In the midst of rising unemployment rates, it can be easy to worry where your next paycheck will come from. However, you can take steps to prepare for the threat of joblessness. Here are four tips to keep your career recession-proof — 1. Network. The more people you know, the better your chance of bouncing back in the event you lose your job. The more people you help, the more people want to help you. Sometimes, you can even network for your current employer with your next career move in mind. This is especially helpful if you can sense that layoffs are coming soon at your current workplace. 2. Save sufficiently. An adequate savings cushion will alleviate some financial pressure while you hunt for jobs. It can also help you pay for COBRA insurance, the costly option to extend your employee-sponsored health insurance for up to 18 months after you no longer work there. 3. Cut back expenses. If you can cut back on unnecessary expenses, you can save more for the future. It’s an obvious statement, but one that is much easier said than done. In the midst of working a steady job with good pay, it can be tempting to live a short-sighted life and spend frivolously. However, you can amass a savings cushion relatively quickly by cutting out extras like satellite television, massages, manicures, gourmet coffee, and reducing your food and clothing budget. Staying mindful of the long-term benefits makes it easier to save for rainy days — particularly with the media warning of an economic tsunami ahead. 4. Make yourself more marketable. Learn all the new career skills you can, make all the new contacts you can, and brainstorm ways to diversify your income. Remain focused and alert, always one step ahead. When it comes to your career, you hold the reigns, so don’t let anything take you by surprise. Expect the unexpected and prepare in advance, and the worst-case scenario — should it come — will be a lot less painful.

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