From left, Amy Morrison and Letty Barnes. Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology

From left, Amy Morrison and Letty Barnes. Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Adding credentials can recession proof your career

Look at hard skills and soft skills to see where there may be a gap.

  • Friday, November 15, 2019 8:30am
  • Business

By Amy Morrison, and Letty Barnes

Special to the Reporter

It’s always a good time to add credentials, but there’s really no better time than when the economy is healthy.

One of the ways you can prepare, and recession proof your career, is by adding credentials. Look at your hard skills like new technologies or industry-specific certifications, and soft skills like communications techniques, and see where there may be a gap.

Think about it this way. How many upgrades have you had to make to your cell phone in the past two-years. Now, think about your career in the same way. Just like your mobile device, every few years, you need to update your professional operating system. When was the last time you took a professional development course or added a credential to your skillset?

It’s important that you do everything you can to update your skills before the recession hits, so that you stand out from the crowd. Yes, experience matters, but so does having current and relevant credentials. We’ve seen it happen before during an economic downturn, companies start trimming their overhead costs, and they look for who on their teams can do the work they need, the most efficiently, with the least amount of impact to the bottom line.

Look at the business systems you use every day. Microsoft Office skills are the No. 1 desired skillset, according to several national studies of employers in the United States. Robert Half, an international global human resource consulting firm, reports this, as does TechRepublic, which posted about what employers want now in a recent LinkedIn article.

“Every year, we place over 400 people in positions around the Seattle area,” comments Jeff Altchech, president of Temporarily Yours Staffing. “In the 33 years that I’ve been in the business of connecting employees to employers, I’ve seen countless industries change and pivot, and I’ve seen over and over again how important it is for people to make sure their skills are current, and that they are prepared for our changing economy.”

Adding credentials to your resume doesn’t have to take years and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. There are programs where you can earn a certificate of completion, (less than 45 credits), or a certificate of proficiency (more than 45 credits).

For example, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech), offers an associate’s degree in business technology and eight certificates of completion and proficiency in areas like web maintenance, Microsoft Office applications and project management support. Additionally, LWTech, Cascadia College and Everett Community College have partnered to provide continuing education classes through their corporate and continuing education center, CCEC-Eastside, which provides professional development classes on the Cascadia and LWTech campuses.

Now is the time to show that you’re more than capable of doing the work of the job, and that you have continued to adapt and grow as the workplace has changed. Whether you’re trying to keep your job, or find a new one, make sure your skills are current. It’s absolutely essential whether the economy is boom or bust.

Dr. Amy Morrison is the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) and Letty Barnes is a professor and department chair of business technology at LWTech.

More in Business

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Redmond florist is deeply rooted in the community

For 41 years, Bear Creek Florist has operated as a family-owned business.

Chiropractic instrument takes the crack out of spinal adjustment

Disc Centers of America Bellevue uses the Impulse iQ for comfort and results

Redmond’s Moonie Icy Tunes receives county small business award

The business makes a point to hire 5-10 college students every spring.

Recession proofing your career

The best time to prepare for an economic downturn is when the job market is strong.

Redmond real estate market transitions into fall

There may be less competition than last year but well-priced homes in great locations can still garner more than one offer.

Financial turmoil contributed to Ducati Redmond closure, records show

NobleRush owner owed nearly $2.7 million on new bikes.

Ducati Redmond, along with 4 other NobelRush dealerships were abruptly closed without notice on Sept. 19. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Ducati Redmond closes abruptly

NobleRush closed five of its loc dealerships abruptly without notice.

Change to U.S.-backed condo loans comes as summer market wraps up

A monthly real estate snap shot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Cannabis collab sees Seattle women join forces

Seattle cannabis vendor names new product after local recording artist SassyBlack’s new album

First AG lawsuit against company no-poach clause ends with $150K payment

Jersey Mike’s had the contract provisions in place until April 2018.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo 
                                Rayed Siddiqui, 9, from Redmond sold handmade lego structures at the business fair on Aug. 26.
Young Redmond entrepreneurs set up shop at Acton Business Fair

Youth entrepreneurs donated a portion of their proceeds to charity of choice.