Fears of a recession are rising in Europe. As inflation soared to 9.9% across the bloc, the ECB has increased the cost of borrowing to help. Even though ECB president, Christine Lagarde has said she will bring inflation back down to 2%, the spectre of a looming recession isn’t going away.
The OECD has also projected that eurozone economic growth will slow from 3.1% this year to only 0.3% in 2023, which implies the 19-nation shared currency bloc will spend at least part of next year in a recession.
After a buoyant couple of years for workers who had a lot of options in the labour market, things may be slowing down there too. Data collected in July from Indeed Germany indicates that despite very strong demand for workers, job posting growth has slowed significantly, with job postings having only grown 2.1% since February 24, 2022.
If that’s causing a flutter of unease, there are ways to mitigate your current employment status. Certain careers and jobs are considered to be more “recession proof” than others, including those in the fields of AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity. Additionally, re-skilling and making a pivot into a new field can be a safe way to secure your career in the future.
At the recent Women in Business and Tech conference in London, Joann Egunjobi, a data engineer at Currency Cloud, spoke about how she managed to switch from marketing into tech. Egunjobi lost her job during the pandemic, and though she was always interested in tech, previously felt that a career in the industry was reserved for those with a computer science or technical background.
While there are many routes you can take, hers was a practical, learning-based one. “I am a graduate from bootcamp – it’s not a traditional tech route, and I did data science,” she says. Egunjobi did the free Generation bootcamp, but there are plenty of others to avail of, including
“There are other routes too, you can learn and be self-taught,” she notes. “Or you can switch within your company if the flexibility is there.”
If this is the route you decide to take, Egunjobi advises that you find a career that interests you to begin with, and then work on developing transferable skills. “Educate yourself, be willing to learn. Tech is moving so fast, so be eager to learn.”
This pace of change works in the favour of career switchers too, so if your employer offers further training or learning and development opportunities, make sure you take advantage. “Networking and mentorship are important too; meet people and go to networking events,” she advises. “If your company offers a mentorship programme, do it.”
While there are a range of hard skills a technical career will require – “Programming in terms of SQL and Python, Cloud knowledge and Agile methodologies are all good to have” – Egunjobi stresses the importance of soft skills too. “Problem-solving and critical thinking are really important,” she says.
Happily, these, along with communication, people management, presentation, leadership and empathy skills are the sort of abilities you are likely to have honed elsewhere on your career path. They are valuable and transferable – and should not be underestimated.
If you’re ready to dip your toes in the job-hunting waters, we’ve got three roles below to take a look at. As Egunjobi says, “Apply for the job. You don't need to have every skill to do it.”
Junior Test Engineer, SDP, Amsterdam
The Junior Test Engineer will assist in the development and growth in an overall Sim testing strategy and you will work with development teams to triage issues, do root cause analysis, verify fixes, define new tests, and improve test plans. You will become a champion of quality for any product you touch, and proliferate that same spirit across the team. You'll need a minimum of six months’ experience in a test engineering role and you’ll need C++ programming experience or strong knowledge of C++ programming at or close to a junior level. Get more information here.
Stage CSM Data Junior, Empowill, Paris
The Stage CSM Data Junior will support and retain customers through support and product optimisation missions. You’ll perform data processing, process and integrate data in a methodical and intelligent way in order to optimise the use of the user, and you’ll think about the best way to set up customers' processes in the tool, to promote their onboarding. You will need excellent interpersonal skills and be comfortable with Microsoft Office, in particular Excel. Apply here.
Junior Frontend Engineer, Amazon Development Center DEU, Berlin
Amazon is seeking passionate Junior Front-end Engineers for its teams in Berlin. You’ll work on the front-end software development life cycle, design solutions, and work on coding, testing, implementing, maintaining and iterating on solutions. You will build, operate, and deliver delightful user experiences to our customers at a global scale to millions of users in dozens of languages. You’ll need two years’ of professional software development experience, as well as solid computer science fundamentals in object-oriented design, data structures, algorithm design, problem solving, and complexity analysis. Find the full job description here.