Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Kicking You in the Butt?
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing the 3rd major disruption in our careers in the last 20 years. The first was the dot-com bust, followed by the 9/11 disaster. Next came the great recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Both the dot-com bust and the sub-prime mortgage crisis could have been predicted. In fact, some people did predict them and made a fortune.
Now the COVID-19 pandemic has hit and is causing major disruption in just about everything. I wrote about this in my post Adapting Your Career to the Post CoronaVirus World. There were epidemiologists who have been warning us for years that a pandemic was coming. It was not “if” but “when”.
Beware If You are Over 50
Many of you are not working in your chosen careers. I quote from the ProPublica post If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours:
According to the ProPublica and the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study, or HRS, the premier source of quantitative information about aging in America. Since 1992, the study has followed a nationally representative sample of about 20,000 people from the time they turn 50 through the rest of their lives.
Through 2016, our analysis found that between the time older workers enter the study and when they leave paid employment, 56 percent are laid off at least once or leave jobs under such financially damaging circumstances that it’s likely they were pushed out rather than choosing to go voluntarily.
Only one in 10 of these workers ever again earns as much as they did before their employment setbacks, our analysis showed. Even years afterward, the household incomes of over half of those who experience such work disruptions remain substantially below those of workers who don’t.
Is this current pandemic deja vu all over again?
Are You Underemployed or Retired and Wishing You Were Not?
Many holes in our employment landscape have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our readers are underemployed.
How do I know that?
Check out the Washington Post article Retail workers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s say they’re worried about their health — but need the money.
Yes, you read correctly – almost a quarter of all retail workers are over the age of 55. The folks who are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus are out working in customer-facing roles. These individuals would probably not be doing this if they were fully employed in their chosen careers.
You may be saying, “Hey, I can work from home and I have a safe secure job.” Read the Wall Street Journal article A Second Round of Coronavirus Layoffs Has Begun. Few Are Safe. – People who thought their jobs were secure, including white-collar professionals, increasingly face unemployment. This downturn will be brutal and it is not over.
Remember the famous proverb:
Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.
What happens when you are fooled for a third time?
Kick in the Butt
For some of you, this is the first time to be out of work. For others, this has become far more familiar. Is this the final kick in the butt to get you moving in a new direction?
Are you willing to make a mindset shift?
It is possible to move from a reactive or fixed mindset to a proactive or growth mindset.
I have multiple individuals in the Career Pivot Community who have done or are in the process of doing exactly that.
Jerry “Gene” Snider
Gene is a recovering mining engineer who splits his year between Houston Texas and Bolivia. He spent much of his career blowing things up as a mining engineer in Mexico, Central, and South America.
Gene is now helping small construction owners grow their businesses with his business EAGLE Managerial Bookkeeping.
The community has helped him create marketing personas, a sales pipeline, closed contracts with new clients, and in general helped him stay out of his own head. Right now Gene is in control of his business and though not immune to the COVID-19 pandemic, he remains in control of his business. Like other small business owners, he has options to pivot the business quickly.
Russ Eanes has been on the Repurpose Your Career podcast in episode #143 – Russ Eanes Turns the Walk of a Lifetime into a Writing and Consulting Career.
Russ has taken the skills he honed at MennoMedia, the publishing arm of the Mennonite Church, and started a self-publishing business where he helps people write, edit and publish. In fact, he is currently working with Gene to write and publish a book.
Lisa has started a collectibles business where she buys and sells on eBay. Lisa spent much of her career in healthcare foodservice. She is at the very beginning of this journey. You can tell from her general demeanor that she is making progress and having fun to boot.
Vicki pivoted from being a high tech curriculum designer to working for a major non-profit as a fundraiser. Vicki’s job is on hold right now because she was implementing programs in the public schools which are closed. She is using this time to re-evaluate what is next.
Warren has invested in a business broker franchise after spending much of his career in consumer packaged goods (CPG). That career blew up in the great recession and Warren has worked in a variety of roles out outside of CPG ever since. He has taken control of his career rather than remaining at the whim of an employer.
Have You Received a Kick in the Butt?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world. I have been preparing for this recession for several years. The good times do not go on forever and I have seen way too many of my friends and former colleagues struggle. The business Career Pivot has gone through some wild gyrations in the last few years but I have always been in control. I have choices.
Where I live now in Ajijic Mexico, there are a fair number of economic refugees, who have chosen to leave the United States for economic reasons. In addition, there are those who are just simply tired of being kicked by the economy. They chose to move to a place with a much lower cost of living and live a much simpler life. This is not for everyone, but these people made a conscious choice and took control of their lives.
We do not know what the world will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but it sure will not look like the world before the pandemic.
This is deja vu all over again. I have seen this “movie” and the ending does not need to be a tragedy.
Are you ready to take control?