It can be natural to focus solely on our current careers and not think of alternative paths we may be forced to take if something happens to our current roles. In today’s environment, in the corporate world, you may really want to think of a backup plan even if you feel you are safe because in reality nobody is 100% guaranteed not to be effected by a reorganization or layoff. There are multiple things you should be doing to better prepare yourself for an unexpected event in your career.
As the famous saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. I do not completely agree with this statement all the time, but it does hold true in many scenarios. Building relationships with a wide range of professionals in your career will provide you some advantages later on in life when you really need to leverage these people. You can leverage them for technical expertise, their networks of people, or when you need a job. At the same time, they will most likely want to leverage you one day.
Through extensive training, schooling, and building your experience on the job, you will want to become more qualified. As a more qualified individual, you will qualify for more job opportunities. An obvious one is to go back to school and get another degree. On the job trainings or belonging to various affiliations can also help you out. More projects you participate in can bring you greater experience and help you become more qualified in that way. You are more likely to land another job if you have more experience and education.
Although you have a job that you like, it does not mean you shouldn’t be keeping an eye open for other jobs. There may be greater opportunities for you in those jobs. Some say, you should interview at least twice per year to stay fresh and on your feet. This can help you keep your interviewing skills up.
The important piece of it all, is make sure you have a backup plan for your current role because you never know what will happen. Networking, being qualified, and keeping your eyes open can help you stay ahead of the game.