I sincerely hope that you are one of the people who still has a job in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and the unrest in our country. Whether you do or not, we are going through something epic that the majority of us have no experience with. You’d have to be 100 years old to have lived through the last pandemic. We have not seen this level of unemployment seen since the 1930’s, and current day civil unrest is reminiscent of the 60’s. Facing all of this at once? Unprecedented. There is no roadmap on how to cope with all this.
A lot of people are understandably overwhelmed and upset. Their lives have been upended, and they are dealing with the pressures of working while juggling family at home. They do not have the breaks that come from kids being in school or summer camp. The deep pain of racism is palpable. Many are furloughed and are fearful that their job may not come back. Finances are in a long hiccup, and relationships are likely feeling the strain. All of this on top of missing friends and family we are not free to see. It’s a lot.
Let’s face it. For a lot of people, this is a shit show.
What can you do?
While fear can sometimes be a great motivator, try to manage your stress and anxiety. You will make better decisions and handle life’s uncertainty better if you can find a way to settle your mind and nervous system. Try a free meditation app on your phone or computer. Exercise! Try tapping to work with the emotions and thoughts that arise!
Is it time to put the family on a strict budget? Are you in an industry that won’t recover any time soon? If so, how can you pivot? This is a good time to keep networking, whether you need a job or not, to keep yourself in the game, and learn what’s going on in your field.
For many, it’s become an opportunity to rethink careers and what you want from them. Does your management style need work? Do your priorities need reshuffling? How are you integrating the recent heightened awareness of systemic racism into your life and work? What are you grappling with in any area of your life? This is the time to examine and evolve.
If you’re one of the people that has to pivot, the sooner you mourn your loss, the faster you can get on with your next step. Whatever you do, don’t look at your resume for guidance. Next, think about what marketable skills you have (even if they are hobbies). If you’ve long been holding back on making a change, the opportunity is here. You are not looking at a blank slate right now for no reason. It’s time to gather your resources and your courage to make the leap.
If the job market proves difficult, it’s natural to say there are no opportunities and to feel victimized. Now more than ever, opportunity needs to become something you create. Don’t wait for it to become available the usual ways. Redefine opportunity not only as something to attain, but also see the gap as the opportunity.
The future will not be about returning to normal. The future is evolving, and we will all be doing things a bit differently.
The upside of chaos is that it shakes things up to reveal new possibilities. It’s those that embrace it and proceed with focus who will bring in the new day successfully.