Job and Internship Planning: Creating a Plan B
Over the course of your work life, you’ll most likely experience a multitude of professional jobs and roles. As the desire to transition from one opportunity to the next approaches, you may find yourself in a position to restrategize and rethink your plans. Often times what we envision for ourselves can be delayed or distributed- maybe by a global pandemic? Regardless of the situation, it’s always important to consider having a “Plan B” in the event that you need to pivot from “Plan A.”
Be Focused and Flexible
Your plans have changed. Now, what? Stay focused on the skills and experience that you have, and consider how they may be applicable to employers and roles. This is where you start to get flexible by exploring other industries and positions that you may not have previously considered.
For example, research scientists may also explore organizations that create medical software for health professionals. Economics majors with an interest in finance might consider working in start-ups or helping non-profits break into new markets. Hoping to work in a museum or art gallery? Consider arts administration at a theater or music venue. Become an advocate for the arts through local government or at policy organizations.
Networking is a key strategy when navigating change. You may have ideas about “Plan B” fields but are in need of details about the day-to-day work, required skills or relevant resources. Reach out to alumni, professors, friends, mentors, former supervisors and other contacts for advice and insights. LinkedIn and Handshake’s Student Q&A module are great starting places to expand your professional contacts and ask questions.
Think about other roles you’ve held that you enjoyed or were meaningful to you. A lot of professionals build careers from activities that they considered hobbies like athletics, tutoring, languages or volunteerism. Your “Plan B” can include organizations that value what your “side hustle” is made of! Don’t forget, you have a number of transferable skills through your liberal arts education at Brandeis and your involvement in campus programs, activities and work.
Ask others about their career stories; even if you never thought about working in their field. Think of it as an informational interview where you want to learn more about what they do and if it aligns with your skillset. Some questions to consider asking as it relates to making alternative plans:
- Were your career changes planned and/or unplanned?
- How did you weigh various career alternatives?
- What helped you in making changes from your “Plan A” to “Plan B?”
- What personal qualities are important in making decisions in times of uncertainty
Change will happen and some things will be out of your control. Take into consideration these small steps in crafting alternative future career plans.