Recession-proof job: ain’t no such thing

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I’m getting a lot of pitches lately from this expert or that, offering to enlighten us (meaning me and thereby you) on recession-proofing your career. A lot of media outlets are taking the bait, judging by the meme wave of articles purporting to tell us such secrets. Which made me wonder: just exactly what does qualify a line of work as immune to downsizing?

U.S. News & World Report claims to tell us in its brand new cover, Best Careers 2008. I don’t mind using our space to tout a would-be rival because, heck, we’re all in this together, right? Besides, if the journos at USNWR lose their jobs, they might come after mine.

Here’s what they say are the most “recession-resistant careers“:

• Optometrist

• Clergy
• School Psychologist
• Physician Assistant
• Biomedical Equipment Technician
• Locksmith/Security System Technician
• Hairstylist/Cosmetologist
• Higher Education Administrator

Optometrist? Really? I find that curious. If I’m downsized, then I’ll lose my vision-care reimbursement plan. So instead of replacing these glasses my daughter recently repurposed to accessorize her tiara, I’m going to bend the wiring back to fit a human head rather than spending $300 out of pocket for a new pair. What’s more, the one optometrist in my town doesn’t seem to be doing much business. Of course, it could have less to do with economics than with his aptitude for his job. One time, while inspecting my husband, he asked which one was the glass eye. For the record: neither.

Equally curious was USNWR’s list of “overrated careers“:

• Physician

• Attorney
• Medical Scientist
• Architect
• Teacher
• Chiropractor
• Chef
• Real Estate Agent
• Small-Business Owner

I don’t know. I’m pretty sure illness and lawsuits aren’t going away (often because one leads to the other). I’ll tell you what’s an overrated career: rating other people’s careers.

What do you all think—are your jobs and industries recession-proof?