Adapting Your Career to the Post CoronaVirus World
Just about everyone I talk to has an opinion on what the post CoronaVirus world will look like. We all agree that life and work will be different in the post CoronaVirus world. We will all need to adapt to this new reality.
Over the next few months, the real pain from the CoronaVirus will set in and many speculate what will come out of this will be tremendous innovation.
The CoronaVirus has exposed many vulnerabilities in our healthcare systems, supply chains, transportation systems, communication systems, education, governmental institutions and so much more. The post CoronaVirus world will not look like what came before.
I have had several people call it BC and AC – Before CoronaVirus and After CoronaVirus.
No one really can predict what will happen; but the longer the pandemic disrupts the economy, the more destruction will occur.
What will the post CoronaVirus world look like? Here are my thoughts:
Working Remote is Here to Stay
Just about everyone who is working in a non-customer facing role is now working remotely. This has pushed some companies kicking and screaming into the 21st-century and they have had to do it fast.
One of the best articles I have found on this topic is Remote Work Is Here To Stay: Are You Ready?
The author, Josh Bersin, refers to this as, “The Five Big Topics In Remote Work:”
- Tools – You will likely have to learn to work differently with new tools. This will include video, document sharing, learning and much more.
- Rules – Who pays for what? What do you do when your computer quits working or is stolen?
- Norms – Is it okay to come to a meeting wearing a t-shirt? Can your dog or child be in the room with you during a video call? How are calendars managed and meetings scheduled?
- Culture – What is the protocol for staying connected? Who has the authority to make decisions?
- Resilience – Josh says it best – Remote work can be exciting, but it can also be relentless. Work starts the minute you wake up, and it ends when you go to sleep.
Working from home has improved the environment in many cities, but I also know that many are craving face-to-face relationships. My suspicion is that many of you will find a blend of working at home and in the office.
Are you prepared to work from home?
Local Resiliency and Rejuvenation
What I have heard from many of my contacts is that there is a renewed sense of need to support our local businesses. When we have been stuck at home, it has been the corner bakery, deli, or plumber who has come to our rescue.
Our overdependence on the big guys like Amazon and Walmart has shown us that the little folks are who we can depend on.
I know a lot of us are spending a few extra dollars every week to order a pizza or dinner from your favorite eatery so they will stay in business.
We want them to survive into the post CoronaVirus world.
I believe we will see a rejuvenation of small businesses in the US. We will take pride in supporting our local small businesses.
What local businesses can you partner with?
Local Leadership in the Post CoronaVirus World
The one bright spot during this time of crisis has been our local leadership.
It has not been the federal government that has taken responsibility and action but, instead, it has been our local officials. The people who are the closest to us that have done the most. It is not just local governments but local business owners.
I found this story of Eight Oaks Farm Distillery in Pennsylvania.
They were going to shut down operations and ride out the pandemic when they realized the main ingredient in hand sanitizer, which was in short supply, was alcohol.
In partnership with others in the local community, they started to produce hand sanitizer and distributed it free of charge to the EMS, hospitals and other businesses that needed to stay in businesses.
There is a member of the Career Pivot Community who has told me that when his national guard unit was deployed to Bosnia about 20 years ago, his commander told him the following:
You will encounter individuals who you think will be superstar soldiers who will not be. There will be others you do not notice but will become superstar soldiers. They will rise to the occasion.
Have you taken the opportunity to rise to the occasion and performed like a leader in these trying times?
Supply Chains are Being Disrupted
I am sure everyone is aware by now that US companies are far too dependent on the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) for a lot of both components and finished products. Supply chains have become so complicated that a single disruption in some parts of the world, can halt production completely.
On a recent podcast, I was listening to a leading ventilator manufacturer. He said their leading product had 1,500 parts from 100 different suppliers in 14 countries.
You need only a single natural disaster in one of those locations/countries to halt production. Questions to think about…
- Are you working for a company that has a complex supply chain?
- Does the company you work for have customers with complex supply chains?
- What will happen to your job if the supply chain is simplified at your company?
- Might your employer lose business when the customer simplifies their supply chain?
Global food supply chains are being stressed. We will likely see global supply chains change over time to use more locally-grown food or what is referred to as farm-to-table. I believe the farm-to-table movement will grow rapidly.
Will your company, industry or job be disrupted by supply chain disruptions?
Telemedicine Has Arrived
When I worked for a video conferencing startup back in 2008, we thought telemedicine would be a hot market for us. There were 2 problems with that… government regulations and industry issues in adopting new technologies.
That is changing fast!
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services changed regulations quickly to allow telemedicine adaption to happen rapidly during the COVID-19 or CoronaVirus pandemic.
Where this will be particularly important is in the mental health arena. We will need to scale mental health treatment in the post CoronaVirus world.
Telemedicine will open the door for you to visit your doctor, therapist or nurse from the comfort of your home. This will open the door for innovation in the medical world.
Convention and Meeting Industry in the Post CoronaVirus World
When the CoronaVirus has been vanquished, will you be willing to go to a convention?
Would you be willing to walk into a room with thousands of people and shake hands with people with questionable handwashing practices?
Some of you will be willing and others will say, “no fricken’ way.”
I don’t know how I will feel but I sure know I will do a lot more fist and elbow bumping than handshaking.
This will change how we interact with people.
Having lived in Austin, Texas for over 40 years, I am wondering what this will do to the SxSW conference which brings hundreds of thousands of people together from around the world.
The 2020 conference currently says it is postponed but I do not think it can be rescheduled for later.
I have many friends in the meeting industry who are professional speakers. Their book of business has disappeared in the last month and have no idea when or if it will return.
Knowing what you know now would you attend the Olympics in 2021?
K-12 and Higher Education
Both K-12 and Higher Education are battleships that move incredibly slowly. They have been forced to move online and some have done it well and others … well, not so good.
Moving classroom education and training to an online format is not easy. I have experience doing both.
The move online will expose the digital divide that we have across socioeconomic groups.
I taught high school math in an inner-city school from 2004-2006. Many of my students’ only access to high-speed Internet was at the school or libraries. We need incredible investment in our educational institutions and they will be forced to innovate.
Innovation and education are an oxymoron. The Algebra II curriculum I taught was designed in the 1890s and has changed very little since.
From 2007-2011, I built a training and certification program for a leading HD Video Conferencing startup. Many of my colleagues from that time now work for Zoom.
I had a discussion with an educational leader at one of the many universities in Austin back in 2010. They were installing video conferencing equipment and I was training their staff. We mused about whether college campuses would exist in the future.
University of Wisconson students have petitioned to lower tuition fees because they are not on campus.
Inefficiencies Will Be Exposed in Post CoronaVirus World
The CoronaVirus pandemic is exposing inefficiencies in just about every industry and company. Companies will be forced to innovate or die.
This is nothing new but it will not just be companies needing to innovate. Industries need to change the way their supply chains work.
Educational and governmental institutions will need to change.
As I write this post state unemployment agencies are struggling to keep up with employment claims due to lack of investment.
The IRS is struggling to issue stimulus payments due to antiquated systems.
Is your company or business ready to innovate?
Everything Will Change and So Will You
With all of these changes, you will need to adapt. As companies, industries, and institutions innovate you will need to innovate.
Talk to everyone you can in your company, business, and industry to understand what is changing.
Do your research and do not stick your head in the sand thinking you will be unaffected.
What is your next step?