Wondering how to recession-proof a career is on many minds today. This is a result of the current state of the economy and the high unemployment rate in this country. Fortunately, some employment has bright areas, while others are searching for the light at the end of the tunnel – a recovering economy. As a result, many people are exploring continuing education opportunities for improving their job skills.
Enrolling in continuing education programs provides the best opportunity to learn the latest trends in a career field, along with improving on the foundation of current employment skills. This is important regardless of trying to recession-proof a job or not. Employers retain employees who are aware of the latest industry trends which facilitate increased productivity and improve the bottom line. Continuing education programs that increase career skills are the path to job security in a recession or even during non-recession periods.
Continuing education can be completed in a multitude of ways today, without impacting an employer’s job expectations. The best approach is through the distance education, often referred to as distance learning or online education. Advances in computer technology and integration of web-based teaching and learning systems have increased dramatically in the past few years making distance education viable for almost everyone.
For those who are still more comfortable with learning in physical classroom settings, colleges and technical school have evolved to meet the needs of their growing student population base, non-traditional students. No longer must adults take off from work to complete continuing education programs.
Advantages of Distance Education
Distance education provides the flexibility that most working adults need to complete a continuing education program and still meet life’s needs. For example:
Flexibility to study in any convenient location with an Internet connection
More opportunities to study the most current material available
Flexibility for those with irregular work schedules
Study materials at own speed
Along with additional advantages
Continuing Education Options
Other strategies for helping to recession-proof a job through continuing education include:
Joining Professional Organizations – these organizations often provide continuing education units, along with additional career education resources. Most organizations hold conferences that provide a wealth of knowledge of the latest techniques and practices, along with providing continuing education opportunities.
Developing a Continuing Education Plan – an action plan requires research into the best programs to improve job skills and most importantly, the plan is in writing. Written plans tend to be followed through, when compared to those that are still in the thinking stage.
Free Sources of Continuing Education
Even in today’s economic struggles, there are plenty of opportunities for free continuing education. Free certifications are available for Microsoft Office products, along with other computer technology courses.
Open courseware classes offer free continuing education opportunities for anyone with a computer, access to the Internet, and the motivation to learn. These courses offer instruction from some of the finest professors teaching about the space shuttle, ocean vehicles, robots, theater scenery, and many more topics.
Making Connections for Recession Proofing Jobs
Continuing education is the one sure method of recession proofing a job. Employers only retain employees who do not rely on the knowledge they learned in school many years ago. Demonstrating to your employer that you are aware of current trends in your career by enrolling in continuing education programs to improve your job skills sets you apart from the pack. When an employer must let people go, you are one of the employees who will not get a pink slip because you are now a valuable asset to the employer.
Jobs that Let You See the World
When employment prospects are scarce and it doesn’t look like the economic picture will improve anytime soon, those who love to travel can hit the road and find lots of stable jobs elsewhere. Does this sound appealing? There are plenty of job openings for adventurous people and this can open the door to some really out of the way places that are inaccessible to ordinary tourists. Here is a short list of international jobs that have some great benefits.
Teaching English as a Second Language
With lower costs of living and comfortable lifestyles Southeast Asia continues to attract English instructors from the United States, Britain, Canada and other nations. Some schools will hire foreigners without university degrees. China and South Korea both have insatiable demands for new teachers and the opportunities to teach in big cities or small villages are nearly limitless.
Teaching in the Middle East can be tremendously lucrative, but schools in this region usually prefer teachers with a degree. In some countries accommodation may be provided along with return airfare. Invest some money and time in a CELTA or TEFL course to pick up some teaching fundamentals before leaving home.
Working on a Cruise Ship
The Caribbean, Mexico, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific are just a handful of the destinations that employees on a cruise ship can see for free. New workers will have to sign a contract for six months or a year with the option to renew. Since there is not much to buy while onboard most of the monthly wages can be saved.
There are many jobs to choose from on these vessels. A person with specialized skills in occupations like accounting or entertainment can command hefty compensation.
Become a Travel Writer
Getting paid to write about exotic destinations in magazines is an exciting, albeit competitive business. To be successful, a budding writer will have to pitch excellent inquiry letters to travel publications and, if hired, deliver unique articles on time. Some added perks of this job would be staying in ritzy hotels/resorts and eating for minimal or no cost.
Get a Job as a Flight Attendant
It’s hard work but this job is rewarding. Members of the cabin crew are given food and accommodation allowances, as well as greatly discounted flights to foreign destinations when they are not on duty. Prospective flight attendants will have to pass a rigorous screening process before the airlines will hire them.
Interpreting Foreign Languages
Competition for these posts is fierce. However, if hired by an organization like the UN or NATO an interpreter can go far.
Getting any of the above positions can offer a person a steady income and some fringe benefits that might not be available in his/her country of origin. In places hard hit by the recent economic downturn, those two things are hard to come by. Those who decide to take the leap and get a job abroad will have marketable skills they can put to good use if and when they return home.
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