money-coins It’s important to always have a career backup plan in place. This is the career option you could turn to if things don’t work out in your first choice career. The unexpected could be around the corner. You could be retrenched, become ill or be forced to leave your job to take care of a loved one. Anything could happen. There are a number of other reasons why you might need to have something other than your 9 to 5 job to provide you with income. These are just some of the options you could consider while you’re still earning your salary. After all, it may be easier to take these steps now without the fear and desperation of unemployment and financial instability at your heels. Emergency fund. Finance experts don’t agree how much you should have saved. Most say you should have at least three months’ salary saved up. Others recommended six months, a full year or the time you could be unemployed. What’s important is that you have this money saved up in an account you can access should you need to. On a daily basis we use our heuristic bias to make financial decisions. Don’t let your bias lead to you making poor decisions involving money. Further your studies. If you feel your skills are lacking in a specific area, now might be the time to add to your knowledge. There are many short courses you can do which could help you in your current job. You might even be able to convince your employer to pay. This might be as simple as taking an online course or registering at a tertiary institution. Remember, these could be the skills which give you the edge at your next job interview. Start a side job. If you’ve always wanted to be a writer or graphic designer, now could be your opportunity to take the plunge. The stability of your regular pay cheque could help you to be unafraid at the thought of risk taking. If you want to write, write daily. Start a blog and submit short stories to friends for feedback. If you’ve always wanted to design graphics, practise. Offer to design the invitation for the next birthday party or baby shower you hear about. You never know where your side hustle could lead you. Network. Now is your opportunity to make some connections. Get to know your lecturers and classmates. You never know how they might be able to help you in future. A classmate could be a future colleague. A lecturer might be a future employer. And if you’re starting to think you might work in another industry, try branching out into that field. Get to know the people who are working in that industry by attending events and meetups. Every person you meet is a potential opportunity. Having a backup plan is essential to help you sleep a little more soundly at night. You’ll know you’ve done what you can to make your future a little less scary. Image: Pexels