The Five-Year Escape Plan
Do you have a five-year escape plan? Through an unconscious process of general, a-little-bit-fuzzy career planning, it has dawned on me that every every couple of years or so I make slight tweaks to my own FYEP. In building an FYEP I am acknowledging that careers, jobs, industry sectors, and indeed, life, are changing and changing fast. And so what for me started as roadmap to greater autonomy in my work soon became a tunnel dig towards more deliberately forward-facing prospects.
The FYEP is quite designed to transport you, in five years, from one way of working to another. Not a total career change (unless that is what you want), more like a springboard into the front line. You build your own FYEP based on he skills you have, any new skills you might need, and the state and needs of the market. You don't abandon ship in one go, but rather build a kind of modular escape ladder so that you can do it gradually.
For people who work at the very bleeding edge of technology, and perhaps some others, the natural progression of your work may lead you to bob and weave quite seamlessly into new branches and avenues connected with whatever it is that you do. But if you're working with old technology and with concepts that have been the mainstay for 30 years or more, a five-year escape plan might not be such a bad idea.