Why You Need a Backup ‘Plan B’

  It is so easy to get ‘screwed’ in business. Unbeknown to you, right now, somewhere, somebody is making a decision that has the potential to screw up your business, your career, or your life. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but every decision somebody makes is a cause set in motion, and the policy decisions made by others can impact your future plans in a negative way. In this economy of uncertainty you’ve got to watch your back…
If you are ‘sitting pretty’, thinking things are going to be OK, think again. You need a a ‘Plan-B’ backup plan! And the best time to build your backup ‘Plan B’ is when things are going well. Remember, if you don’t have a plan of your own, you are liable to become part of somebody else’s plan.
Several years ago I made the mistake of getting too comfortable, and too trusting of my situation. At the time I earned a six-figure income selling technology, and the company I worked for was in a ‘growth mode’. Everything seemed so positive, and all indications pointed to long term stability. The Sales VP was quite optimistic, and he wouldn’t shut up about the long term career benefits of working for XYZ Corporation. My thoughts naturally were about staying put, and getting a gold watch in 30 years. However, six months later my world caved in…
I remember being called into the office of the Sales VP early one Friday morning, and as I entered the office he asked me to close the door and have a seat. The blood ran from my head, and I recall having that queasy feeling that something bad was about to happen, and it sure did. I got fired!
I sat there stunned. Fortunately, there was a pittance of a severance package, and health insurance under COBRA, and a promise to pay me on any sales that closed over the next 4 months. How nice…
On the day I was fired I learned the hard way the penalties of not having a ‘Plan-B’.  Being content with my situation made me apathetic about planning my future, and I got caught by surprise. If I only knew then what I know now…
Here’s my suggestion to you, and I hope you get to work on it right away! A good way to build a ‘Plan-B’ for yourself is to take a look at your address book, or LinkedIn contacts, and reach out and touch somebody. Make a call, drop a note, and stay in touch with people you know, and keep the lines of communications open. Don’t wait until you get fired to start building the network, and calling people up. It makes you look desperate. Market yourself daily, and constantly be on the lookout for new opportunity. That way you are in CONTROL OF YOUR DESTINY, and that’s the best way to get back on your feet. Controlling your destiny also helps you avoid in advance that queasy feeling that comes over you when you’re asked to come on in, close the door, and have a seat…

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One Response to “Why You Need a Backup ‘Plan B’”

  1. Chris Swiser Says:

    Yikes! Your situation is almost book, chapter and verse of how it went for me. 14 years at the same tech firm (proprietary software), top sales rep, and on December 13, 2006 it all came crashing down. 4 jobs since then, and I’m pretty sure I’ve landed where I can call it home. Having a Plan B, no matter how good you think your current position is, is imperative. I didn’t, and it took me 5 years to get back to where I was. Even so, I DO have a Plan B now and am constantly tweaking it, networking, making new contacts, renewing old ones, and staying on top of it. Yes!

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