After a long hiatus from Classes and Careers, I am back! Somewhere in India or Connecticut, my fan club of three people is celebrating alone at their computers. Seriously, it’s nice to be back in blogging.

But let’s get to the real reason the other 99.99999998 percent of you are here. I started talking recession a year ago, back when all of the talking heads on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC were telling the American public things should be on the upswing by now. They predicted that it would never descend into a full-blown recession, just a little dip was all. I just want to take this opportunity to point out: I was right! That’s all. Ego satisfied…

By now, most of us are asking: What will become of my job? What will happen to our economy? The nation’s economists, even the more conservative ones, are prophesying a lot of gloom and doom for the next three years. With unemployment rising above 7 percent, this is a good time to think about back-up plans. We need to face the fact that traditional employment (9 to 5, punch in, punch out, get paycheck, get benefits) may no longer be sufficient. The paychecks and benefits may be shrinking; your bills will certainly be rising. Meaning: you need supplemental income.

Luckily, opportunities abound for freelance work. Whether you have a secret life as a writer, a programmer, a graphic artist, an accountant, a carpenter, or a typist, now is the time to put those extra skills to work. As the economy declines and more companies look to cut costs, freelancers will begin to look a lot more attractive than full-time employees, who cost more in benefits, overhead, and down time. In fact, many economists are predicting a huge rise in demand for freelance work.

Get ahead of that wave now while everyone else is reeling. Find work you can do on the side and start to build your client base. If you do lose your job, you will at least have a cushion of extra income; at best, you will have created a new full-time opportunity for yourself, one where you control your schedule and workload.

Good luck to you, recession fighters! Keep me posted on how your staying alive out there (cue the BeeGees music)…

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