You Need a Career Crisis Plan

Even if your career is going well at the moment, there is always the possibility that things can change. Layoffs come unexpectedly and industries may be forced to deal with systemic shifts. Just like you have a disaster plan or contingency fund, it’s a good idea to plan for any career-related crises that may come in the future.

As Alaina Levin , career coach and author of Networking for Nerds: Find, Access, and Discover Hidden Game-Changing Career Opportunities, wrote in a recent column for the American Physical Society, “crises can happen to anyone at any time. They can derail our career plans, cost us precious resources, or result in the loss of a job.”

Having a wide network is critical

As Levine advises, having a bailout plan can help you weather any unexpected setbacks in your career: dealing with a layoff, finding yourself in an unstable work environment, or navigating an industry-wide shift. Networking is the key to a successful crisis plan, she wrote , as it “helps you create and activate mutually beneficial relationships to support each other in times of trouble—and enable everyone to use their latent abilities to succeed in the face of loss.”

Simply put, you don’t have to navigate a career crisis alone. It is known that having a wide network of colleagues in different industries and at different stages of a career provides a number of long-term benefits for career success. The same is true for any career crisis, as building a community of people who can help each other is often the key to adapting and thriving even in the face of uncertainty. It’s important to plan ahead and build a reliable network before a crisis hits, so it’s there when you need it.

Have a problem solving plan

Ultimately, the plan for a career crisis is to make sure you have the problem-solving skills you need to deal with some of the really big and difficult events that might happen during your career, as this will allow you to correct course.

As Levin advises , if a crisis hits, you’ll want to find a way to approach the problem rationally by evaluating your skills, doing research on the current state of your industry, finding a way to market yourself (by updating your resume, website, or LinkedIn page), and reaching out to your network. to identify any potential solutions or opportunities. When networking, this can help identify potential ways your skills can help solve the organization’s existing problems, as it creates a win-win situation for everyone, including you.

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