You’re receiving this while I’m on vacation with my family which is a great relief after a year of hard work, tripling my business, and caretaking extended family members. Last year, I did a predictive post which is not my usual MO. I’m coming back this year to compare how those predictions played out and set the stage for what we need to think about in our businesses and careers in the new year.
⚡️ Prediction 2021: COVID-19 will obviously still be a factor for many months.
Forecast: We are not eradicating this virus anytime soon. Although many are more relaxed about it, we are not gaining enough traction to eradicate it in 2022
⚡️ Prediction 2021: Living anywhere you want is a possibility in 2021. Remote work will not stop after COVID-19 restrictions ease up.
Forecast: This will be a retention issue as the Great Resignation has emboldened many to have some sort of remote option be a condition for retention or hire.
⚡️ Prediction 2021: Your mental health, well-being, and physical health will matter more to companies than it has in the past after getting through COVID-19
Forecast: Although many suffered mental health issues during COVID isolation, it is the employee who will make decisions based on keeping their mental health intact and the employers are going to take longer to realize they can no longer ignore the effects of the pandemic nor how the demands they make on the workforce affects their employees’ ability to be well and do their jobs.
⚡️ Prediction 2021: The gig economy got some respect during COVID-19 as many states recognized unemployment benefits for the self-employed for the first time. The gig worker is not going anywhere, and it is how many people will cope with industry changes and being laid off.
According to Salesforce: The Census Bureau reports more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. during 2020 — the highest total on record. For reference, that’s a 24.3% increase from 2019 and 51.0% higher than the 2010-19 average. Half a million new businesses were started in January 2021, alone.
Forecast: I’ve been screaming this since 1998 when I wrote “Take Yourself to the Top”, we are moving away from the corporate life being the American dream. More and more people (women in greater numbers) will move to self-employment to tame work to fit their lives.
⚡️ Prediction 2021: The hospitality, live-entertainment, and restaurant industry will be back with a vengeance, yet the question remains as to how much damage was done and did these establishments survive long enough to be resuscitated? I hope we will have fair lending practices to bring back these staples of our social and cultural life we took for granted.
Status: I was wrong
The business are back and demand is there but establishments can’t find enough workers. Folks are done with low wage, thankless jobs. And many report the rudeness and entitlement of Americans as a major factor in leaving these jobs if they attempted to come back to them post-shut down. Hospitality, Restaurant Servers and even Flight Attendants are over it.
Forecast: Higher prices to cover higher wages required for employee retention. I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see more automation if workers abandon these fields altogether. Are you seeing more self-checkout at food markets? Same concept.
Outside of entertainment/travel, we’ve got teachers and nurses being large swaths of caring and devoted workers reaching their breaking point and looking for new careers. (I talk to them every week) Shortage in these areas will greatly affect our society. There will be opportunity for younger folks to break in but if we don’t fix the core reasons why these folks are leaving their profession, it’ll be a perpetual problem.
⚡️ Prediction 2021: Climate events will continue to remind us who is in charge. The automobile industry decided to keep moving ahead with the development of clean energy cars despite some restrictions being lifted. They know that consumer demand is to save the earth, and the need to do so remains. When we are out of the COVID-19 disruption, people will think about this again.
Status: Correct But only on the climate events part. 100 people dead in Kentucky from tornados as I write this. What will it take for people to demand change?
Forecast: Mother Nature will keep kicking our butts. It’s a new world and we do not have the infrastructure in place to withstand it. So if we did not prepare, we are forced into reaction mode. Which is more expensive? Preparing or reacting? Think of that in your businesses too. What should you be preparing for? What infrastructure is needed to withstand what’s ahead (not necessarily climate-wise)
⚡️ Prediction 2021: The political climate will improve slightly, but the country remains divided, so it will be up to the individuals to reset the tone. If a pandemic could not bring people together, a war won’t either. I’m reminded of a secular prayer: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Fear is divisive and creates scarcity. Peace within us requires hard work, but it needs to be done. Do your part in 2021.
Status: Correct and I was wrong —Correct, that not much improved. Wrong, in thinking that people might get tired enough of division to evolve.
Forecast: This is more of an intent than a prediction. Let’s start over. Press restart. Go see West Side Story if you didn’t see it yet. A remake of an old story of what hate does. It reminds us what the roots of hate are and shows us humans are slooooooow to learn. The root of hate is fear. Not understanding a person, a culture, or a race and instead of becoming curious, becoming suspicious and scarcity minded. That fear leads to tribalism and the result is division.
I wish you, your loved ones, your business team and all who matter to you, a prosperous new year filled with love, safety and inclusion.