Camping Tip: Check to see if your campground is on fire before you get there (what does this have to do with your job search??)

patch_springs_fireCamping clothes: Check

Food for 3 days, 7 people: Check

Tent, sleeping bags, etc.: Check

Water: Check

Check to see if the campground is on fire… oops.  We forgot to do that. (details: ours was the Patch Springs Fire)

I just got back from a three day campout with my family.  When we were driving to a somewhat unfamiliar area I noticed some really, really cool clouds.  As we got closer to the destination we realized that the clouds were in fact clouds AND smoke from a forest fire.    The closer we got the more I realized it was coming from… right where we were going to camp.

Who ever googles to see if the location they are going to is on fire?

I didn’t even think about it.

When we got there we found a couple of campers from Michigan who said someone told them if the fire came over the ridge (over the hill), the entire town would evacuate.  We were closer to the fire than the town.  We watched for a few hours and then decided we would stay, and that we should pitch our tent.  The first few hours of our trip we weren’t even sure if we would stay or if we were supposed to just turn around and go home!

By the next morning the smoke was gone (it was back by lunch, though).  We stayed the entire time, as planned, and had a blast.  We built family relationships, gave the kids memories, bonded, and all came home smelling like campers.

What does this have to do with your job search? I don’t know… how about:

:: Sometimes, with all of the preparation you make, things will just go wrong, like the business or industry you join, will be minutes away from catastrophe.

Do you risk it and stay there, or do you pack up and go back home?

It’s totally up to you.

:: Sometimes, where there is smoke, there isn’t necessarily fire (that will affect you).  In other words, it might seem like a dangerous or volatile situation, but you might be far enough away that there is plenty to do and enjoy (as was the case at our campground).

:: Have a Plan B.  Our Plan B was to go home and pitch the tent in the backyard.  Not ideal but heck, if there was a fire pushing us out we weren’t going to stay!  Do you have a Plan B?  Did the people at Enron, who got forced out with very little (or, NO) notice, have a Plan B?  Would it have helped them?  51 Alternatives to a Real Job is a book about Plan Bs.

Maybe there are other lessons.  My lesson was to JUST DO IT.  Just be there and make memories and create traditions.

Others might leave, others might think you are crazy, but your career choices are YOURS.

4 thoughts on “Camping Tip: Check to see if your campground is on fire before you get there (what does this have to do with your job search??)”

  1. Hi Jason,
    Glad you and your family are safe and had a great time!

    That’s the advice I would add to your already insightful list: Once you have committed to your plan of action AND your Plan B, have fun! Make the most of it.

    Don’t sit around agonizing over whether you made the right decision or whose fault it is. If you find yourself doing that, you haven’t really committed to your decision. You’ll feel better once you do.

    Of course, I see this behavior in job seekers more than in campers. : )

  2. I’ve noticed that there’s a resistance to creating a “Plan B” in career management. Once settled into a job, folks want to get on with their lives; they certainly don’t want to think about the upheaval a job change brings about. I recently spoke with a family member about her job search. She said she “hated this.” That”in between jobs, self-promotional” mindset was so counter her behavioral style/personality. BUT the truth is, whether we like it or not, we must be perusing the career terrain consistently, keeping in touch with our contacts, helping others and updating our skills- all the while, keeping a watchful eye on the forest fires in the Labor Market. I t becomes manageable only when we take it bit by bit, I think.

  3. @Sterling – thanks 🙂

    @Jeri – thank you – we did have a great time… and I’m glad we didn’t call it in too early.

    @Rita – I totally agree. I see people who want to wash their hands of anything job search related once they land, but that just makes each subsequent job search harder than it has to be.

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