Screw Plan B, Find Your Plan A

Turning your career upside down to fuel your real purpose

Do you have a Plan B? A back-up plan?

For far too long, I’ve had a Plan B. What would my dream job be if this corporate gig thing didn’t work out?

I’ve been in the corporate world for 20+ years and I’ve always had that idea of a Plan B in the back of my head. In all that time, I’ve known, deep-down, that I wanted to do something entrepreneurial, something that gave back or that inspired others. And for 20+ years, I’ve always had the same answer to the big question: “I’ll work on it someday.”

Most career coaches or counselors will tell you that this is healthy. That having that “backup plan” in the holster, ready to go is a good thing. They will tell you that it gives you a sense of control over a situation that you may have not have any. But I’m here to tell you that it’s wrong.

But, it’s that lack of urgency, driven by corporate comfort, that has prevented me from ever finding my Plan B. I’m not lazy. I haven’t lost my drive. I’ve just been too comfortable. Safe. Secure in my cozy corporate world. It’s not a crime by any means. Millions of people do it everyday. Getting that steady paycheck, health benefits, discounts at the company store lure you into safe mode. It’s an addiction to some extent.

Does this sound familiar?

You go to work early in the morning, work a full day, pushing emails out, attending meetings, keeping busy. At the end of a long day, you head home exhausted and burnt only to find a family waiting for you at home, hoping for some quality time. Where in that scenario do you have time to pursue your dream job?

Welcome to the rat race. You never thought it would happen to you, right?

This is what happens when your dream career is your Plan B. There’s never enough time to focus on it your own dreams. So, now what?

I’m telling you to think differently or feel free to insert your own cheesy cliche here:

  • Life is too short …
  • Focus on the you that you want to be …
  • Lean in …

Those sayings work because, sadly, they are true. But, if your dream career is truly that important to you, why on earth would you ever refer to it as a backup? Flip it on its head and start calling it your PLAN A and focus all of your energies on making it a reality.

“Of the country’s approximately 100 million full-time employees, 51 percent aren’t engaged at work — meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs, and thus they tend to do the bare minimum.” — Gallup

Believe it or not, you are living your Plan B right now. You were never meant for the Rat Race. When you were a kid, did you dream of filling your day up with pointless meetings, answering benign emails or clocking in and out of the office like a drone? No! You were doing big, bold things. You were meant for more, much, much more.

Breath. It’s getting intense here so let’s take a second before we do something we can’t take back.

Let me be very clear here: I’m not saying to kick-in your boss’s door, tell them off and quit your job. Please do not do that!

But, you can take advantage of a fortunate situation that you are in. Why not use your current situation, your newly appointed Plan B, for everything it’s worth to help fuel and launch your real passion, your Plan A?

What better way to kick things off than to have a full-time job that provides you with the security you need to launch your real purpose?

So, take a moment and think about what it is you were really mean to do in this world. Take some time, while you have it, to find your purpose.

We’ll get into just how in our next talk: Find Your Plan A.