Recently I received several calls and emails from individuals worried about losing their job. My first question to them is, "What is Your Plan B?" Unfortunately, not one of them had a good response, except the gentleman who said, "I didn't know I needed a Plan B; I planned on staying with this organization for the next ten years.
Having a Plan B is more important than ever in today's fast-paced and unpredictable job market. The days of staying with one company or in one job for your entire career are long gone. Companies are constantly changing, downsizing, and restructuring, making it increasingly difficult to predict where the job market is heading. This is why having a Plan B in your career is essential.
What is a Plan B?
A Plan B is essentially a backup plan for your career. It's a contingency plan you can fall back on if things don't go according to your original Plan. It involves having alternate career options in case you lose your job, your industry becomes obsolete, or you simply want to make a change.
Why is it essential to have a Plan B?
Job Security: Having a Plan B provides a safety net in case you lose your job unexpectedly. If you have a backup plan, you can transition into a new career or find a new job more quickly.
Career Growth: A Plan B can also help you grow in your career. For example, if you have a backup plan to start your own business, you can work towards building your skills and network in that field while still working in your current job.
Adaptability: The job market is constantly changing, and having a Plan B allows you to adapt to those changes.
Financial Stability: A Plan B can also provide you with financial stability. If you have a backup plan to start a side business or freelance, you can generate additional income to help you weather any financial storms coming your way.
First to Market: If you have a Plan B and already have contacts, you can beat other job seekers to available and open positions.
How to develop a Plan B?
Developing a Plan B involves the following steps:
Assess your skills and interests: Take stock of your skills and interests to identify alternative career paths that align with your strengths.
Research: Conduct research to determine the feasibility of your backup Plan. Consider factors such as demand for the industry, salary potential, and required qualifications. Look on your favorite career site and browse your same-level jobs in other organizations. Based on the job description, which skills do you already have, and what skills do you need to get?
Build your network: Build relationships with people in your backup industry to gain insights into the field and identify potential job opportunities.
Gain experience: Gain experience and build your skills in your backup career path through part-time work, volunteering, or taking courses.
How much time a week should you spend on your Plan B? If things are going well at work, 1-2 hours is sufficient. However, if hiring has been put on a freeze, I would increase the time you spend on getting the backup plan in place.
I call having a Plan B job insurance! So get working on your Plan B this week!
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