"This news is discouraging enough to cause anxiety, forcing professionals to go above and beyond to keep their jobs," said Aleksandr Volodarsky, CEO of Lemon.io, an online freelance marketplace for software developers.
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Don't rely on just one way of making money — that's the "best anti-crisis strategy," according to Volodarsky.
"Ideally, look for gigs in different verticals, geographies, and skill sets to diversify your income portfolio and minimize risk. If one of your gigs shuts down, you'll have a much easier time finding a replacement for, say — 30% of your income rather than losing everything all at once."
However, there are other options on top of freelancing or working several jobs at once.
"You can always find a company that offers you multiple projects rather than just one, thus minimizing risk while still staying in a more comfortable work environment," Volodarsky added.
The freelance workforce continues to grow as more and more people want flexibility and freedom when it comes to work. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 6 million independent professionals as of 2021, according to freelancer platform Fiverr's 2022 Freelance Economic Impact Report.
"This workforce is estimated to have earned $247 billion in revenue in 2021, up from an estimated $234 billion in 2020," said the report.
Volodarsky said that the increased demand for agile workers is the "perfect opportunity to escape corporate slavery" and increase earnings potential — without quitting or changing your job.
"If you do leave the corporate world, don't worry about having to spend an incredible amount of time building professional reputations before getting your first cent."
With a cloudy outlook for the rest of the year, venture capitalists are warning their portfolio companies to prepare for tougher times.
And some start-ups have taken action.
For instance, Swedish fintech giant Klarna, which became Europe's most valuable fintech unicorn in June last year when it was valued at $46 billion, announced last week that it's planning to lay off about 10% of its global workforce.
"They are VC-backed companies that burned through cash … fast-tracked hiring, and counted on VCs to keep pouring in cash. Now that the situation has changed, they're forced to cut back," said Volodarsky.
"Always triple-check the companies you work with, as you can often see the signs of trouble in massive spending, and consider bootstrapped businesses that are conscious about their funds and transparent about their profits," he cautioned.
Even in the most challenging times, there are skills that are in high demand, said Volodarsky.
"Every crisis is an opportunity."
Volodarsky's advice is to research on skills that are trending, talk to human resources or team leaders to "find out how to become a valuable asset."
"Employers appreciate and promote talented staff members who are eager to learn," he added.
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