Career Resources

The Recession And Your Career

Jerri Ann Lamb

The good news is we made the list!

Time Business and Technology provided a list in November 2008 of the 150 Best Recession Proof Jobs Overall and Registered Dietitians made the list. How is a Recession Proof Job defined? In the book 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs by Laurence Shatkin, he defines these jobs as those that are least sensitive to economic downturn and which have the highest combined scores for pay, projected workforce growth, and numbers of openings.

Before we get too confident let me put it in perspective for you.Registered Dietitians were number 112 on the list just below Anthropologists (111) and just above School Bus Drivers (113). Registered Nurses were number 4, Teachers were number 5, and Physicians were number 7.

As Dietitians we often tell our clients that there is not a quick fix to weight loss or diet changes; we encourage patience and a steady pace of change with long-term goals and perseverance. We ask them to consider the basics of nutrition emphasizing balance and moderation. I suggest we take our own (similar) advice to survive the recession. It is time to get back to the basics, back to working with long-term goals and perseverance. It is time for balance and moderation as opposed to excess and entitlement. We are currently hearing that the worst is yet to come so we have to be smart and diligent about the decisions we make each day. I think we can learn from the past. We can especially learn from previous generations that have survived recessions in their careers. If you look at the GI generation and Baby Boomer generation they persevered with strong core values. We too need to press forward with similar core values. Consider the values that define the GI and Boomer generations.

GI Generation (born before 1940s)

Hard Work
Respect for Authority
Delayed reward
Duty before pleasure
Adherence to rules

Baby Boomers (1940-1960s)

Team Orientation
Health and Wellness
Duty before pleasure
Adherence to rules

As a professional your measurable value is more important now than ever before. YOU NEED your employer to NEED YOU. How can you remain valuable?

Cross train. Do not speak the dreaded “That is not my job.”

Stay current. Keep up to date on current ideals and practices and be a resource for those around you.

Exceed expectations. Take additional responsibilities, especially if they are long-term projects.

Invest in professional relationships. Network by being pleasant and getting along with others.

Remain focused. Worrying about work and participating in rumors will not help you.

Be creative. Brainstorm and present ideas that save money, or better yet, generate money for your company.

Be in line with your company’s mission statement. Know where your company is going and help it succeed in getting there.

If these things seem obvious to you then take them as a reminder and an opportunity to reflect; take a personal inventory of your actions. If these ideas spark inspiration to improve then start now. In the meantime it never hurts to be prepared. Keep your resume and portfolio current and available for immediate presentation if needed. Unfortunately no one is 100% recession proof.

Jerri Ann Lamb has been a Registered Dietitian for 15 years. Currently she is the only RD that has specialized in exclusively resourcing Registered Dietitians in Healthcare and Hospitality for more than 10 years. As founder and Operator of Dietitian Select Jerri Ann is passionate about resourcing Registered Dietitians. Visit Contact Jerri Ann at and 859-553-4187.

Linked In