Unprecedented times

Instead of Goodbye or Cheers, a Stay Healthy or Stay Safe; instead of the 07.02am train into London, a cup of tea in bed; instead of a quick catch up or gossip over the watercooler, a dog that needs walking and a child that doesn’t want to do its schoolwork.

Unprecedented times indeed.

And with that comes uncertainty, how long will this go on for, what if this lasts for months, what if my business doesn’t survive, what if my position is made redundant, what if, what if…

Most of us will find ourselves working from home, if not every day, at least part of the week or month. Most of us can and will adjust, others find it harder. One way or the other, by not commuting, working from home gives you more time.

Bearing in mind that none of us have 100% clarity of what the world will look like and be like after we receive the ‘all clear’, is now a good time to reflect on our job, our business, our ambitions and to take control of our career?

This may be the perfect time to think about the next 5 years. What do you still want to achieve and learn? Is your current job and business offering the opportunity to fulfil those goals?

Is this the time to polish your CV, connect / network with previous colleagues and bosses, phone a few trusted head hunters? Why not be on the front foot?

For the adventurous, why not organise a Zoom meeting with people in similar positions as yours in competitor organisations and discuss generic topics that benefit all of you? For example:

  • What supply chain changes do we envisage?
  • If this WFH experience results in more wide-spread flexible working, how do we deal with excess office space?
  • If we’re all comfortable meeting online, can we cut our travel budgets? How will this feed into our company’s Green credentials?
  • Can we expect to see a higher % of our sales through digital channels? What knock on effect would that have on logistics, labour, store performance? Etc, etc.

Of course you could use this time to relax, play video games and pass on funny WhatsApp messages and it is probably important to do so, however I urge you to set time aside to plan how you will position yourself in the market place when a level of normality resumes. Of one thing I’m fairly certain, things will never be the same again…

In closing I’d like to echo the words of Jimmy Chin:

Cherishing this time at home with family. Slowing down in what’s been a fast paced world has been one of the biggest challenges for many, including myself. Now is that time. A moment of reflection for us all. I always look for the silver linings in moments of hardship and I’ve never regretted enduring hardship, once through the other side. It has only provided much needed perspective and made me a better and stronger person. I hope we can all embrace the moment to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be helpful. Collectively I can only hope we shall come out the other side as better people and see the world through a new prism of appreciation for each other and our natural world. Hoping you are all staying safe and healthy.