The Job Exchange

Tapping Into The Hidden Job Market

What’s Your New Plan B?

Remember the old Plan B?

Until our economy went kerflooey, it was a whimsical reverie about the life that you could swap for the one that you were leading. It was a six-room bed-and-breakfast in Vermont that you bought and spruced up and managed into your dotage. Or a record deal, with tour support and 80 percent of the gate. Or some gadget you devised in the basement that was going to be huge.

It took many forms, the old Plan B, but it’s getting harder to conjure up any of them in detail. The idea of it is fading from our memory, obscured under the pile of bad news about layoffs and bank failures, beneath the letters with your returns, which you learned to stop opening.

Instead, we have the new Plan B, which can be summarized this way: the best you can make of a worst-case scenario, the deal you cut with a fate you might be unable to avoid. Under the new Plan B, the fortunate merely hunker down. The less fortunate slide, against their will, into a lower tax bracket and sometimes into jobs they don’t want.

As badly as our economy is tottering, the number of Americans actually living the new Plan B is still small compared to those who are not. What is slowly spreading is worry about the new Plan B. It is becoming part of our interior monologue, the anxious static in our collective heads, one of the ordeals of this downturn that doesn’t easily lend itself to measurement, like the G.D.P. or the Dow. It is not part of the economy’s visible damage, like boarded-up stores or those recession-inspired listings that start with “Hate to let these go!” or some variation on that theme.

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02/08/2009 - Posted by | Economy, layoffs |

2 Comments »

  1. […] Your Inner Entrepreneur What choices are available to the unemployed in a barren job market? The company you once worked for—or the one at which you are now employed—has dictated that you now consider and carry out your own Plan B. […]

    Pingback by Your Inner Entrepreneur « The Job Exchange | 03/17/2009 | Reply

  2. […] What choices are available to the unemployed in a barren job market? The company you once worked for—or the one at which you are now employed—has dictated that you now consider and carry out your own Plan B. […]

    Pingback by Your Inner Entrepreneur | The Underground Job Network | 05/08/2009 | Reply


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