You still have time to implement the most powerful New Year's resolution of them all: making a Plan B.
Remember those optimistic New Year’s resolutions you made just a few weeks ago?
Chances are you’ve already broken them. You’re off your diet, the gym has been seeing a lot less of you, and your garage and/or closets are still as cluttered as ever.
But what’s even worse is that your career-related resolutions may be faring no better. Your workplace is still disorganized. You still haven’t joined that networking group. You have not started learning a new skill.
How about a New Year’s career resolution you can stick to? Moreover, one you should stick to? Well, here it is:
Make a Plan B.
No matter what your field, no matter where you are on the career ladder, having and maintaining a good Plan B is vital. Why? Because, let’s face it, lifelong job security just isn’t a real thing anymore. Your job, your company, even your industry can disappear or can be unrecognizably transformed in the twinkling of an eye. It sounds scary, but you don’t have to be scared if you’re prepared.
And you prepare by making a Plan B.
Here’s what to do: Identify the experience and expertise you possess that could be transferred to other companies or other industries. To fill any holes, research classes you could take or certifications you could acquire. (Fringe benefit: improving your skills will also strengthen your position at the job you already have.) Explore cross-training possibilities at your current company, so that if your department is outsourced you could perhaps find a place in another one.
Please don’t forget your contingency fund. How much money do you have set aside? Chances are it’s not enough.
Needless to say, you should be maintaining and nurturing your professional and personal network (i.e., the best time to network is before you need a network). Finally, you should also always have an up-to-date resume and online profile.
A Plan B is nothing more than a thorough, detailed course of action for what you would do if the job and income you have now simply disappeared. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Stuff happens! It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution that will really pack some punch.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at email@example.com.