Today at the top of most people’s minds is the looming coronavirus problem. It’s hard to ignore when you have so much information forced at you 24/7. However, you’re probably worrying about the wrong thing and you are probably not focusing on the right thing.
This too shall pass and hopefully, we will learn something from it. Read on to the end to find out my take on what we may be learning that will impact the world of work.
Why do I ask if you are focusing on the right thing?
People are buying out toilet paper. I have no clue why. Coronavirus affects breathing.
All of the good advice like hand washing, coughing in your elbow, and staying home when you are sick is advice you should be following every time you are sick. We probably wouldn’t have as much trouble with the flu if people followed this advice.
But the panic? Toilet paper, really? I will tell you that I routinely practice preparing for a downturned income.
Why? I’m an entrepreneur. There are no regular paychecks in my world.
In fact, the month of March has been a strain. Up until yesterday, I had made $100. Sure, it freaked me out a bit but I knew that I always prepare for emergencies.
I always buy the big packs of toilet paper, paper towel, Kleenex, and napkins as well as Ziplocks. My freezer has an assortment of meat: chicken breasts, hamburger patties, brats, ground beef, and an assortment of other meats. There are packs of veggies, buns, bread, and even some prepared meals. This is my normal.
I wrote an article a while back on how to plan for the unexpected.
This article may help you today as you face the coronavirus and other challenges in the market place.
If you depend on a paycheck, are you focusing on the right thing?
When there is a disruption like the current health crisis, everything feels topsy turvy. We are in new ground and fear seems to be driving the agenda. I suggest, however, that there are many ways you can use this time and the future more effectively. Maybe you are worried about losing your job with all the quarantines and cancellations.
Recognize that according to Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa in this July 2019 US News and World Report article:
The reality is that almost everyone you know has lost a job once in life, maybe more.
Plan that it is going to happen and if it happens, the best thing is being ready, plan for the unexpected. If you do find yourself with time on your hands, plan you are going to work on your career marketing materials: resume, LinkedIn, cover letters, and coaching.
My list of Good that can come out of this crisis:
- Employers and entrepreneurs need to recognize working from home in a time of crisis benefits everyone. Mark Dyson gives a great list anyone can use to improve efficiency in this article: Increase Your Work-From-Home Efficiency: 9 Handy Tools for Remote Workers
- Employers may recognize the longterm benefits of working from home. In my work with clients nationwide, I meet people who have 1 and 1/2 hour to 2-hour commutes on both sides of their days. Working from home alleviates commutes, gives quality time back to families, saves the environment, and creates more productive employees, a win for everyone.
- Interviews can be held virtually. Many companies hold interviews using Zoom or Skype. Make sure you are ready for this kind of interview.
- Schools that deliver online classroom teaching in this crisis will learn new strategies to help students who are ill in the future. If issues require schools to shut down, such as severe subzero weather in Wisconsin, snowstorms in Nebraska, or broken pipes in New Jersey, students can be taught even if it is not feasible for them to be in school. Teachers can teach lessons from home.
- Companies committed to high percentages of raw materials or products coming from China and other countries may assess insourcing production or setting up a second supply source to eliminate loss of production in the event of a crisis.
Off the top of my head, these are five lessons to learn from our current crisis.
The largest lesson we can learn from this event is not to let fear drive our actions. Your health is obviously important but you don’t have to let this crisis take over your life.
I’ve worked virtually with clients all over the country and in Europe for the last 10 years. My business model is working live and interactively with clients via Zoom calls to create their resume, LinkedIn, and other career marketing materials.
I first started using Zoom when Alex Freund, my interview coach in New Jersey did an initial call with me in 2016. He uses the Zoom to coach clients on interview strategies.
This allows me to be a coach and a writer at the same time. Clients get an in-depth understanding of the job search process and win jobs because of our interaction. Learn more.