Budgeting skills are important, but they don’t mean squat without an income. Your income is what keeps your financial life alive. Loss of income through job loss can be devastating. It can happen to anyone, at any time. And since your income is your most valuable asset, it only makes sense to protect it. The best way to do that is to develop a career backup plan. Think of it as income insurance.
These three simple steps are your best bet for being prepared for a job transition at any time:
1. Update your résumé
Keeping your résumé up to date is just common sense smart. Beyond keeping it updated with skills and positions, make sure you update the look of the document as well. Nothing gets ignored faster than a run-of-the-mill, or worse, poorly formatted, résumé. Staying up to date on professional networks like Linkedin is also a good idea.
2. Join an industry association
Industry associations are a good use of your time for several reason. For starters, the knowledge learned and the resources gained through an association in your industry will help you in your current job by adding value to your skill set. Networking is another great reason to join these sorts of organizations. Want to be assured of finding follow up work after being let go or downsized? Know a wide network of people in your industry. Networking is the key to all job searches.
3. Stay abreast of job postings in your industry
Taking stock of what’s going on in your industry keeps you in the know of industry trends. While staying abreast doesn’t mean constantly vying for the “best” job in your industry, it can help prove you have grounds for a raise.
A backup plan isn’t an escape route or a reason to do poorly at work. It’s just that little bit of extra effort you’ll thank yourself for in the future.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.