A global economic recession is imminent.
How bad it will be and how long it will last nobody really knows. That is not mine or yours to understand.
Instead, what I aim to do with this piece is to help you as a remote worker get through it in one piece and maybe even profit from all the chaos.
Here are a few steps to help remote workers get through this and any future recessions.
In any crisis, the most important thing is to calm down. Do not give in to your immediate fight, flight or panic response, unless of course, it is a matter of life and death. And believe it or not, a recession is not a matter of life and death, at least not directly.
Contrary to what you’ve heard recessions are not the end of the world. There have been numerous economic recessions in the past, some worse than others but millions of people have managed them well. A few even leverage these dire circumstances to their advantage.
Remember: recessions do not last forever. Like everything else in this world, they come and go.
Your goal as a remote worker is to at least survive through it until things get better. You can’t do this by panicking, this only leads to bad decisions which will lead to even worse outcomes.
Take a breath, maybe even a day or two off work to reflect. Your mind works better when you are calm.
Next is to come up with a plan. Instead of worrying about the whole world note down the things that are actually in your control.
2. Your Skills and Experience are Your Most Important Assets
As a remote worker, you are your most important asset.
What does this mean?
It means that your skills, expertise and experience are your most important asset. What you sell to prospective clients is not your time or even your gadgets. You are selling your expertise, and they are willing to pay for it.
Unfortunately, many freelancers do not understand how valuable they are to their employers. Most view themselves as easily replaceable, which is not true, even during a recession. It is the employees who make a company what it is. Yes, your boss might be the head and face of the company but s/he is nothing without workers behind them.
So, your objective during a recession is to find an employer who values your input. If you have one that’s fine, keep at it, and work hard.
For those who might lose their jobs or are actively seeking employment keep your shoulders high and keep looking. The right fit is out there somewhere, you just have to find it.
3. Reach Out
Another important tool in your arsenal as a remote worker is your contacts and connection. These are people you have come to know in your time as a worker. Most of them will be clients and even a few colleagues.
Having benefitted from past contacts myself I cannot overstate how important these are to a remote worker. Past clients and even fellow colleagues have connected me to clients who I would have never in a thousand years found any contact with, there are, after all, more than seven billion people on the planet. Finding the right fit could be like finding a needle in a stack full of needles, you need some help.
In a recession where job opportunities will become more scarce, previous contacts can provide a lifeline to a potential income source. Note that contact does not solely include previous clients but also colleagues who might spot a job opening that would be perfect for you.
4. Hold on For Dear Life
Perhaps the simplest and most reasonable advice I can give you is to just hold on until things get better.
If you have a client or two this will definitely be easier. Just keep working hard at your job, and improve your output every single day to ensure you are irreplaceable at work.
However, if you do not have a job right now or nothing incoming on the horizon you might want to start reducing your daily expenditure. Separate your nice-to-haves with your need-to-haves and do away with the former. You’ll need every single penny until things get better. Obviously, it goes without saying, you should start saving sooner rather than later, with things tipped to be worse in the coming months your savings will be your salvation.
Overall, the most important thing to remember is that the recession is not permanent; things will eventually get better. You just have to last long enough to get to this point.
5. Keep Ears Close to the Ground
Opportunities are always present, even during a recession. However, during hard times there is much higher demand for them than usual. One thus has to keep a close ear to the ground so that such do not pass them.
The worst thing for you to do during a crisis is to do nothing. That will definitely ensure your demise. Keep your head and ears, eyes open.
“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell