents to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

Having an up-to-date resume is a must. Add your recent professional activity and revise to target your current job search goals and up-to-date content and format standards. It is also important to customize your resume for each job application you submit. Ensure that keywords from the job ad are reflected in your resume and that you highlight your most relevant accomplishments.

Investing in the services of a professional resume writer is an investment in your future. One recent study of recruiters and jobseekers found that recruiters estimated the wages of candidates with professionally written resumes should receive wages 7% higher than those they wrote themselves. In addition, jobseekers with professionally rewritten resumes reported finding a job at a 32% higher rate with 68% securing a new job within three months and 42% moving on to a higher-level position.

7. Be Creative to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

You can hedge your risks during a remote job search by exploring a variety of employment options. If you have difficulty finding a full-time W2 position, try looking for part-time and contract positions in the same or similar role to build up your resume. In addition to being somewhat easier to secure, these positions can also maintain your employment chronology during a long job hunt.

Another option is to explore starting or expanding a side-hustle during your job search. With more casual employment options than ever before, this can be a practical and quick way to pay the bills. From ride-share services to renting out a spare room, there are a wide variety of opportunities available.  

8. Stay Positive to Find a Remote Job During a Recession

There is nothing to be gained by assuming the worst or endlessly dwelling on possible negative outcomes. Yes, you will encounter challenges when you look for a remote job during a recession. When you focus on the negative, it affects your thoughts, your words, and your actions. And not for the better.

However, there is no need to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and not good enough. By cultivating positive thinking habits, you will be surprised at the improvement in overall well-being that you feel. Below are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Find community. This is not the time to retreat into solitude. It’s much easier to stay positive when you can share your challenges and successes with someone who understands.
  • Dwell on the positives. Refer to a list of positive emotions. Recite positive affirmations. Recognize and celebrate your small wins. And when you experience a positive feeling, savor it!
  • Journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can help to bring perspective, clarity, and insights.
  • Exercise. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, learn Tai Chi. Just getting up and engaging in gentle movement and exercise can help to relieve stress and reduce negativity.

Recession job hunting is a challenge. However, by following some, or all, of the job search steps above, you can minimize your search time and improve your opportunities while staying calm and positive throughout the process. Life is too short to spend it in a negative mindset, so take the time now to optimize your chances for success. Your future self will thank you!

What is your job search strategy during a recession? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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