Have A Career Emergency Plan

I don't like the idea of plan B.

I'm the kind of person that has come to realize that it's better to take time making a good plan A, and revising it occasionally, than it is to have a bunch of plans distracting you.  If you have too many plans, then you won't focus enough on them and may give up easy since you "always have a Plan B."

However, though I believe in this approach of "Plan A first", I do think that there's one thing your career does need: a Career Emergency plan.

Read more

“How” is the only sure path to “can’t”

I talk to a lot of people who are very, very sure of what they can't do in their careers.

They can't be writers.  They can't be artists.  They can't be travel agents.  They have a giant list of can'ts.  It's often larger than their cans.

When I talk to such people, I also learned very quickly that the majority of them really have little or no awareness of the career they've given up on.  They hear something, read something, or make an assumption, and then kill off their career plans right there.

The only way for you to decide you can't do something is to know how it's actually done.

Read more

Let Me Bore You: Stability and Profit

And let's get down to some more boring career advice!  You know you enjoy it, if only because it saves on sleeping pills!

Today's subject – stability versus profit at work.

Sure we all want high levels of pay, and a lot of us probably deserve them.  However one of the factors to consider in long term career planning, is that just because you get paid a certain amount a year on average, it doesn't mean that's what you'll make in the end.  You will face pay cuts, layoffs, etc.

That has to be taken into account in working on long-term plans and budgets.

What's the average rate of pay in your profession – and the average amount of time someone spends unemployed – and how often does it happen?  If you've found over eight years that you get laid off every 2 years and it takes you 3 months to find a job, that's not eight years of solid employment – that's 12 entire months of unemployment in 8 years – you really only worked 7 years.  In short, you made 7/8 of your pay rate (not counting unemployment and severance of course).

That little bit of math can be a lifesaver in long-term planning because it not only lets you project ahead and tells you about your unemployment prospects (for instance in some professions certain months and quarters are more likely for layoffs), but also lets you do some long-term budgeting.  You can, with just basic math skills, do a bit more planning ahead and calculations to stay on an even keep financially.

So, take an inventory of your past employment and see what you can see in layoffs, hiring, and how it might impact your budget.

– Steven Savage