No matter what the White House says about the current economic status of the country, most business leaders are pretty certain that we are in the midst of a major recession. This downturn will be a significant event for young members of the workforce—the Millennial generation—who have grown up in a world of nearly non-stop economic growth.

If you are a junior member of the workforce, you may be able to “recession proof” your career by doing the following:

Arrive at work on time, if not early, and stay late. Now is the time to show up for work eager and excited to be there. Work at finishing your projects quickly and superlatively. Then, see if you can be of assistance to anyone else in your department. Make yourself the one person that every manager would hate to lose.

Dress more conservatively than usual. In economic downturns, internal and external clients look for people who clearly are serious about their careers. Dress in a manner that suggests you are focused on succeeding in the business world. Avoid any outfit that suggests you are more interested in an after-hours party than you are in work.

Take advantage of training opportunities. If last year’s workload kept you from attending internal training programs, sign up for every learning opportunity that presents itself now. Acquiring new knowledge and skills always pays off.

Start building your professional network. Opportunities have a strange way of popping up in unexpected places. Begin building relationships with people in your department, in other organizational departments, in other companies or firms, and even in other industries. Without a network, you can’t possibly know about those opportunities.

Be grateful. Recognize that economic downturns are hard on organizational leaders. Management gets absolutely no pleasure out of laying people off. It will never hurt for you to genuinely express your appreciation for the fact that you continue to have a job.

Don’t worry. We’ve been through recessions before, and we’ll venture through them again. Even in recessionary times, consumers require certain products and services. If you are a new service provider, you can now provide those services at a far less expensive rate than more senior providers. Get competent quick.

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**The above content is given to us and solely owned by Mary Crane of Mary Crane & Associates LLC.

A graduate of George Washington Law School, Mary Crane lobbied in Washington, D.C. for nearly 10 years before pursuing her life-long interests in food and wine. Crane enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America and, upon graduation, worked at the White House as an assistant chef. During this time, Crane discovered the important relationships between food, wine and business. Her desire to share this unique knowledge yielded Mary Crane & Associates. Today, Crane travels North America delivering high-impact, high-energy programs to Fortune 500 companies and more than 50% of the AmLaw100. She supports new employees by explaining how to quickly assimilate in today's fast-paced work environment. Crane also helps managers understand how to best recruit, motivate, and retain today's newest workers. • Visit her Web site