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‘Scary’: What Gen Z should do when the economy tanks

Jack Bloomfield
Contributor
A Gen Z-er's guide to recession. Source: Getty

Like myself, many teenagers walking into the real world through university, part time jobs, their own business and/or apprenticeships are doing so with bright eyes and bushy tails. 

Unfortunately with the strain COVID-19 has placed on the Australian economy, opportunity for young people has already started to dwindle. Many of the jobs we set out to achieve like being a tradie, a flight attendant or pilot or even a business owner are becoming less and less viable. 

With the Australian economy looking towards a recession, young people are often the first to be hit. As an 18 year old myself, the prospect of a recession is a scary thought. 

For anyone, especially Gen Z-ers, here are 5 ways to prepare for, and get through, a recession:

1. Up skill

Unfortunately, one of the first things to increase during a recession is unemployment. 

This means that there will be many more people, people often more skilled than you, applying for the same job. 

To get the job, you will need to upskill. Do anything you can to increase the attractiveness of your CV. 

This could mean taking an online course in 21st-century marketing tactics, social media or even team management.

Alternatively, you could gain a higher level of qualification in your chosen field. It all comes down to how you can stand out and bring value to your potential employer

2. Look for the opportunity 

During any recession, there is always new opportunity that emerges. Instead of getting caught up in the doom and gloom, take a step back and see if you could spot areas of opportunity and growth. 

For example, during a recession, high priced non-essentials are one of the first to drop in demand.

If you own a business, a practical step would be to pivot towards affordable essentials as opposed to selling products unobtainable for most. For an employee, if possible, switch to an employer who is better placed to succeed or survive in a recession as your job security may depend on it.

3. Become strategic with your finances

As lame as having a budget may seem, when money gets tight, it will become your best friend. 

You can’t possibly save money or be doing ‘okay’ financially when you have no idea what’s coming and what’s going out. Spending a few hours putting a budget together could be the best thing you ever do.

4. Cut back where needed

Planning on upgrading your car? A recession clearly won’t be the best time to do that if you’re strapped for cash. 

After completing your budget, cut back where needed. Importantly, take a good look at your current expenses like daily coffees, or even your Netflix subscription. 

As much as you might think you need both them, consider if you actually do. Small expenses like $10 here and there might not seem like a lot but over time, they certainly stack up.  

5. Play the long game

As we have seen, pandemics don’t last forever and neither do recessions. By following the above steps you are not only helping yourself ride out the recession, but you are setting yourself up for success. 

Recessions can last for years, but your career will last for decades. Just like life, the economy also has ups and downs so it’s important to try and stay on track and see the big picture even when everything else around you may appear to be falling apart.

Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club Episode 6. Source: Supplied

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