Recession-Proof Your Career Through Networking and Relationships

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Post By: Lisa Beth Lentini, CEO of Lumen Worldwide Endeavors and Co-Founder of MentorCare

Samantha Kelen, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

Since 1900, the average recession has lasted 15 months while the average expansion has lasted 48 months. In the US, Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which lasted for 18 months, was the longest period of economic decline since World War II.

Data suggests the US entered a recession in June, which means the economy could continue to struggle until the beginning of 2022. Even if your employment appears safe in the short term, it never hurts to be over-prepared as additional insurance should your circumstances change.

The fact of the matter is that life happens. Economies are cyclical and trends change.   Most people don’t have an independent source of limitless wealth or a million job offers just waiting for you to pick up the phone, so we need to talk about how to weather changes that happen along the way.

Certain careers are less likely to experience downturns and we would all like to think that compliance is one of those, but what we are seeing right now is that some companies are applying cuts across all functions and treating compliance much like other parts of the operations with blanket cuts across the board. Now, while this will have predictable consequences over the long-term, it doesn’t safeguard you over the short term.  So, we are going to talk about certain things you can control. The big hint for the day is YOU CAN’T CONTROL CHANGE….You can prepare and choose your attitude and actions to prepare yourself for the inevitable.

You can make yourself more attractive to employers by always learning and growing. As your field expands, your knowledge should, too. (Sidenote, this is another great reason why you should attend SCCE CEI and why continuing to invest in yourself and your skills will prove to be a competitive differentiator.)

Networking and Mentoring are Key

Here are some of our favorite tips for getting the most out of your networking efforts:

  1. Be Prepared

Preparation helps you avoid awkward situations and take full advantage of opportunities.

  • To begin, identify your goals. For example, you may be interested in finding new clients, transitioning into another field, or simply growing your network.
  • Next, prepare your “elevator pitch.” This term refers to a brief verbal summary of your professional history, future plans, and what you can offer to others.
  • Create some professional pick-up lines. Brainstorm some conversation starter topics or questions for specific individuals, like what advice they might offer to someone new to their industry. BUT, HUGE CAUTION…. Don’t make your interactions transactional. You need to genuinely be interested in people or you will come off as fake and insincere.  You should also be contributing something to the conversation.  If you don’t know what you can contribute, ask. Always offer to help, now and in the future. Networking relationships should be mutually beneficial.
  • Maintain your personal brand by keeping your social media profiles and pictures up to date. If meeting in person, bring business cards.
  1. Be Proactive

When networking, show initiative.

  • Make a list of people you want to meet and invite them for coffee or a virtual happy hour. Disregard any apparent chain of command, especially at conferences. Aim high but be professional. This is your time to talk to those you admire, even if you’re start struck.
  • Introduce yourself to strangers, contribute to conversations, and ask engaging questions. Afterward, build relationships with your new connections by asking additional questions and continuing professional conversations.
  • Networking generally requires a proactive mindset. For example, if you identify people you would like to meet, don’t be afraid to invite them to connect on an online networking site such as LinkedIn or send them an introductory email. (NOTE- If you haven’t joined SCCE, it’s a great organization with great reach- obviously you are already reading this blog!)
  • Look for those you might have something in common with, like people you see attending the same sessions as you at a conference. Talk to them!
  • Say yes! Accept invitations for events, even if you don’t want to. They always pay off in the long run. Not invited? Start your own.
  1. Follow Up

Following up is one of the most important, but often most neglected, components of networking. It begins the process of transforming a single conversation into an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship.

Some ideas to engage in continuous follow up:

  • Show support by resharing their posts.
  • Share relevant content your peers will find useful.
  1. Mentoring

Mentoring is another key way to connect.  You can find mentors through either formal or informal means.  My own approach is to have both formal and informal mentors as well as what I like to call a WISDOM COUNCIL.

In our session at SCCE CEI we are focusing on the six key elements needed to recession-proof your career of which this is only one.  So join us for our session!

1 COMMENT

  1. With the end of the year fast approaching and many businesses seeking to hit major milestones should IT business leaders start making plans to devote the remaining business quarter ( fourth and final quarter) of the year towards visitation and funding of affiliate boot camps ?, , and to engage their skills and services as well as link up with their databases temporarily ? before finally migrating them onto a permanent database or workspace in the new year (2021) ? resulting into creation of a much expanded and modernized business ?., Advice and suggestions from business partners and stakeholders with regards to exactly the duration of such a temporal link up with their databases before a final and permanent migration will be greatly appreciated and expected.

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