Do you have an answer? Do you know what you would do if you got fired tomorrow?
If you don’t, let us suggest a plan you can start putting in place right now.
1. Save some money. Creating an emergency fund is the first step in any plan–financial or otherwise. And we wholeheartedly endorse it. Not only will it allow you to pay your bills, but it will also give you some breathing room as you figure out what you want to do next. Speaking of that…
2. Start preparing for that second job today. Here’s what we believe, after surveying the landscape: It will take something like 1000 hours—and maybe a lot longer—to recover from a forced career change.
We aren’t talking the time of sending out resumes; networking and the like. We are talking 1,000 hours of, in essence, retraining to prepare for another job. All the job hunting you will have to do will be on top of that. Even assuming you are willing to put in six hours a week, while you are working, that works out to be more than three years to get the necessary education.
If you’re working 60 hours a week, odds are you’re not spending another six hours on your next move. You’re betting on getting ahead in your existing company or industry and that it will be there to take care of you.
Maybe that’s not such a wise bet.
3. Find something:
A) That you care about—it will make it easier and far more enjoyable to put in the time, and
B) That might be a safety parachute.
Start investing three hours a week in it right now. (Yeah, we know that the math shows you need at least six, but let’s be honest. From a dead stop to six hours is rather like losing twenty pounds—the number is so big you won’t start. And more than anything you need to start. So start small (see our blog on acceptable loss). Trust that as your interest develops, it will be easy to work up to six hours.
In the best of all worlds—i.e. you get to keep your current job—the new education and stills you gain will make you more energized and allow you to do your job better.
And if the worst happens—your job and maybe your industry go away—you are far better off than all those people who did not make an investment in themselves.
Plus, you will have an answer to the question of what would you do tomorrow, if you got fired today.
By Paul Brown