There has been an upswell of searches on Google in people looking for recession-proof jobs and the reasons are clearly obvious. The coronavirus (or covid-19) has swept like a tsunami through the world and it’s pretty inevitable that the fourth major recession will now hit in my lifetime – and I’m only in my 50’s. Even when we’ve got a lid on the virus, the number of businesses and jobs lost mean a recession is almost inevitable.
Many business people that I follow, who know a lot more about a lot of things than me, have been predicting another recession for about five years now, it was just a matter of time and it was very much up in the air what might cause it. Now we know.
You might think that nobody, but nobody could have predicted this. That’s partly true. Nobody in ordinary life, that is. Virologists have been predicting it for a while apparently and Bill Gates did a TED Talk about four years ago where he laid out why we were not ready for a pandemic of this kind (see video below).
I’m a keen sci-fi buff and I have read my share of post-apocalyptic novels but bet even the post-pandemic sci-fi authors didn’t seriously think it would happen. Stephen King with “The Stand”, Michael Marshall Smith with “Spares”, N.K. Jemasin and Sherri Tepper’s “Gate To Women’s Country” and “Plague Of Angels”, I wonder what they are thinking now? I might ask them, as they are all on Twitter!
We Could All Have Been More Recession-Proof
The three things that would have protected most people (and businesses) from the immediate panic are:
- Keeping three (ideally six) months of expenses in the bank. This is true of both business and personal finances.
- Keeping your overheads as minimal as possible and creating extra streams of income in addition to your main income.
- Making sure you either work in a recession-proof sector or have skills that are needed even in a recession.
Now, I realise that it’s way too late now for most people this time round but why, oh why do we never learn to put these things in place, given that there is always going to be boom and bust cycles?
There is so much anger directed right now towards ‘rich’ people but there are just as many ordinary people who are not rich, but who are not going to be as devastated by the forthcoming recession as others. Not because they are greedy or grasping, or taking away from others, but because they have prepared against eventualities by saving and investing cautiously.
Investopedia suggests the following ‘7 Ways To Recession Proof Your Life’
- Have an Emergency Fund.
- Live Within Your Means.
- Have Additional Income.
- Invest for the Long-Term.
- Be Real About Risk Tolerance.
- Diversify Your Investments.
- Keep Your Credit Score High.The article goes into more detail here but it’s rather US-centric so here are my UK based thoughts.
What If My Credit Score Is Shot!
If your credit score is already shot, don’t worry. I’ve lived quite happily with a terrible credit score since I was forced into bankruptcy by the Inland Revenue in November 2012. You can get a basic bank account, a pay as you go credit card that helps you rebuild your income and it’s unlikely you’ll lose your phone contract.
The backstory is that I had a fantastic business year in 2009, my best year EVER, then the world fell off the last cliff in January 2010 and my income completely disappeared pretty much overnight. I was a single mum at the time and I had to give up my house and car and quickly sell all my possessions at knock-down prices because I couldn’t even afford to put it all in storage.
I had to send the children to live with their Dad which broke my heart at the time, but looking back, they just thought of as a big adventure. I moved into my sister’s spare room and slowly and painfully rebuilt my income.
I rented a lovely cottage and then, just as I got more stable, in 2016 I lost my best friend and partner Steve and it knocked me – and my new business – sideways again! I have lived with hardly any possessions in rental properties ever since and I actually much prefer it. My overheads are minimum and so in some ways, I’m better placed financially than many people to cope with this coronavirus fallout.
But I Don’t Earn Enough To Save!
Now, before you shout at me about people on a minimum wage being unable to save, let me tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve been there several times as you have read above. Added to which, I’m temperamentally rubbish at saving, always have been. I used to think “What’s the point of saving, as you are only going to spend it later!”. This was before I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kyosaki and realise the difference between saving and then investing in income-producing assets.
5 Reasons To Save Even Tiny Sums For A Rainy Day
For about 40 years, I didn’t realise that saving does five very important things for you. They are as follows:
- If something goes wrong or breaks, you have no stress, you can just pay for it without it affecting your life. No stress.
- Better than that, you don’t have to borrow to pay for it, which means it’s not costing you two and a half times (on average) the price in the shop.
- The very act of saving, no matter how little, does something to your subconscious. It puts you first, which boosts your self-esteem enormously. So you stand up for yourself more, you have more choices and you take less shit. You become more successful.
- After a while, you can start to think about investing in ‘income-producing assets’ starting with your own brain. There is no such thing as a free lunch and great training will require an investment in yourself.
- After a while, when your ’emergency fund’, ‘contingency fund’ and ‘investing in income-producing assets’ funds are full up to the level you have decided, you can start a ‘fun fund’ from which you can spend without guilt.
Now, if you are still thinking that it’s impossible for you, let me show you exhibit A, an app that will save for you. I follow The Brighton Girl and she’s a self-confessed ‘shit at saving’ kind of girl. She’s been using an app called Plum (details below) which squirrels away the change from any purchase and you can set it up to save for you, into an account that you can’t easily see but you can access anytime.
I use a card called Revolut that enables me to trade currencies (useful for holidays), buy crypto such as Bitcoin, and that I can set to save a bit every day on top of the change from spending. You’d be amazed how it mounts up.
