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A Six-step Plan to Prepare for Any Career Setback

Tip: Develop a fallback plan before you need it

"What might happen if..." is a common discussion prompt in the meetings I lead as a career coach. Coaching provides a safe space to talk honestly about the opportunities and challenges that intertwine when you're pursuing the next step in your career. As we have seen in the past few years, those challenges abound.

A job offer may be rescinded due to unforeseen circumstances such as a change of leadership at the company or a hiring freeze. Layoffs and furloughs can occur with or without warning. Promotions can get derailed by sudden shifts in contingent factors such as financial performance, accelerating developments in your industry, and even legal or regulatory changes. And employment arrangements in almost all United States jurisdictions are at will. This means the employer (and the employee) can terminate the employment relationship for any lawful reason, at any time, with or without notice.

Developing a pre-determined fallback plan allows you to proceed with a clear head when faced with a career setback. Importantly, fallback plans are not a marker of failure. They allow you to reflect on a measured, pre-determined response that you can adapt in real time if needed. Provisional planning for the worst-case scenario can clear the way for you to rigorously pursue your goals while providing peace of mind that you have your bases covered.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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