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A DOLE report last Oct 2020 revealed that nearly 3.5 million Filipino workers around the country lost their jobs or suffered pay-reduction due to the Covid-19 crisis. Adult joblessness was record-high at 45.5 percent last July based on a poll by SWS.
The pandemic triggered a vicious cycle where businesses were not able to generate revenue to operate (due to lack of sales), which led to cutting jobs, resulting in people losing their purchasing power to buy goods and services from businesses.
What does “Recession” mean?
A recession occurs when the country falls into hard economic times. It’s triggered by a widespread decline in spending caused by inflation, high-interest rates, consumer confidence, stock market crash, and natural disasters (e.g a pandemic) and typically lasts more than a few months.
Recessions occur every once in a while because of these reasons. But while no one can accurately predict when a recession will hit and for how long, we as individuals naturally want to be protected, financially, from these economic ups and downs.
We want jobs that will prove themselves to be more “resilient” through tough times, such as in a recession.
And in this article, we try to identify industries and jobs that are likely to be more stable during recessions or hard financial times.
Characteristics of Recession-proof Jobs
What makes a profession more resilient than others during hard economic times?
Using our list of jobs below as a reference, we see three (3) key factors emerging as a common trait. These are:
Jobs that are essential or a necessity
For a society to function, it needs to have access to some of the most important services that address our essential needs.
Access to food, healthcare, protection (through law enforcement), public utilities (water and electricity), and education is of utmost importance — demand for these necessities will always be present.
Addresses a need or solves a problem
Services that improve the quality of our lives along with those that address a constant need or problem are next.
These are the things that help us perform a variety of stuff on a day-to-day basis and make achieving them more convenient.
Another common trait that most of these jobs share is the high-level of specialization required to perform them. These are jobs that cannot simply be learned in a few weeks/months of training.
The experience and high-level expertise of the professionals that have these jobs make them invaluable and thus make them less likely to be displaced even during hard financial times.
List of Recession-proof Jobs in the Philippines
To be clear, no job is 100 percent recession-proof.
But the following list reflects some of the most resilient jobs in an economic downturn.
A prime example of a profession that is considered a necessity in a community. No matter what the economic situation is, everyone will need healthcare services from these experts.
Tasked with keeping peace and order, police officers are a crucial part of a safe community.
Regardless of economic status, firefighters play a crucial role in emergencies and tough situations.
Public Utility Specialists
They ensure that core necessities like power and water supply are always in operation.
These professionals play a very important role in hospital and health center operations (especially during pandemics)
Teachers and Educators
Learning and education are continuous no matter what the medium or method of execution is.
A highly-specialized role, accountants ensure all financial records are in order and accurate.
Goods and products need to be transported/delivered regardless of the economic situation.
Physical & Occupational Therapists
They provide rehabilitative care for treatment or recovery of the body’s motor/biomechanical capabilities.
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Professionals
They help individuals overcome mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.
These professionals help improve the quality of lives and well-being of individuals and communities through outreach, direct practice, crisis intervention, policy development, and organization.
Senior Care Providers
Eldercare professionals fulfill the special needs and requirements of the elderly on a daily basis.
Pharmacists & Pharmacy Technicians
These are healthcare professionals engaged in the proper and safe distribution (dispensing descriptions) of medications.
Mainly focused on keeping computer networks error-free, secure, and running smoothly.
They ensure the health and well-being of animals through treatment and advice on proper care.
They advise and represent clients on a variety of legal tasks, it’s a highly-specialized field that requires both mastery and experience of the law to perform.
Librarians & Archivists
The tasks of storing, maintaining, and preserving important books and other literary pieces of material are important in keeping the information intact for future generations.
They assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and help individuals deal with them.
Cloud Systems Administrator
It’s a highly-specialized and technical role, they manage cloud infrastructure services and multiple cloud servers. They work in coordination with the IT department to develop and support the cloud, Windows, or Unix infrastructure.
They usually work in firms that offer computer design services or in industries that have large databases, such as educational institutions, and insurance companies. They are experts in storing, managing and organizing a company’s critical data for deployment to its users within the company.
They build applications and programs that let us perform a variety of tasks through various mediums like computers, smartphones, and similar technologies.
In the Philippines (and in most countries as well), government jobs are considered to offer better job security.
Alternative Option: Remote and Home-based Jobs
There has been an uptick in the number of Filipinos working remotely or from home (online) in the last few years.
A 2019 study conducted by Payoneer revealed that the Philippines ranked 6th among countries that show the fastest-growing gig-industry/freelancing markets, showing a 35 percent growth in freelance earnings.
Remote and home-based online jobs serve as a viable alternative to regular 9-5 jobs for people looking to leverage their skills in a global marketplace. Naturally, there are pros and cons.
But the key takeaway here is the potential of freelance work to supplement or replace jobs that are at risk of displacement during a recession.
The following list is based on our article covering 35 High-Paying Remote and Online Jobs for Filipinos. Click the link for a more comprehensive overview of the topic and details of each job.
- Digital Marketing Manager/Analyst
- Client Services Specialist
- Business Analyst
- App Developer
- Systems Engineer
- Technical Writer
- Quality Analyst
- Web Designer & Developer
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Content Writer/Producer
- Graphic Artist/Designer
How to Recession-Proof Your Job
As we’ve learned above, some jobs are deemed to be more resilient than others during times of economic downturns. However, no job is still 100 percent “safe” against the effects of the recession.
There are multiple factors at play affecting a company’s decision on how it will manage and maintain its personnel during tough economic periods. From a professional’s perspective, this is mainly beyond our control/decision.
However, we can improve our chances of surviving (against layoffs) or in the worst-case scenario, prime ourselves for hire-ability. Here are a couple of tips:
Put simply, be valuable to your boss and the team. Being a go-to person doesn’t necessarily mean you take everybody’s work, rather, it’s about putting yourself out there and doing what it takes for the good of the entire team.
When you make yourself invaluable, you get more leverage. And this could play a crucial role in saving your job in the midst of layoffs.
Develop new job-specific skills
Always be learning new skills and develop existing ones.
Not only will these new skills be useful in your current job (and be considered during deliberation) but this will also help you get an advantage in the job marketplace should the company end up closing or downsizing its employees.
Improve your soft skills
Soft skills refer to non-technical skills specific to your job. These include time-management skills, attention to detail, communication skills, among others.
Improving these areas makes for a more well-rounded skill set that’s useful even in other areas of your life.
Stay abreast of industry trends
Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry expands your knowledge and provides you with insights that could potentially be utilized in both your current job or a future one.
Spend time reading up on news, industry blogs, podcasts, etc., Keeping up to date with these developments and trends will prove useful in the long run.
Let’s face it: being “visible” at the job by being proactive (e.g volunteering for company events, organizing events, and the like) also helps you position yourself as a valuable asset to the company.
Expand your network
Build genuine relationships with other professionals in your field. Should layoffs become inevitable, some of these people may help you find a new job.
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