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What To Do Now? (June 2020)

I find myself confused by the awful state of affairs in the United States. How did we get here and where do we go now? If you listen to many of the so-called Elite class, our world is in for a seismic change. The world we have known will no longer exist, to which I say the world is always evolving. Some people feel that the magnitude of change that occurred after World War II will be seen as incidental to the changes we can expect in the next decade. I was a young kid as the war was ending. Were there significant changes, yes? But were there a lot of seismic changes, I don’t recall seeing a great number. Many of the changes included: increased air travel, more women in the work force, women having much more important positions in our society, significant changes in the country’s racial integration and circumstance.

Having grown up in very modest circumstances on the south side of Chicago, I felt that many of the changes were long overdue. The limited integration of our military forces may have finally given rise to the realization that the color of one’s skin was not a notable factor in determining abilities. Some might also speculate that the burgeoning awareness of the variety of abilities that women demonstrated during the war such as pilots, spies, analysts, factory workers and a myriad of other roles were earth- shaking.

Personally, I don’t think so, they were obvious and inevitable choices again driven by the demands of the war.

Clearly many people had rigid views about the roles that minorities could hope to attain because of their race, color, creed, etc. The changes that took place were inevitable but the war’s affect was to force them to take place at an accelerated speed-driven by needs that we hadn’t yet faced as a nation before. But did they revolutionize our society, no. Did they change our society, absolutely!

Here’s the point I would hope to make. Will this pandemic change our world? Definitely, yes but fundamentally, I doubt it. The vast bulk of Americans will go back to doing many of the same jobs as before. Surely their lives will change somewhat. But once this terrible scourge is over, hopefully life will return to normal as before. Fortunately, the resilience of the human spirit will allow many people to reach new heights in their lives and careers. We need to prepare ourselves for the future. So, regardless if you lost your job because you were fired, terminated, furloughed or laid off, you need to figure out what are you going to do NOW.

First, decide what do you want to do? Many surveys say that a very high percentage of people are in jobs or companies that they don’t like. Maybe your once fun job has grown tedious. What sort of job would “float your boat’’ now? Does returning to your old job excite you? Do you need more education or skills to do a new job? Seek advice from your mentors. If you don’t have any mentors, it’s time to engage at least a couple who could provide you with mature, reasonable counsel.

As always, there will be a lot of competition for good jobs. You will need to really “sell” yourself in any interview you have. When you are asked, “What did you do when you were out of work?’’ it is incumbent on you to tell the interviewer how well you used your time off. You took a couple of on-line courses. You developed a real competence in a pertinent subject. Maybe you painted your house. You used the time off to your benefit. You gainfully watched a whole “semester” of YouTube presentations on leadership, sales and management. Do not tell the interviewer that you sat around and watched TV 8-10 hours a day; help the interviewer see you as an intelligent and hard working person, not a couch potato.

Don’t accept a new position without seriously considering what you would have to do to get promoted out of the job you are about to accept. There is going to be a lot of uncertainty for at least the next couple of years, so don’t sell yourself too quickly. The same uncertainty though has the potential to also create great opportunities for those who are risk takers. As Marianne Williamson says “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us’’. This is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves.

So prepare yourself for your return to your old job, if that is a real possibility. But first ask yourself, do you really want to go back. If you decide to explore the market, make sure you have done the following:

•Develop a positive resume that focuses on your achievements.
•Develop a written list of all your possible contacts. Share your expectations of your next job with them. Ask for their help.
•Get outside of your normal experience; it may be time to modify your career goals.
•You need to get out there. The more people you speak to about your search the better.
•Do not allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself. There is no value in doing that.
•Embrace data that is positive and inspiring to you in your job search.
•Be persistent in your search. The average job seeker spends only about five hours a week looking for a job. You can do much more than that. Persistence is key to the process.

In closing, I am reminded that Bill Gates said the most important element in his success was FOCUS. Stay the course. CARPE DIEM.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: “This too will pass”. Abraham Lincoln

‘’Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, give up”. Sir Winston Churchill

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