A former client and now friend has just been laid off. Her former boss thinks that "Sue" didn’t have a clue, but she did. In fact, it was only a couple of months ago that Boss said to Sue, "I'm so worried that you’re looking for a new job." Sue: "No." Boss: "Phew."
Then two weeks ago Boss said this to Sue: "We have decided to eliminate your position." Sue left within the hour.
Here’s the thing: Sue did have a clue. Not only did she have a clue, she had a Plan B already in place. And so she went home to her supportive loved ones, comforting pets, and her Plan B. And, after a few hours of giving into her feelings of shock and betrayal (even though she saw it coming), she resumed tinkering with her favorite dream – an online business that will not only generate income but also position her as a thought leader in her field.
Another friend is watching his department gradually shrink across the country – his beloved colleagues suddenly disappearing, like little popping bubbles. Pop! Pop! Pop! Gone! Gone! Gone! He expects to be one of those bubbles himself before too long. But instead of wringing his hands, he and his partner have their eye on a charming little restaurant/motel combo that’s up for sale in New England. After all, he’s always wanted to be an innkeeper.
Let’s face it: This isn’t a good time for people who like to count on job security. The loony ways that people are preparing for extreme dread scenarios make for entertaining reality TV, but not restful nights for folks who are counting on their bi-weekly paychecks. You can (and probably should) follow the advice of experts who tell you to have extra drinking water on hand, fill your freezer with food that’s on special and look for cut-rate phone plans to shrink your financial footprint…just in case.
But this is also a great time for people who dream! So instead of being prepared with a “fall back” position, why not have a spring-forward plan in place instead?
Here’s what you do:
1. Congratulate yourself for all that you’ve learned and the ways you’ve grown since the last time you updated your resume and went job-hunting. You’re a newly accomplished person with a whole new set of skills and contributions to offer the world.
2. Review your life circumstances to make sure you’re free to make new choices along an updated set of variables. Do you really need to carry that large house, for instance, if your kids are launched?
3. Brainstorm what you really want next and how you can take those dreams to a changed economic marketplace.
4. Identify the new skills you need to acquire or the changes you need to make to prepare for your new dream. If you still have your current job, use it as a stability platform that will support you while you focus on your reinvention. Learn Wordpress. Get certified. Study hospitality. Learn how to shine in front of a video camera. Lose that weight so you can burst into your new dream as a fit, confident, happy person when the time comes.
Whatever your Plan B dream is, now’s the time to prepare for it.
What do you get in the meantime? A new vitality and a glowing sense of happiness and possibility. That’s going to show up at work, and people will notice. They may even start thinking of you for new projects.
Plan B is identifying your next dream and making yourself happy while you prepare for it.
Now, isn’t that better than buying multi-pack cans of tuna at Costco?
Photo copyright Andy Hayes, used with permission.