Tonya Harding - a case study on career planning.

June 8, 2011 This past February Tonya Harding, the once disgraced Olympic figure skater, made headlines again. Once for being a new mom, and then again for being broke. The 40 year old, first time mom has been working as a commentator for truTV's "The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest", but it seems that may not be providing enough income to meet the family's monthly bills. Tonya and her husband Joe reportedly moved into his sister's home before their son was born.

No career Plan B.
How did Tonya get into this financial predicament? To answer that you have to look at what Tonya devoted the first 24 years of her life to. Tonya Harding started skating at 3 and was in her first skating competition by the age of 5. 19 years after her first competition she was ready for the Olympic competition. Having spent all of her energy on cultivating a skating career, Tonya became lost after losing her that career for good. She obviously had no back up plan or other marketable skills on which to fall back on. Tonya had even dropped out of high school during her sophomore year while training for National competition, but later earned a GED, but didn't pursue further education. Since her skating demise in 1994 she hasn't been involved in much. She once appeared as a professional wrestling manager, and had a small part in the movie Breakaway. She tried to start a band, but ultimately failed. In March 2008 she got a job as a commentator on TruTv. The result appears to have ended up being financial hardship for Tonya and her family.

Tonya Harding isn't the only one struggling.
Unfortunately, we've seen this same scenario happen to lots of good people. Not because they were involved in a physical attack on a competitor, but because they didn't have a plan B. The Great Recession caught lots of talented people by surprise. What millions of people learned over the last several years is that anyone can be threatened or hurt economically. It is a mistake to relax into a comfort zone at work or fail to plan for economic "what ifs".

Understanding what is at stake.
The minute your income is taken away, your “resources hour glass” is turned upside down, and the emergency funds, savings, and other assets you had stockpiled are now being drained away right in front of you. Your goal is to turn the hour glass back upright as quickly as possible and restock your resources. You can do that by preparing yourself: making yourself more marketable and self-sufficient.

The Quarter Roll is published to provide personal insights and opinions on everyday ways of saving and managing money, budgeting, and reducing debt. The Quarter Roll does not give professional accounting, legal, or investing counsel. The ideas, examples, and advice presented on this site are solely the opinion of the authors based on his or her personal experiences. All photos courtesy of The Quarter Roll, iStockphoto, or Dreamstime. © All rights reserved. This site is best viewed when using Adobe Flash Player. the quarter roll magazine financial entertainment