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Should You Have a Fallback Career?

Through the last few years we’ve seen steep ups and downs with the job market and job security in relation to pandemics, inflation, resignations, layoffs and even the dawn of AI. These concerns are enough to make anyone want to jump into a different line of work—but is it worth it? And is it right for you? We investigated to help you make your decision.

What is a fallback career?

A fallback career is one that you can look to—you guessed it—fall back on when the job market gets dire. It’s a second job option, usually adjacent to your primary career, that encourages you to broaden your skills. It also might make you more marketable and stand out amongst competition, depending on the second career you choose.

So, should you have a fallback career?

Yes, it is a great idea for everyone! Beyond becoming more marketable, a second career will prevent you from ever becoming bored or feeling left without work options. But the second career you choose depends on your time and interest:

How much time do you have to devote to new training?

If the answer is ‘not much’, then think about what job options are near to your current line of work. For example, if you’re a journalist but there are fewer assignments coming your way, perhaps you look into copywriting. Network with other copywriters to learn which writing skills you need to brush up on and what types of clients might be looking for someone with your interests.

If the answer is ‘enough time to make this work!’, then plan out your educational road map. We’re not saying you need to go and get a whole new 4-year degree (though, you do you!). But there are alternatives like taking night classes toward your Associate's degree or taking online classes to be proficient in a new skill that’s increasingly in-demand, like market research analysis or software development.

How much do you love this second job option?

If you’re considering a second job but it requires a skill that pains you to think about doing all day (hello, math), then maybe it’s not a great fit. At the bare minimum, you want to at least enjoy the work for the 9-5-or-beyond hours that you’re about to dedicate to it.

Finally, should you chase a higher salary?

Not necessarily. It’s great to be thinking of how to increase your salary, but when the market is in flux, your fallback career could just as easily be a trade job like an electrician, construction worker, hair stylist, art handler, or landscaper. In-person jobs like these will not be outsourced to other countries or left up to AI. Your income might be lower, but your job security is higher and you’re likely to receive benefits like a 401k and medical insurance. Then when the market stabilizes, you can always return to your old career, either through freelance or finding a full-time job.

And that’s where Artisan comes in!

If you’re looking to begin a fallback career, our recruiters can help you figure out your next steps. Reach out and talk to us at Artisan today and find work with some of your dream clients.

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