Should you have a Plan B?

Some people enjoy planning far in advance. Some people like living in the moment, not thinking too far ahead. The question is if it’s important in a career planning context.

Here’s a question for you. Do you think it’s better to have a plan B for your career or not. A Plan B being an alternative to your current plan. For instance if you suddenly get fired.

One type of a Plan B can be to keep your options open through your network. Keeping in touch with recruiters or having a good relationship with managers at a company you find interesting. Another type of Plan B may be to have prepared a business plan for a start-up.

I’ve been toying with the thought on and off for some time. Reason being that I can’t figure out whether it has positive or negative effects for your performance.

Positive effects may include that you relax knowing you have an alternative and thus achieve your goals because you can focus on what’s important. Or you may find yourself being more willing to take chances and risks in your work. High risks means high potential payoffs, as they say on Wall Street.

Negative effects may include that, given you have a backup solution to your current path, you may not give it your all at your work. Carelessness might sneak in in your tasks and the performance drops accordingly.

It’s not clear-cut to me if it’s a good or bad idea to have a Plan B. I guess it depends on the situation you’re in. In times of great insecurity, like your company looking for cost-cutting opportunities, a Plan B may just be the thing that keeps you motivated. Because you feel a sense of security compared to your colleagues.

Do you think having a Plan B is helpful?

At least Sallie Krawcheck argues that not only do you need a Plan B, you’ll probably need a portfolio of alternative plans as nothing goes according to plan. In any case, if you decide that you would like to have a Plan B, Job Seekers Guide offers some advice.

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