What are you going to do “when your career balloon goes up”?
We used that phrase in the vaunted 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the cold-war era unit on the eastern most border of Germany, to describe the moment when the Soviet Union wold attack into Western Europe via the Fulda Gap.
The phrase derives from the First World War. Whenever enemy activity was expected, observations balloons would be released to monitor the enemy troop movements, signaling serious trouble on the horizon.
In this case, I am referring to your plan in the event that you lose your job without much notice. If you are young and can move back in with the parents, that is one heck of a plan. No costs, free food and lots of love! But of course, if you have a family and lots of responsibilities, it is a more complicated endeavor.
Maybe because of my military experience, I have always had a “worst case” plan. You should also, and if there is ground work to be laid in order to better prepare you to handle the situation if “the balloon goes up”, you better start now.
Why? Because your ability to chase your goals and dreams is constrained when you can’t articulate a plan to deal with failure. Forming a plan gives you mental security, and that emboldens the spirit.
This post won’t provide any steps to take to create your plan. That is on you.
I am simply saying that if you don’t already have one, you may be subconsciously allowing the fear of failure to constrain your life path, and cling to overly cautious and uninspiring goals.