The Most Vulnerable and Safest Jobs During a Downturn

  • John Sylo
  • January 23, 2023

In this article, a former Microsoft VP of human resources shares the jobs that are the most at risk and the ones that are the safest during a downturn. There are obviously many factors that can contribute to whether a job is at risk or safe, but this list makes sense.

The three most at risk jobs are:

  • Jobs related to "event planning" or "employee benefits/perks".
  • Jobs related to new initiatives, such as new lines of businesses or territorial expansions.
  • Contractual jobs.

The two safest jobs are:

  • Jobs in profit-making departments.
  • HR or finance jobs.

With regard to the jobs that are at risk, we can see that they relate to spending that the organisation may no longer view as critical or necessary. When the environment gets tough, there is a natural tendency to play safe.

As for the jobs that are safest, they tend to be those that bring in money or that are necessary. You need HR if you're going to let people go (at least, you need them at the beginning).