I agree that "it behooves all job seekers to have back-up plans in place."
However, it would be nice to see a discussion thread devoted simply to this topic on this blog. I am in the middle of finishing my PhD at a strong school, but after watching many friends get ravaged on the job market, I have been forced in to thinking about my back-up plans. But it is tough. One natural back-up plan I always had in the back of my mind was law school. But my research suggests that the law market is pretty bad right now too, so I no longer know how good of a back-up that is. Coming out of my PhD program I won't have any debt, but I have read many horror stories of people coming out of law school, even good ones, with over $100k in debt that can't find a job in this market.
In any event, it would be nice to see a thread started where people could offer up thoughts on backup plans for those finishing up their PhDs, so that those of us in this position can get some fresh ideas for how to think about this tough issue.
I'll be honest with you. I don't have any sort of viable backup plan. I feel like I'm too old to start law school, plus I don't want to be a lawyer at all. You could try to tell me to be a law school professor, but you'd just be playing with my emotions at that point. I've got a few other ideas, but nothing that represents a significant improvement over this line of work.
What's your backup plan, Smokers?