Embrace the Suck: the COVID-19 edition

In the 1920s, Kelloggs and Post cereal companies were neck-and-neck in terms of market value. This was due to some innovation, some alleged intellectual property theft, and the creation of corn flakes as a striking new addition to the breakfast table. But in the ‘30s, both companies were facing the greatest recession they had ever known, and had to make some hard decisions. Post decided to pull back its advertising and marketing plans as a response. In contrast, Kelloggs decided to increase their marketing. As a result, not only did Kelloggs survive, but they came out of the Great Recession on top of the market, and remain there to this day.

The point is this:

It is in moments of great uncertainty and chaos that those who can see opportunity get ahead.

So, due to that nasty little bug called COVID-19, it seems the entire world is shutting down, and it’s leaving many of us in the lurch, changing up routines, or upsetting the plans we had already set to achieve our next goals. This great of a shift—for this long—can be debilitating for some, but it’s also a time of great opportunity for those who know how to capitalize on it.

If you are in the transition or job seeking process, now is the time to put everything you’ve got into it. The actual job search (interviews, hiring) is likely to slow at the moment as companies become unsure of the future and employees go remote, but that doesn’t mean it all stops. Social media is packed right now, and just so happens to be the place where a lot of networking can happen. Here are a few ideas for things you can do to create opportunity out of chaos.

  • Find the free stuff. A ton of companies are pushing content online right now, and a lot of stuff is free just to keep their name out in front. One idea: take a free course from an Ivy League school and beef up that resume in your newly-found free time.
  • Network, Network, Network. Linkedin is your friend, and all your future contacts are just as bored as you, hanging out there. Reach out and connect with a few people in the area or industry you’re searching in. Ask questions. There is no better time to glean what you can from other people than when they are bored and looking for something to do. (Even Mark Cuban was taking live questions on Linkedin the other day to help small business owners during the shift—it can be done!)
  • Use what you’ve got. What do you have to work with? Are you great with video? Do you have a skill that other people might be able to use right now? Can you mow a neighbor’s lawn, teach someone else how to do something, or live stream your music? There’s no better way to get in the future than to give now, and it will take a lot of the anxiety away in the meantime.
  • Don’t do what everybody else is doing. While everyone else might be excited about #netflixfordayzzzz, be better. You think it’s one episode, but it’s not. It’s a trap. Read a book. Start a new fitness regimen. Organize your financial files. Set a new goal you can achieve in two weeks and start breaking it down. Do something productive that moves you forward, instead of just hanging out on the couch.
  • Find Purpose. Who would I be if I didn’t include a shameless plug on this? If you have ever felt that you’re a little lost or unsure about what your next steps in the career shift should be, take some time and try to figure that out! Our program RECON: Compass, is a free, online and ready for you no matter what time of day you decide to jump in, or if you have to stop and start up again later. We’ll talk through roles, values, identity, finding purpose and setting goals and help you determine your next steps in your career or your life shift. It takes only a couple of hours and I promise, there’s no way you’re not better off afterward.

Those are just a few tips—what are yours? Connect with us on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-recon-network/) or my personal Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanam/) to share yours.