I think it’s safe to say EVERYONE feels a little panic and uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe. We are hearing jittery comments and seeing knee-jerk reactions from politicians, business leaders, recruiters and more. While there is no doubt we’re in a highly stressful situation, it’s good to remind ourselves that it WILL end, the economy WILL recover, the stock market WILL climb, and normalcy WILL return.
If you’re struggling to maintain focus and a positive attitude, here are some tips to help you get back on track:
- Control the things you can control. There are a lot of things out of our individual control right now, but not everything. You can control your attitude. You can follow the advice of health organizations to limit your exposure (or lessen the spread). You can make it easier for your employees (or yourself!) to work from home if that is not already part of your culture. You can exercise and make time for self-care.
- Pay attention to the sources you are using for news. There is a LOT of information flowing right now, much of it inaccurate. One of my frustrations has been that it’s difficult to find FACT-BASED information sources. I am limiting my exposure to televised “news” which often seems more concerned with sound bites and ratings than with deeper-dive facts. For the love of Pete, DO NOT get your “news” from Facebook (unless you’re following a legitimate news / medical source there). Pretty pictures and clever memes may NOT be accurate, no matter how compelling they are. Do not share information unless you know it is reliable (and preferably first-hand). Spreading false information just adds to more hysteria. Don’t fall for it.
- Contact your clients. It might seem like EVERY business has come to a screeching halt, but I assure you that is not true. There are still groceries and other products to move. That means there are still supply chain and logistics professionals working. Digital infrastructure just got more important than ever, as did the ability for people to connect remotely via video or other tools. Clients in the pharmaceutical and medical industries were already struggling to find talent. Some clients may be able to pivot temporarily to new projects, products, or services. Some clients are keeping their existing hiring plans. If your clients are bracing for a downtown, help them focus on helping their employees whether that is via outplacement, allowing more generous work-from-home policies, providing additional paid leave or something else.
- Understand your expenses (at home AND in business). You may not need to cut expenses TODAY, but it’s good to understand what you CAN cut with the least amount of disruption. While it’s difficult (if not impossible) to save your way to posterity, you should figure out how to keep your business and home running on reduced income.
- Contact your recruitment partners! If you’re a solo practitioner, it gets lonely working in a vacuum. Now is the time to lean on your partners for support – keep each other lifted during times of stress. Share a job or candidate. Foster the personal relationships that lead to additional business.
It seems pretty clear it’s going to be a bumpy road for at least a couple of months. Recruitment has gone through ups and downs before, and it will happen again. It’s going to be OK.