Have You Considered A Fall Back Plan?

Author: The Job Window |

The Job Window

What kind of career are you trying to get into? Is it something super competitive? Have you thought about having a backup career?


There is an old Japanese proverb that says, “He who chases two rabbits catches none” which advocates for just going after one thing. That may have been sound advice in ancient Japan, but in today’s competitive modern world, it may not be the most prudent course of action.


The thing about only focusing on your ultimate goal, is that while you are putting all your energy into chasing that fast, clever rabbit, you’re hungry.


Having a more secure backup, different from your ultimate goal, is like setting a trap for that illusive rabbit, while still eating something less delicious but easier to catch. Like a porcupine. Or a turtle.


He who chases a super fast rabbit should probably also carry some extra porcupine meat in his pack. It may not have the ring of the Japanese proverb, but it explains the point.



Set goals for yourself AND stay realistic

It’s great to set high goals for yourself, and to go after what you really want, but it’s also sensible to have something to fall back on until you get there.


It doesn’t have to be an entire second career, it could just be a matter of getting really good at waiting tables, or learning some coding and doing that on a freelance basis.


Perhaps it means expanding on a unique skill you already have and turning it into something to earn you some extra income.


When you are working at your backup plan, it’s very important to keep your eyes on your real prize. You might do amazing at your backup career, but you need to know when to step back if it’s getting in the way of your ultimate goal.


For example, if you’re working at Walmart to make some extra cash, and you’re up for a big promotion, think about the extra time that promotion will take up. How would that promotion detract from what you really want?


Just beware of accidentally switching out your true goals for your temporary ones. That may mean turning down promotions, or easing off on hours so you can keep stalking that rabbit - because you don’t want to face the regret of settling for porcupine at every meal.