"The trouble with the rat race is that if you win, you're still a rat!"
   — Lily Tomlin

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Is It Time for Plan B?

The Sunday New York Times recently featured an article entitled, “What’s Your Backup Plan?” The article looked at three potential backup plans: chocolatier, organic farmer, and dog massage therapist. As the author, Alex Williams noted, “Plan B typically offers less money and prestige than Plan A, but promises a more hands-on, stress-free and fulfilling existence. That’s the fantasy anyway. After a few days spent test-driving a few new careers, however, I started to suspect that Plan B should really be called Plan G. For grind.” Obviously, that lead and ensuing story makes for an entertaining one—especially for the well-heeled of Fifth Avenue—but for the rest of us, it’s serious business. If the downturn continues, do you have a Plan B? A way to bring home some money, do something that appeals to you, and isn’t such a grind that you can’t keep looking for something in your regular line of work? Sometimes these Plan B’s can turn into a full-time job…and a new life. Witness one MPNer who in the last recession took her interest in animals and started a pet products distribution company. Did it make her rich as Croesus? No. But last I heard she was living upcountry and happily serving the pets of New England. Or the MPNer who just didn’t seem to gain any traction in the large corporate database marketing firms. He finally bit the bullet and took the exams and became a middle school science teacher. And we know another MPNer who is currently spearheading the effort to market a new line of organic teas. And having some fun doing it, too, by all reports. So what’s your Plan B? Might be worth some thought now.

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