7 Ways to Thrive in a Declining Industry

What happens when your job performance is outstanding, but your field is on life support?

With increasing prices and whispers of recession, you may feel uncertain about your future.

Working in a declining industry can make it even more difficult to keep growing and the opportunities may be limited.

A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 121 occupations in the U.S. are expected to lose jobs by 2023, and middle-wage positions will represent 58% of that total.

If you want to enjoy financial stability and a rewarding career, it’s important to prepare for such fluctuations.

So here’s what you can do if you’re working in a shrinking industry or hoping to stay in high-growth fields.

1. Embrace change.

Accept the situation and try to look on the bright side.

Being hopeful will keep you motivated and make it easier to take action. Direct your energy toward dealing with the transitions ahead of time instead of resisting them.

2. Start saving.

Having a financial cushion will give you more options if you’re laid off.

Cut back on unnecessary expenses and put aside part of each paycheck. Consolidate any debt so you can pay it off and start turning those dollars into savings.

3. Gather recommendations.

Create a file of testimonials and endorsements. That way you’ll have documentation you can use in a future job search even if you lose touch with some of your contacts.

4. Warm up your network.

Reach out to others while you’re still employed.

Look for ways to be helpful like making introductions or forwarding interesting articles. Your contacts will probably be more receptive to a request for job leads if they’ve heard from you recently.

5. Keep looking.

Start your job search as soon as possible, update your resume and LinkedIn profile and start making career moves.

6. Focus on skills.

Highlight your transferable skills. What aspects of your background, education, expertise or training can be valuable in other functions or career fields.

7. Be flexible.

Many industries will find ways to transform and evolve rather than completely shut down.

Remember that today’s trip advisor was yesterday’s travel agent. Keep an open mind about how you can take on a different role with your current employer or in a new setting.

Working in a declining field can be challenging, however with careful planning and creativity, you may find opportunities to take on greater responsibility.

You can also protect your career from downturns by sharpening your skills and strengthening your network.