A recent Bloomberg article chronicled that layoffs are starting to turn from temporary to permanent across America. Bruce Montagazzi, head of Local 9305 of the United Steelworkers union, was one of 210 people laid off at a Tenaris-owned plant near Pittsburgh. The plant manufactures tube and pipe for the oil industry. The company idled the facility in March, citing a sharp decline in oil prices.
How is Montagazzi choosing to respond? “I’m sitting on my ass,” he says. “There’s nothing we can do but wait.” Excuse me? Did I really hear that? The truth is that there are many other things you can do besides wait. Waiting is for people who are complacent, waiting is for people who refuse to embrace change, waiting is for people who don’t understand that they are more in control than they think.
Can anyone control what is going on in the world right now? No, but you can control how you respond. What we need more than anything right now are positive people who refuse to be victims and choose a different reality: You need to figure out how to re-invent yourself and add value.
As a person who makes a living by traveling on airplanes and speaking at events with hundreds or thousands of people, my world was turned upside down eight weeks ago. After the initial shock wore off in a few days, I signed up for a Zoom video membership, created new webinar content about strategies to engage remote workers, began conducting my own free webinars to help people navigate the new way of working, and started pitching my webinar to people who I know are in search of solutions.
What did I not do? Sit on my ass and wait for business conferences to start up again.
JILL, WHAT CAN I DO? If this pandemic has upended your world, take a step back, breathe, figure out how to re-invent yourself and add value, and then execute. We are being shaken right now. Allow it to shift you to a better place… a bigger you. I’m confident that this pandemic happened so we all have an opportunity to push the re-set button. Some people will and some people won’t. I’m also confident that the people who are going to come out of this on top are the people who do not go back to life as they knew it pre-COVID. They are choosing to view this event as an opportunity to shift and soar. It’s a choice, my friends. What’s it going to be?