Twinkling death’s cold nose without retribution

Put your house in order, because you are going to die, you will not recover. 

This frequently quoted scripture is a morbid but powerful reminder that death that awaits us all, it’s the ultimate reality and loss of control, and we should prepare ourselves for it. 

And not only physical death. Many times throughout life, each of us must contend with the death of who we have known ourselves to be. 

Especially when it comes to our careers. In those moments when some unexpected change or loss or transition pulls the rug out from under us, it’s smart to have a plan in place. To paraphrase another scripture:

Watch ye job therefore, for ye know not when the layoffs of the company cometh. 

When my tech startup went through its first official round of layoffs in company history, it was a very bizarre summer for us all. For those of us leftovers who made the cut, paranoia filled the air like smoke from a boiling pot. All we could think to ourselves was, damn, maybe we should put our houses in order. Because who knows where that axe is going to drop next? 

But instead of shuffling numbly through life from one day to the next, we got proactive. In our daily downtime, we began dusting off our resumes and updating our portfolios and exploring the job market and making arrangements in the event that we needed to transition on a moment’s notice. 

Call it a contingency plan, call it an insurance policy, call it a personal security system, whatever. We all did what we had to do to purge ourselves of the reek of death. To protect ourselves from a future ambush. 

After all, the only thing worse than thinking you’re being paranoid is knowing that you should be. 

And so, if your career is starting to feel the scaly hand of death beckoning you home, remember this. You’re not dead yet, which means it’s time for you to star pivoting into what you need to evolve to next. 

It’s not about what’s right or wrong, or what’s fair or unfair. It’s about your goals and what you need to do to achieve them. 

Go figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself. Do whatever it takes to be nimble, lean, liquid and able to pivot on a dime. And prepare yourself to hit the ground running, right away. 

Because as the other scripture says, if you don’t change direction, you’ll end up where you’re headed. 


Do you accept your need to take special measures to protect your livelihood? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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