Vanishing Careers

Hundreds of thousands of employees are being terminated and most do not know what to do because they never developed a career plan.

How can anyone not realize that it is imperative to have a plan for surviving for about 40 years of working? Even more importantly for the additional 20+ years of your life after work?

Academia is still educating students for careers that are vanishing due to technology and economic uncertainty. How much sense does that make? Students are taking courses on management, marketing, and every other aspect of business, but nowhere in the curriculum is a course on how to market themselves more effectively in the new world of work.

All of those who have recently been terminated and those who probably will be have never developed a career plan with contingencies for “what will I do if I lose my job?” Many did not even realize that they were about to be terminated.

How can you not realize what’s happening in your company’s marketplace that will impact the profitability of the company? And you – eventually?

Current and future trends are obvious IF anyone is looking. Let’s take FedEx for example. Due to economic uncertainty, package deliveries are trending downward and as a result threatening the profitability of all package delivery companies. Further, FedEx recently announced that 10% of their management will be terminated.

The simple fact is that business and life is about money. So, if that is a fact, then every business and every employee should be focused on having a plan to survive and thrive “profitably.” In any business, the owners or shareholders expect a return on their investment (ROI).

When that does not happen, the shareholders question the management team and if declines are anticipated, they typically force a change in management that ripples throughout the company and results in reductions in employees to maintain profitability, hence the FedEx case above. There are many instances of this that have caused the terminations of hundreds of thousands of employees.

On the employee side, most are constantly concerned about money, too. They complain about it, worry about it, but typically don’t do anything about it. Well if life is about money, then that is something you should have a plan to remedy – right?

In conclusion, you are a business and should manage your career by having a plan to continue to grow and thrive profitably. Without a career plan with contingencies, you are on a path to termination as trends in technology and economic uncertainty continue to unfold.

Question is – “What is the Plan?”

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at or visit his website at