Do You Have A Career "Plan B"?

You just missed the last recession, hopefully things are getting better. You're getting quite adept at dodging the executioner's axe — ducking at the last minute while watching fellow peers lose their heads. Are you talented or just lucky? At my last corporate gig, I managed to have seven bosses in six years. Six LONG years.

Talented and lucky just don't take you very far anymore. There might be a time when you need to resort to "Plan B".

What is "Plan B"? It's that time of your career when you realize that it's time to change, to make a move, to take ACTION. Some executives realize it when they are still employed and some realize it when they are carrying the contents of their desk in a box.

Here are some basic "Plan B" activities:

  • Get Out & Meet New People. Today. Try to have lunch with a new person every week. Do it.
  • Get Out & Strengthen Current/Old Relationships. They already know you. Pick the most motivational and influential and connect with them again.
  • Brainstorm. Sit down with a white sheet of paper — draw a line down the center and write energize on the left and enervate on the right. List all the elements of past positions that energize you and all elements that enervate or deplete your energy. Your new position should leverage the 'energize' elements.
  • Keep Alert. What's happening in your company? In your marketplace? In your city/state? What companies are doing well? Which ones need help? If you're going to go — go for the gold.
  • Get Your Resume In Order. Work with a professional (I have a few great recommendations if need be).
  • Start Reading The WSJ/Financial Times/The Economist/BusinessWeek. It tells you what's happening. Where to focus. What areas are growing, who's shrinking. New areas you never even knew existed.
  • Past Bosses. Have lunch with them. Find out what they're doing. They might want you.

Bottom line, now is the time to take action and develop a robust "Plan B". Today.