This all means that when you get an unexpected expense, you don’t have to borrow to pay it, which saves you compounding interest on each purchase.
Compound interest is like the spread of the coronavirus, which we’ve all seen at work. The good news is it works on saving and investing too, which is why $1000 in Bitcoin could turn into a million dollars in ten years IF it does the same as Amazon and Apple shares. But more about that another day.
So What Are Recession-Proof Jobs?
While many people have lost their jobs and freelancers have lost their clients and many businesses will go bankrupt over the next year or two, and there are certainly businesses that, over the next fifty years, will disappear forever. But there are businesses (and therefore jobs) that will bounce back more quickly.
People will be desperate to go out and have a good time and not everyone will be skint. Don’t assume everyone is as poor as you are right now, there are plenty of people who took the steps above, or who have sadly inherited money from a departed loved one, or who are benefiting from their company’s continuing to pay their salaries.
Hospitality and experience-based businesses have been hard hit in the short term but not all of it will go under. Those businesses with financial resources in place, as outlined above, will rise quickly from the ashes of the virus lockdown. My son Nelson works in a pub while at Uni, and as soon as that pub opens again, he’ll be back behind the bar. In the meantime, he’s working on his music and chopping logs destined for pizza restaurants who are delivering food to locked-in customers right now.
People will be seeking experiences after all this time inside, so travel will recover fast. I run a private Facebook group for people who love a particular village in Greece (and a website for independent business owners in that village to promote their accommodation). People are already looking ahead to when we can all get back there.
The enforced remote working will show many folks how much nicer it is working from home. I foresee this will be the biggest change of all, along with many people setting up a cottage industry type business, because they have no jobs to go back to.
Recession-Proof Businesses & Skills
Any business that makes that process easier will do well. Already, Zoom and Slack stock prices have bounced back from the sharp drop, along with shares in companies like Amazon, Etsy and Shopify that enable people to sell goods and services online.
How could you make it easier for people who want to work from home, set up their own business or sell something either locally or online? Do you have skills or an idea for a product (or app) that will make that easier? What experience or knowledge from your background could help you pivot to serve that new market?
One of my clients is Kate Cocker, an ex-radio presenter and producer who now teaches people to present themselves well on webinars. She’s very busy right now, you can imagine.
Anyone who is offering digital marketing services will do very well, as businesses will finally have woken up to the necessity of getting online. If you like the sound of that, and want to learn more about how marketing works online, I can seriously recommend the ‘One Funnel Away’ Challenge by Clickfunnels. I went through the Challenge recently and even after twenty-four years of experience I was seriously impressed. I’ve stopped updating my own Beginners Course, as theirs is so good. See below for a link to the next Challenge.
Essentially there are three ways to make money online
The Ultimate Recession-Proof Jobs
Online, there are essentially five ways to make money. Please don’t look at MLM, you’ll be making more money for the company, not for you. I go into that can of worms in more detail on this blog post here.
Here are the five main kinds of recession-proof jobs to consider:
- You sell your own products or services (this is great for ‘real world’ businesses or service providers)
- You sell other people’s products or services (this is called Affiliate Marketing)
- You sell the ‘picks and shovels’ which are the things that people need, such as websites, sales funnels, marketing services, virtual accounting services or ‘software as a service’.
- You create something new where you can sell a large number of units and you own the copyright, such as digital products, ebooks, audiobooks or Apps. I would count YouTubers in this category, as they are creating unique assets in the form of videos, from which they earn money from YouTube and where you can also spin-off other kinds of income. My sister’s boyfriend’s son has done this and earns more per month than most people earn in a year. He’s just turned 18.
- You create or ‘white label’ products and sell them online (often called e-commerce or Amazon business)
But in order to choose the right type of recession-proof job, you need to know about you; your personality, your innate strengths and which skills you already have, or can learn fast.
I can help you with that, I have twenty-four years of experience of helping people with the first four kinds of recession-proof jobs above. I can recommend the best teachers and training for No 5 – see the resources section below.
So talk to me if you are not sure. Just contact me via the Contact Page and tell me a bit about you and I’ll see you straight. I answer every email personally so it’s completely private.
I can help.
Coming soon, a FREE webinar to go into the five kinds of recession-proof jobs. To make sure you get invited, why not check out one of my books and get yourself onto my mailing list by opting in for any of the free gifts on this website.
Resources Mentioned In This Post
Not all of the links in this section are affiliate links but some are. You don’t pay any more but I earn a tiny bit of commission if you buy. This is called Affiliate Marketing and I have a free email course to teach you more about that here.
Kate Cocker, ThePresenterCoach.co.uk and Everyday Positivity.
The Brighton Girl – I’ve Always Been Shit With Money (So I Decided To Make A Change)
The brilliant ‘One Funnel Away’ Challenge by Russell Brunson, that will help you become someone with ‘in demand’ skills after this Coronavirus crisis has passed.
My own ‘books to make you recession-proof’ including my personal finance book ‘The Money Gym” (described by many as life-changing).
And here’s Bill Gates TED Talk “The Next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready” which makes you realise that we should always be ready to look after ourself and our loved ones, no matter what. If it hadn’t been Corona, it would have been something else.
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