In the middle of this global recession,with redundancies being announced across industries on an almost daily basis, it’s worth considering if you have a back-up plan. In the event of being made redundant, what would you do?
The BBC recently ran a piece on Americans’ preparations for redundancy, which in some cases involved re-skilling to move to a completely different occupation, which the BBC refers to as ‘Plan B Careers’:
In the face of a contracting economy, more and more professionals are devising Plan B careers.
Fearing that they may be made redundant, or despairing at the widespread demise of their industry, they continue to turn up at the office each day.
But at the same time, they are secretly enrolling in night classes, signing up for online courses, engaging in research, writing up business plans and approaching potential backers to prepare themselves for an alternative career.
These seem to be excellent examples of individuals turning adversity to their advantage – but working hard to do it. In addition, they are engaging in planning and training before they are made redundant. Post-redundancy career change needn’t be as significant as that, however. In addition, you might not get much notice before being made redundant, minimising the amount of preparation and re-skilling you can achieve.
It’s always a good idea to identify your transferable skills – the things you can do well in your present role that you could do equally well in a different role. These mightn’t be immediately apparent, especially when you’ve trained to enter a specific profession.
The secret is to avoid being boxed in by your present title and to think instead about the skills you bring to that role. Good project management skills, people management skills and relationship-building are always in demand. Finally, the ability to be flexible and think outside of narrow job descriptions will bring more opportunities to light and also place you in a good light with prospective employers.
But while you have time, maybe you should start thinking about what your own Plan B Career might be?
(If you need inspiration, this article from the New York Times includes reference to dog massage. Yes, the massaging of dogs. For money!)