Regardless of the current state of the economy, it's up to each of us to position ourselves for success. No matter what is going on in the world around us, each of us has to take steps to make sure that we are prepared to succeed – for now, and into the future. While we may not be able to control what is going on in the world around us, it is a fact that we are responsible for making sure that we are prepared to deal with whatever tomorrow brings.

No matter what field you work in, there are things you can do to safeguard your professional success. Look at your job and at the industry in which you work to determine what changes you can make that are likely to position you for success. For example, as an individual, you can go the extra mile to demonstrate that you are an invaluable asset to your organization. If you own a business, you can cultivate a loyal clientele by providing service that is superior to that of your competitors.

4 Tips to Recession Proof Your Career

1. Provide Exceptional Customer Service – The only thing that truly makes your organization unique is the service you are able to provide. Competitors can copy any company's products, services, and prices. What they cannot duplicate is an organization's people and the service they provide. Companies that are likely to thrive regardless of economic conditions are those that focus on providing exceptional customer service at all times. Whether you own the company or if you want to demonstrate to your employer that you are an important asset, improving your customer service skills is essential to success in a difficult economy.

2. Improve Your Professional Skills – The higher your skill level, the more efficiently and effectively you'll be able to perform you job. By taking the time to improve your skills, you'll position yourself as an invaluable asset to your customers and to your organization. For example, if your job involves using a computer, work on perfecting your computer skills. Learn to use new software applications or take your skills to the next level with the programs you currently use. If you work in sales, learn how to apply proven consultative selling techniques to improve your performance. No matter how experienced you are, you can always improve your performance through acquiring and applying new skills.

3. Prove Your Skills with Professional Certification – When times are tough, customers and employers are less willing to take chances when choosing service providers or hiring employees. There is no better time than the present to start working on earning a professional certification that can set you apart from others in your field. Whether you work in information technology, human resource management, project management, or any other field, earning a widely recognized professional certification can help you stand out from others with similar skills.

4. Cultivate a Professional Network – It's a fact that "who you know" can have a significant impact on professional success. Whether you are in the market for a new job or you need excellent references to help yourself land a new account, having a solid professional network can be the key to success. The key to networking success lies with taking the time to build a solid network with people that you can help, and who may be able to help you in return. There are many ways to build an effective network. Consider joining relevant professional organizations, attend activities hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce, or sponsor an event that benefits your community. You'll have an opportunity to get to know and make a positive impression on many people.

The Next Step is Up to You
While it's true that the economic environment is less than ideal at this point in time, each of us has a choice. You can complain and worry about the current situation, or you can decide to make positive changes in your own professional life that can position you for long term success. Ask yourself which course of action is more likely to help you "recession-proof" your career. After all, the only person's behavior you can control is your own.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR is the Training Coordinator for Mobile Technical Institute & MTI Business Solutions, where she specializes in human resources, management, and marketing training. She teaches open enrollment classes for MTI, provides on-site corporate training, and frequently speaks at conferences and association meetings. She is also the author of 101 Successful PR Campaign Tips in the LifeTips book series. MTI provides a variety of consulting services, including IT Training, certification testing, HR & PR consulting, custom database development and website solutions.