Sports Off. Markets Crashed. Office Closed.
The world might feel like it’s falling apart due to COVID-19 Coronavirus and you may be wondering
…is it OK for me to panic now?
And you know what? It probably is.If it’s helpful, go FULL PANIC MODE for a few hours, just get it all out of your system with a good, old-fashioned freakout.
Go to pieces. Lose your head. Run through various disaster scenarios that involve everything from the death of loved ones to bankruptcy and all-out war (because recently it has felt like we’re in some weird Apocalypse movie… )
And then, do what you always do.
As a responsible citizen, a driven professional, and pillar of your local community…
Pull it together. Rally the team. Lead the way back to sanity.
The cure for this awful epidemic isn’t quite so bad when you think about it.
The best medicine for preventing COVID 19 Coronavirus is… staying at home and not seeing anybody for a month.
Yes, yes, I know there are drawbacks to spending SO much time with your loved ones… I suggest journaling as a way to get rid of any passive-aggressive feelings you may have towards your partner and their complete inability to close kitchen cupboards after use… which only used to happen in the evening but is now happening all the time because you’re both working from home…and how dare they take the last chocolate bar from the snack cupboard?!!
If you compare situations, though, suffering through Covid-19 Lockdown with Uber Eats and various other takeout delivery services available to bring your food of choice straight to your door, the Matrix Trilogy (who doesn’t love a bit of Keanu) or nearly 20 seasons of *insert Netflix guilty pleasure here* available to stream, as well as the time suddenly available to read all those books you’ve been meaning to read or do that online course you’ve been thinking about… maybe this isn’t as bad as World War I + the Spanish flu that your great-grandparents had to live through?
Like most pandemics, this one will take its toll on the elderly. It will take a toll on the economy. And, for you, after you take care of family, friends, peers, and team members, you need to be aware that it can take a toll on your career.
In the last recession, too many people were very surprised by how suddenly the downturn took their seemingly healthy employer to an early grave. They were caught unaware, unprepared, unexpectedly…And that lack of preparedness hurt them in the years following the financial crisis.
A decade later it’s time to put those painful lessons learned into practice – put whatever feelings of panic you might have to good use. Use them to spur yourself into action now.
Here are three suggestions on how to do it:
1) Pick 10 companies you’d work for
Start by making a list of 10 companies you’d work if you had a chance — or if the chance was thrust upon you, write down your list of “alternatives in case of emergency.” They should be reasonable targets that hire people like you to do work similar to what you do today.
2) Connect with professionals at those companies in your field
Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field and speciality that work at those companies. Make a connection, make a new contact, build a relationship for the future. You’re not looking for a job, you’re just looking for a connection and conversation. You might say, “I’m interested in what XXX is doing in YYY – would love to chat and compare notes.”
You could say, “Been great seeing what your team is doing with research on ZZZ . Would love to learn more about your approaches to the field.” Say anything that a fellow professional would be open to hearing from a fellow expert in the field.
The important issue is to open the conversation, to create the dialogue now, before the next recession, plague, or crisis hits. Because, like insurance, once you need it, it’s too late.
3) Review your resume
In a potential downturn, you don’t want to be the last one heading to the lifeboats — it’s important to get yourself prepared. A small thing like getting your resume updated now will save you a lot of headaches should any future disaster befall your employer.
Have a safe, healthy week for you and your loved ones.
I’m rooting for you!