“You do what?” That’s what most of us hear so often when someone asks us what we do for a living. Dedicated business continuity as a profession is still in its infancy and it still gets a lot of quizzical stares when you talk about it, similar to what IT professionals used to experience in the mid ‘80’s. “Wait, you mean that’s an actual job?”
So what IS a nice person like you doing in a place this anyway? Did you know you’d end up on call all the time and working almost 24/7 during some future employers’ crises? Very few of us actually planned on being in this industry when we were younger. Sure, maybe we obtained degrees in business or project management and/or have a BC-style background in the military. But very few of us, even several years into our business careers, were aiming at working in BC or even knew it existed.
I certainly didn’t until an organization I used to work for created a BC division to help their clients. Once I learned about it, I was all in. The very concept fascinates me: pre-planned, tested activities that help keep companies strong even if they’re dealt what would previously would have been a mortal blow. And keeping everybody employed! Crazy. And now that I’m here, I’m here to stay.
My education and overall background are in marketing but I come from a restaurant family so we’ve always been involved in hospitality one way or another. And that’s how I look at business continuity – making sure people are taken care of. BC takes it a step further, though. It’s taking care of people as well as possible when they need it the most. And, more importantly, when their organizations need them to be performing at their best.
So we practice, improve, evolve and always learn from our mistakes. But the most important thing we can do is pass along what we know. Mentorship is important in any industry and, just like we once were, there are always new, less informed folks coming in. I remember my first light bulb moment when I realized not only that business continuity existed but that it was an essential business tool. I was touring a popular FBO at an airport in the Orlando area and the owner showed me the way they sheltered their backup generator – on a trailer to get it out in the open within moments when they need to operate it – and their backup supplies to keep the business running when the next hurricane hit. “You think general aviation isn’t pretty important to keep in business after a bad hurricane?” she asked me. Almost 8 years later I got a big kick out of taking a much younger new coworker to the same place to show her how they prepared for interruptions. I still remember the “Ohhhhh!” look on her face.
Especially those who have no idea what we do.
So what about you? How DID a nice person like you end up in a place like this? Tell us below.
Continuity Housing helps companies enhance their business continuity plans by pre-arranging guaranteed housing and providing logistical support for mission-critical employees during disasters. Subscribe to the Continuity Housing blog (in sidebar at right) and follow us on Twitter, on YouTube, on LinkedIn and on Facebook. To subscribe to our mailing list and/or to find out about a free 30-minute consultation, let us know.