How To Prepare For A Bad U.S. Economy

The last recession that hit the U.S. economy was devastating. Unemployment had reached a peak of 10% in 2009, and if the government had failed to bail out the big banks; the entire world would have been driven into a depression. It was truly a horrible time to be in the workforce.

I’ve heard stories of people losing their jobs back in 2008 and still to this day haven’t fully recovered financially. What’s truly scary is that another recession is well on its way. It’s been over 10 years since the last one: the US has historically had a recession every 6 to 7 years. The next one might not be as severe as the great recession in 2008, but it is coming. So, how should you prepare for it?

As the United State’s economy goes through its ups and downs recessions will keep happening. Recessions will continually cause short term unemployment affecting workers throughout America. But there are still a few things you could do to prepare for the inevitable.

Onward From 2019 When Could It Happen?

Since the great recession in 2008, The United States economy has grown exponentially. Unemployment is basically nonexistent in 2019, and with strong job reports coming in the economy looks like it has smooth sailing ahead. But don’t get excited so soon, experts are now saying they expect another recession to hit the US in late 2020.

If that happens it will mark the end of Trump’s economic rally, and potentially lose many of the jobs that were created in the past few years.

That isn’t to say that a recession would even necessarily be a bad thing at his point, however. Since Trump took office the Dow Jones hit 20,000 for the first time ever and has still been rallying ever since.

In the next year or so, a recession looks like it should be expected. This makes it even more important to be ready for when it happens since it might come as a shock to many still enjoying the strong economy.

The Role Of Education In A Bad U.S. Economy

Newspaper showing the US economy in crisis

We live in a world where skills and education are a necessity if you want to live a comfortable life. A good education in a recession is especially important. The reason so many people go out of work during a recession is that their skills and education are not the top priority. A company may decide it best to drop some of their entry-level employees and keep their more experienced senior management.

They may even decide it be best to let go of the older employee, whose outdated skills may not be of much use anymore. These are the two most vulnerable groups of workers in a bad economy. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell exactly what education or skill level is necessary to survive in a bad economy.

What I can tell you is that the more education you have, the better your odds are of securing a job. This is true even during a strong economy, but in a weaker one, you will be of more value to the employer.

Recent grads might find it difficult to find a job during a recession. However, the worst off will be the older worker, perhaps someone preparing for retirement. The older worker’s retirement plan might have been hit as well. Along with losing their job, they might have to find a way to keep working instead of retiring. That is a real tragedy since this person has been developing their career all this time only to have it shattered in an instant.

Having a Strong Education In A Bad U.S. Economy

You should always value your education as the strongest asset in the job market. I talk about this more in-depth in one of my other posts, How To Get Rich (The Real Way). A strong education will secure your future in the up and down swings that the US economy goes through.

This cycle has been going on since antiquity, and it will continue to happen. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree holders have the best chance in the midst of a recession. Any other certificates or licenses would be incredibly helpful, and will likely set you apart from other candidates in your job search.

Remember To Save For The Future

bank for a bad economy

I don’t really think you need me to remind you how important it is to have a strong savings account. Your savings account should only be used for emergencies, and to never be touched under any normal circumstances. When another recession hits you’ll be prepared with funds to last you until another job opportunity comes by.

If you end up losing your job, these funds should be used for you to get by and plan your next move. The next recession probably won’t be as bad as the last one, but really nobody knows. So the best thing you could do is to have a savings fund ready and to have a couple of jobs in mind that you could do in the meantime.

Read Constantly And Keep Up With The News

Not knowing what’s going on is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. If you have no idea what’s going on in the world, especially in the financial world, then how can you see the next recession coming? Of course, watching the news won’t let you accurately predict when the next recession will happen, nobody really can.

But, global affairs can leave you with clues as to how the overall economy is doing. Read the daily news, skim through financial articles online; read up about how stocks and markets are doing. This daily information is not only informative and intellectually stimulating, but it could be a helpful indicator that the economy is about to turn ugly.

You could also tell from the point that the US economy is at right now. Every time the economy flourishes and reaches a peak, it’s usually accompanied by a downturn or a crash.

Not every crash happens for the same reasons, but every crash happens after a long stretch of economic growth. It kept happening even after the great depression, through Reagan’s, Nixon’s and Bush’s presidencies. So just keep your eyes open and pay attention to what is going on around you. If you do that recessions won’t come as much of a surprise anymore.

Keep Enhancing Your Skills And Portfolio

Throughout your career, you should be continually working harder to amplify your skills. Keeping your resume and skills up to date is incredibly important in making sure you survive an economic slump. Nothing is worse than being laid off from a job that you’ve been doing for the past 10 years, only to then realize that it was the only thing you knew how to do.

You should constantly be indulging yourself in any side projects that could be beneficial to your career goals. Whether it be YouTube, web design, writing, graphic design, social media marketing, blogging; or anything else that you can utilize to improve your skills.

Freelance work will likewise make a great addition to your portfolio, while simultaneously providing you with valuable experience. As a bonus, you will make some extra cash on the side of your day job.

All of this hard work and experience will keep you as a fresh candidate for employers looking to hire you. If you could prove that you are a hard-working, determined, individual, then it doesn’t matter how bad the economy is; your resume will be at the top of the pile.

Attain Great People Skills

Have you ever heard of the expression, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, it’s true. Ask anybody who has ever hunted for a job before and they can attest to that. Moreover, when the economy is in a bad situation, building strong relationships with people becomes even more important.

With a bad enough recession, an employer might find it wise to stick with people they know and trust. If you are able to master your people skills, it won’t even matter if there’s an apocalypse, you’ll be able to make things happen.

You could have all the fancy degrees in the world but if you lack a good network, they are nothing but just pieces of paper. The reason is that business is conducted almost entirely through relationships. People like to do work with other people they trust. The good news about this is that you could start networking right now.

Just get up and start talking to people. Preferably, you should be going out and talking in person. Online works well as an initial form of contact, but you’ll eventually want to meet in person. It’s really that simple, go ahead and ask someone who you’d like to work for to get coffee. Talk to them and be friendly, there’s no need to be shy.


The consistent anxiety of going through another recession can be very stressful. We know it’s coming soon, and we know how badly it affected people over 10 years ago. But it’s inevitable, and honestly, it’s normal for it to happen. Yet, there’s no reason to live in fear of another recession.

Even in the great recession which was probably far worse than anything we’ll have in 2020; valuable employees were spared unemployment. If anything you should look at a recession as an opportunity like the rich do.

It’d be wise to use the money you’ve saved to invest in all of the stocks that will be discounted as investors pull their money out of the market. Then, when the economy finally turns around, you’ll be wishing for another recession to happen.

Hey there! I'm Alex, a freelance writer, and blogger. I started my journey towards FI in 2018, when I created this blog. I love talking about blogging, writing, personal finance, and internet entrepreneurship. If you enjoy my content, stick around, and we'll share ideas for reaching FI together!

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