A quantum of solace in this economy: Plan B

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…by which I don’t mean the morning-after pill. I was talking to my friend Penelope Trunk, CEO of Brazen Careerist and the bluntest career expert I know, and it seemed evident to me after our conversation that in this economy, we all need a Plan B. That’s right: an actionable, practical strategy to fire up if and when Plan A goes kerplooey.

Don’t have a Plan B? Here’s how to create one:

1. Assess your skills. Figure out what you’re good at, then list everything else you can reasonably do on a resumé without outright lying. Like, my skill is writing. That’s pretty much it. But I could probably wield that skill in a number of different directions, like, say, I don’t know, copywriting or public relations or doing the fancy lettering on a menu board.

2. Assess your connections. Who could get me a job writing out menu boards? I have a former colleague whose husband owns a couple of restaurants. Maybe he needs a menu-board writer.

3. Assess your readiness. If you’re laid off at year’s end, are you ready? What about next week? Tomorrow? In my case, a week from Monday?

I’ve thought it through. Here’s my Plan B: my elderly dad moved in with me recently. He’s got a little money saved up. I figure the going rent for a room in a New Jersey home is, oh, probably about the same as my salary. I mean, including laundry service and all. My Plan B is to bleed my old man dry.

What’s your Plan B?

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