With job loss statistics looking rather grim these days, perhaps itâ€™s time to consider what kind of backup plan you might implement in the event that your primary source of employment goes belly up. It seems to me that too many people are counting on the job they have and keeping their fingers crossed that they maintain steady income from a single source.
The prospect of a loss of employment should be a concern for older workers in particular since many employers are turning to younger workers when hiring simply because theyâ€™ll work for less and put up with more demands. Sure, older workers have the experience, but they can also bring along their own type of â€œbaggageâ€ and they demand higher compensation.
Here are some ideas that you might consider implementing to provide a bit of a backup for your current employment.
A second job might put pressure on your personal and family life, but it might also be a nice fallback position if your primary employment falls through. My sister worked two jobs for about 20 years as a means of getting sufficient income, and then she easily transitioned into her second job as full-time employment when she saw the business of her primary employer slip into the quicksand of bad management.
There is no time like the present to build your network of contacts. Get to know people and have them get to know you. People are much more comfortable hiring someone they know rather than someone they donâ€™t know. Become known and youâ€™ll have an easier time getting re-established if your employment goes sour on you.
It sounds odd, but start looking for a job now. Donâ€™t wait until you donâ€™t have a job to transition into another one. Itâ€™s much easier to find a job when you have one simply because your value goes up. After all, you must have value if someone else is employing you. When I hire employees, I always look carefully at why they were unemployed, especially if their unemployment lasted more than a month or so.
Get skilled to better match marketplace demand. Use your current employment to get training and experience in new areas where the marketplace is seeking talent. Some skills that I think are valuable, alone and in combination are: project management; business development; information technology; communications; team leadership; customer service; specialized technical skills; and, bridging the gap between high tech and users/consumers.
Create multiple revenue streams that are independent of your current work. Perhaps you can write, consult, repair or create items for sale in your spare time that add a new dimension to your income. With the Internet, many things can be created from a remote location. I think of freelance writing, editing and web design as three jobs that can be conducted on your schedule and in any location that you choose to call home.
When youâ€™re facing a job loss, itâ€™s no time to start thinking about what you might do in response. Start thinking about the security of your employment now and take action to create a backup plan, and then start implementing that plan so youâ€™re ready to ride out perturbations in the job market. Who knows, you might even find a job that you like better than the one youâ€™re engaged in now.
The key is to respond to what you see happening in your area of work. Otherwise, when a job loss comes your way, youâ€™ll be forced to react to it. I think a planned response beats a forced reaction every time.
Clair Schwan has been fortunate in his employment history. Heâ€™s never lost a job. He came close to being fired once, but was able to pull that out of the fire. His philosophy is quite simple; we all need to make our own career path by deliberate planning and action. The alternative is sometimes just too uncertain. He believes the better you can control your own employment, the better youâ€™ll be able to plan farther ahead and orchestrate your overall life direction with greater success.