How many of you out there watch “Survivor”? As an avid fan of the show who has never missed a season, I see a lot of similarities between “Survivor” and our careers.
Have you ever been part of a company that was purchased by a larger competitor? It’s a bit like being on a tribe that goes into a merge and then finds itself in the minority.
Have you ever been cruising along with your career going great and then your boss got fired? It’s a little bit like going to tribal and watching your biggest ally get voted off.
And then there is the Classic Blindside! Anyone out there ever been blindsided right out of a job?
There may be other similarities between “Survivor” and your career. I have noticed that the people who go far in “Survivor” always have a Plan B.
(Special note: All three of the above happened to me.)
It doesn’t matter how well your career is going. You should be spending a fixed amount of time every week or every month working on your Plan B.
For some, even thinking about a Plan B might seem a bit underhanded, maybe a bit traitorous. Maybe you just feel things are so good right now that there is no need for a Plan B. Unemployment is about 4%, right? “Why do I need a Plan B?” Do you feel it will remain there forever? Everything runs in a cycle. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know that, for the majority of you out there, you will find yourself out of work at some point, most likely through no fault of your own, other than the fact that you didn’t have a Plan B.
The Plan B is about developing options for your career before they are needed. It’s about always having an up-to-date resume that stresses your benefits and value. It’s about LinkedIn and your first- and second-degree connections. (Hint, more connections is not necessarily better.) It’s about taking the time every week to reach out to a few people and enjoy having a conversation and getting caught up with them. The Plan B is about getting job offers while still being employed. Plan B is about not having to settle for something less so you can still feed your family.
If you have a Plan B, congratulations; you stand a good chance of making it to the end. If you don’t, I hope you don’t get voted out of the next Tribal Council.
As always, feel free to reach out for a chat. I love hearing from you.
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