A few years ago, I wrote a post with advice that I egotistically called “Safety Nets and Backup Plans.” Who am I to say how life works? I only have one, and sometimes it is not easy to manage. The points made about having a Plan B are still valid, but looking at recent events in our collective lives, I see how difficult it can be to stay the course. The rule of getting somewhere involves making a sound plan, executing that plan, and TA DAA! We successfully arrive at our goalâ€¦ unless something unforeseen happens.
Decision making requires the use of all the intellectual tools in our toolbox. Careless decision making is far more comfortable, but that is a conscious decision to ignore the consequences. The problem with having that perfect Plan B is the fact that sometimes the unthinkable happens. The path to career success depends on choices at the beginning, middle, end, and dealing with those unforeseen pop-up obstacles. Deviations will always occur because the distance between two points is only a straight line in geometry books.
Here are four types of Plan B comments we hear, and one added Plan B reality:
- “I have a Plan B” – what people say to others when they want to convince them they can switch from their current Plan A whenever the need arises. The transparency of this threat becomes obvious when failure to act pokes holes in reality.
- “I have a Plan B” – what people say to themselves when they want to believe that somewhere there must be a better way. Failing to muster up the courage to do anything about finding it after a failed Plan A shows it was never a plan after all.
- “I have a Plan B” – what thinking people say when they want to sit down and consciously examine the current situation of their Plan A, evaluate their goals, and plot a new course. Planning is good, but probably still short of real action.
- “I have a Plan B” – what confident people know to do when they actively go after their goals and find a way to arrive where they are supposed to be. This plan is a modification of their Plan A that includes a risk assessment based on known risks.
- “I HAD a Plan B” is what is said when those pesky life-stealing gremlins blindfold us, spin us around, and send us off into the unknown.’
What were your pre-pandemic plans, and how did they change? Was it a bold career move or just a stay-the-course and hope for the best? Are these hard questions?
- Answer them to yourself. Know where you are and what you want.
- Talk about them with others. Seek advice when needed and give it when asked.
- Use your brain instead of your emotions to make crucial decisions. Recognize that planning is only half the battle, and the other is fighting to the finish.
Keep moving. No amount of sitting around can help us to get where we ought to go. Wire walkers who stop mid-course will fall into an abyss or a net. If only we could remember to build the net.
Photo Credit – Copyright: flynt / 123RF Stock Photo