When Your Future Isn’t Looking Bigger Than Your Past
Create Your “Plan B” Before You Need It
The boss said you were next in line. You had a clear path to the top until one day something changed and promises made became promises broken. You’re not alone. Up and coming executives in America’s largest corporations who are expecting to move into CEO, President, COO, and other C-level positions have their hopes dashed every day. In many industries, the odds of it happening are increasing as activist investors force cutbacks and reductions in headcount, and as mergers and acquisitions take their toll on the corporate makeup. Case in point: It’s projected that head count in big corporations will lessen by as much as 50% in the next 10 years. Think of it as playing musical chairs, but every time the music stops, five chairs are removed instead of one. If 3G or Trian is knocking on your door, the music will play even faster.
This new environment is a loud call for upwardly mobile executives to plan upfront. By example, a compensation package typically consists of a salary, bonuses, stock options, restricted stock, and “future opportunity”. The latter is the fuzzy area. It’s the carrot your boss wants to hold out there as long as possible until one day he or she can’t follow through because they may lose their job… and your promotion is off the table.
Now what? Should you stay or should you go? What’s your “Plan B”?
The best time to set up your Plan B is before you need it. But, whether you have a Plan B or not, having a financial advisor to guide you clearly and without emotion through your career transition is invaluable. A seasoned financial advisor will not only help you look at your options for staying vs. leaving but also actively negotiate on your behalf with both your current and future employer.
There are important questions to be asked as you navigate your career transition.
- Do you really even have the option to stay long term? If you have the option, do you want it?
- If you leave, do you get to keep your benefits and stock options?
- If promises made became promises broken, what can be negotiated to your favor before you leave –- benefits, stock options, etc.?
- If you leave, can you get your new employer to replace what you had at the prior job, thereby negotiating on both sides to your advantage?
- Is the opportunity cost or potential of doubling down worth making a move now?
As these issues get resolved, it could be the perfect time to revisit your financial plan and think about where you want to be in three, five and 10 years. Pause and consider if you are truly happy in your current field or if you should be looking elsewhere. Would you benefit from career or life management coaching? Are you making best decisions in all parts of life for you, your family, your career and your financial comfort?
Sometimes it takes being derailed to make changes that prove beneficial for a lifetime. Setbacks can turn into a launch forward. Missed promotions can be a positive. Much of it depends on your attitude and having the right people in your corner –- family, friends, and a financial advisor who understands what you’re going through and thrives on helping you land where you have career fulfillment, personal happiness and financial security. At Lenox Wealth, we call this helping you Fund a Life You Love.
P.S. Suggested reading –– Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million by John Lucht
For more information about Lenox Wealth, Lenox Family Office and our full range of financial planning services –– wealth creation to wealth management and wealth impact - contact us today.