I’ve been grappling with a few questions these past couple of months. Predictably, a large part of the lasting fallout from the COVID-19 virus will be massive unemployment and more layoffs than we have seen in our lifetime. What will happen when the worst is over?
With hundreds of businesses, restaurants, and other amenities shuttered, will there be any job waiting for your skills? More people than ever will be looking for employment just to survive and provide for the necessities; to put food on the table and pay the rent. What I have been thinking and what has come up in conversations with friends and clients is:
“How essential to the new economy will I be?”
We have all been hunkered down with forced time off and nowhere to go that I have trouble remembering what day it is. Thinking I was waking up on Sunday today, I was in the kitchen looking for the bagels I usually reserve for Sunday breakfast. Not finding them, I became irritated until I noticed the automated calendar that showed that today was not a leisurely breakfast while reading the papers on my phone, but stress-inducing Monday, which happens to be the worst day of the week for me.
My dive into depression was interrupted by a call from a friend who a few months ago, had a job as a manager in a high-end restaurant. The restaurant had scrapped all plans to reopen. I calmed myself with my first cup of tea and listened to not the anger or disappointment of someone unemployed but the excitement and optimism in his voice! After soul searching the first month of his unemployment, he had come up with a fresh idea about a new way of representing himself online as a consultant to a new food industry which will hopefully emerge. In the past month with tenacity and creativity, he now viewed this period as one of the glass being half full, an opportunity to change. He had reinvented himself!
After I rang off and poured myself another cup, I thought of others having trouble filling their days after their workouts were over, dogs walked, mail read, and Tik-Tok was no longer an option. What to do now until much later when they order their take-out dinner in the evening on one of the apps? Every day, with few exceptions, was another Groundhog Day, a carbon copy of the day before.
In summary, which of the two examples are you? Are you returning to a guaranteed position, or facing your worst fears as your former occupation is no longer an option? And, what will you do about it?
Have you become non-essential?
John Shinavier, MA, Life Coach