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During this COVID quarantine many people are out of work and re-evaluating their employment options.  Business owners have lost gigs and customers, others are “laid off”, some have been “let go” because the business went under.  For those of us who have “lost jobs”, it is difficult to get a new job during this time.  Most businesses are not hiring because they don’t want to do all of their hiring online.  They want to wait until they can be face to face in an interview.  Some businesses are just NOT hiring.  Few organization’s recruiters arebrave enough to have interviews entirely online because they understand that it is important to keep the work flowing.  Therefore, there seems to be more free time to think about careers, past and future.

Employers and managers should know that their co-workers will be changing when things go back to “normal”.  Here are some of the changes we should anticipate.

No more hustle

We are changing the way we do business during this crisis.  I am connecting even more with my friends in Virginia even though I moved to Florida almost 4 years ago.  We started using Zoom for a “Five on Friday Happy hour” to keep connected.  Our happy hour has turned into a conversation about purpose in life.  One of my friends, Deborah, who is a realtor said, “I’m not going back to that rat race.  I’m not going to hustle like I did.”  She realized that she wants to give her home-life, family, and self more of a priority.  She now feels less stress and she is catching up on relationships and spending more time with her family.  Deborah has discovered that she was creating too much stress in her work and it was seeping into her other relationships.  As a realtor, she was always on the go, doing more than enough to keep her clients happy.  Deborah was over-achieving; now she will be achieving.  So, watch your high achievers, like my friend, they may decide that they can now do “just enough.”

Not coming back

Some people are on hold and waiting to go back to work again.  Another friend of mine, in the dental field, may not return at all.  She is worried about her own health and all of the changes that will be happening due to safety concerns.  She was describing all of the new equipment they would need to wear.  Wearing 2 masks plus a face shield is not a great way to develop rapport with her patients. She may become a consultant because she has been doing her job for over 20 years.  She does not want to do the physical work but instead teach online classes and consult for other dentist’s offices.  We should be on the lookout for our senior people who have now realized that they have been hustling for a part of the payout when they could be hustling on their own for all of the payout.   

One foot out the door

Another friend, who is a bartender, told me that we are running out of time.  The old work that we hated will be coming back and we have not decided what we want to do next.  He said we realized we want a change but have not selected what the new gig/job will be.  His restaurant/bar was closed and everyone applied for unemployment (which he still did not get).  He realized that the restaurant industry which was huge in Florida is not stable right now.  He was thinking about starting a landscaping business but has not created it yet. We may need to be ready for the employee who comes back to work only to leave a month of 2 after starting back up because his business took off.


Mary has been working part-time for a college and also has her own business.  She is over 65 but loves to work and so does her husband, who is also still working.  During this time, she has also lost jobs and has more time to spend with her husband at home.  She has realized that this is not so bad.  Now that she has a taste of semi-retirement, she may be ready to make the jump!  Maybe employees who are near retirement age make make the jump instead of returning to work.  It is important that we realize we may lose many of our experienced employees to retirement when we return to work.

Pure Joy

I have 2 friends who are hair experts.  They both have been out of work for over 2 months.  Neither has claimed unemployment because they own their business.  Each of them has expressed to me how they love to “do” hair and make up.  Carol had been doing my hair for over 20 years and can’t wait to get back to work. She loves to be in her salon with her customers and talk as she creates her masterpieces.  Donna, my new stylist, feels the same way.  She moved into her new salon where she is the co-owner of the business.  They pay rent on a cozy space that reminds me of a spa. Donna is presently “teaching” her 11-year-old daughter because she is home from school at this time.  Donna can’t wait to talk to different adults on a daily basis and do what she does best.  We could expect pure joy from some of us who are going back to work.  

Sure, there are probably at least 5 other scenarios that managers should anticipate when their employees go back to work (or not).  Please let me know in your comments if you can think of any other changes that people might be considering as we wait it out at home.

#COVID-19 #changes  #backtowork  #re-evaluating  

If you liked this article please check out my other blog Coronavirus and the Change Curve.

The Journal Book by Lori Ann Roth Ph.D

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