What is your career continuity plan? And, as I write this in mid-March 2020, every business I know of and do business with is activating their business continuity plans. From solopreneurs to small businesses to global corporations, from cutting-edge to been-there-done-that industries, the shock waves of the COVID19 pandemic have activated continuity plans all over the world.
And rightly so.
But what about career continuity plans? Unlike businesses, I know a lot of folks who don’t have a career continuity plan and so aren’t activating it. Instead, messages of professional panic, fear, loss, scarcity are far more present and far too frequently from folks that know better.
Let me be clear: I am also concerned about the global health and mid/long-term emotional and financial impacts of this pandemic. I’ve had multiple continuity conversations in my home & business networks; I am not immune. And, my plan is active – and so are my clients’.
I sent out a check-in message and I got these messages back:
“I may get laid off, so I’ve already started the plan. Connection calls set-up.”
“I asked the questions. The reduction is coming. Thank GOD we got clarity of our finances.”
“Hey, at least I know what I’m going to do.”
THAT is the power of a career continuity plan (by any name). Clarity, preparation, action so that in times of crisis, YOU are in the driver’s seat, informed and empowered.
Yes, there are a number of detailed, exhaustive templates available for free. Please do check them out. And right now, if you don’t have a continuing plan, don’t allow perfect or sophisticated to slow you down. Start simple, start now, start here:
• Personal financial foundation (savings, credit lines, line-by-line budget)
• Board of directors
• Mid-term and long-term career goals
• Policies at employer for promotions, investment, severance, etc.
• Immediate intention/needs & your mid- to long-term goals
Address immediate requirements:
• Activate your immediate intention, for example: replace 50% of income, stay in your industry, take time off, shifting a side gig into a full business
• Strengthen emotional supports
o Spend more time with each member of your board of directors
o Connect additionally to three professional contacts each week for relationship building and informal exchange
o Spend more time with the people who support and encourage you in your personal life
Manage, execute, govern
• Activate daily, weekly, and monthly execution plans against establish KPIs
o For example, # of connections, # of resumes submitted, # of workouts/hikes/walks/, # of follow-up calls, etc
• Establish review cycles with trusted experts
• Invest in a coach for growth and accountability
• Update career continuity plan with recommendations and lessons learned
• Share it with your board of directors, your community, your coach
It is never too late to set up a career continuity plan. It is never too early.
A career continuity plan will always be needed. I’m writing this as my family enters into our second week of isolation. We’ve taken our dog out for a walk almost every day and my husband went on toilet paper and groceries run.
And that is it.
We were among the first to lock it down. Our choice led to a number of difficult conversations.