Preparing for the ‘just in case’ in your career

Do you have a Plan D?

choosing plan d illustration design over a white paper background

We carry insurance for everything — in case of a chipped tooth, in case of a tornado, in case of a car accident, in case of some catastrophic illness or, even in case of death.  However, what’s your insurance plan for your career?

If you fall in that 45+ demographic, you could be in an at-risk category for your current occupation.  Perhaps there’s a concern that you could be losing your edge or your employer thinks they can hire 2-3 twenty-somethings for what they’re paying you.  Whatever the case may be, you should work on creating your own plans B, C and D.

Where do you begin?  Well, what do you know how to do and what do those skills mean in today’s market?  This means making an inventory of your knowledge and identifying any gaps that you might want to fill.  If you can get your employer to supply you with the training you want, great!  However, you might have to spend some of your time (and maybe even money) to freshen up your skill-set.  This is not a one-time activity.  To be of value, you need to continually work on updating your skills up and seeking out new avenues for learning.

Secondly, what do you want to do?  If you’re not finding fulfillment in what you’re doing or if you’re afraid that what you’re doing could one day be obsolete, is there something else that could be calling you?  While similar to the previous scenario I posed, this one truly involves you being prepared to move on to a new phase in your life because you are trying to launch yourself into a whole new career.  This might really mean using your spare time and resources to add more tools to the belt as you ready yourself for the next chapter.

Finally, get a “side hustle”.  This is that thing (or things) you do as another stream of income.  It could be photography, writing mobile apps, catering, repair work, landscaping, etc.  The point is, have something else you’re doing that might help keep you afloat should you find yourself between jobs so that the financial blow from losing a job is lessened.  Also, you could find that, by having built up this side business, you are in a good position to make this “side hustle” your full-time business.

So, what are you going to do for the “just in case?”  Having a plan might be the difference between suffering a setback and dealing with a catastrophe.

Written by JP Smith

A self-proclaimed "technologist...with attitude", I'm a forty-something husband, father and IT professional/enthusiast. I believe that learning and growth are lifelong endeavors.