The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a devastating impact on all of our lives. We still don’t know what the next year has in store for us let alone the next 100 days.
Many people have lost their jobs, either permanently or temporarily and indefinitely. Still others may have kept their jobs but been forced to take a pay cut or work reduced hours. And for many more they have had to start working from home which has its own set of complications.
While the economy will recover over time there is no guarantee that things will get back to the way they were. All those old jobs may not come back. And companies will still struggle to stay afloat and more jobs may still be at risk.
In this stressful environment what can you do over the next 100 days to ensure you survive and keep your job?
Job Impacts from the Pandemic
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Just under 1/3 of workers teleworked or worked from home due to the pandemic
- In June 2020 40.4 million people reported that they had been unable to work at some point in the last 4 weeks because their employer closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours
- Among people who reported in June that they were unable to work at some point in the last 4 weeks because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 15 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked.
- About 7.0 million people not in the labor force in June were prevented from looking for work by the pandemic.
Those are extremely sobering statistics in and of themselves. But the anxiety and uncertainty do not end there. As reported in USA Today “about 54% of Americans fear they may lose their job due to the coronavirus outbreak, Harris Poll data shows. Overall, nearly half expect their personal finances to be generally worse off in the coming months”.
54%! That’s over half of the American population is still worried about losing their jobs. I’m sure that anxiety preys on the minds of people constantly throughout the day, day after day.
Most people already had enough to worry about. For those who have lost their job they are already faced with the daunting realities of survival. The prospect of losing your job or having your pay and hours cut for those still employed can also be debilitating at a time when you must still be productive on the job.
A High Wire Balancing Act
Many people must be feeling like world class Cirque Du Soleil performers by now.
Finding or keeping a job, bringing home or trying to get an income, trying to pay your bills and making ends meet, and taking care of our kids particularly when they are out of school is exhausting. Paying healthcare bills, paying your rent or your mortgage, caring for sick family members, and keeping your business alive are all heavy concerns. What’s more people are dealing with all of these issues and concerns simultaneously.
Keeping all these balls in the air at the same time is extraordinarily stressful. They all require time, energy, thought and effort without which survival is questionable.
If you lost your job or have had your income reduced then you are frantically looking for a job or ways to supplement your income at the same time that tens of millions of other people are doing the same thing.
If you still have your job then you desperately want to hang on to the continuity of income that having a job provides. But the myriad distractions that you have to deal with challenge your ability to be productive at work at every turn. Working from home is an incredible cultural change in an of itself, for instance, let alone while you are dealing with all of these other mind numbing issues.
Because the prospect of losing your job is very real you need to take every step to ensure that you keep your job and succeed in this new normal environment.
What are the steps you should take for at least the next 100 days to ensure that you succeed in your job in the next 100 days? Even if you are unemployed and looking for work you need to take steps to get yourself back on the payroll somewhere.
How to Survive the Next 100 Days on the Job
The mental, physical and emotional toll that has arisen due to the issues caused by the pandemic can be overwhelming. But if you don’t get a handle on this and let this impact your performance on the job you could ultimately lose your job. Even if you are in control you could still lose your job.
These are the tips we recommend that people consider to ensure they survive, and ultimately, thrive for the next 100 days and beyond as we all work through the pandemic:
As we indicated earlier almost 1/3 of American employees are now working from home due to the pandemic. For some it sounds exciting to work from home. You don’t have to commute. You can work in your pyjamas all day long if you wanted. And you have all the conveniences of being at home at your fingertips.
But the reality is somewhat different. If you have kids they will want to play with you or get your attention all day long; they don’t realize you need to concentrate on work. Television and all of the other conveniences of being at home can be easy and quick distractions.
Even if you are not working from home and you have to go to a hospital, factory, warehouse, or other facility to work you have a lot of other things on your mind. The number of high stress issues you are dealing with can consume your thoughts and make it very difficult to concentrate on the work at hand.
As difficult as it can be the most important thing to do is FOCUS. You have to be productive at work and give it the time and attention that it requires. If you don’t at some point this will impact your work product and you could very well lose your job.
Focus! Focus! Focus!
2. Be Great at Time Management
You must manage your time like never before. Again the level of distractions is at a fever pitch. These distractions can cause you to be running around with your head cut off. You can not let that happen.
Manage your time really well. Manage your calendar. Compartmentalize your time for different activities. Keep track of deadlines. Schedule your time to ensure you meet all deliverables required on your job.
3. Be Invaluable
Anyone can do the bare minimum and the basics of a job to get by. But in an environment of historic job losses, business disruption and restructuring doing the bare minimum makes you a target if your company is letting people go.
Those who go the extra mile and work above and beyond expectations are best viewed as being invaluable and employers will keep these people on staff first and foremost.
At a time when companies are struggling they don’t need, or want, mediocre employees. They need the very best performance out of their staff. They need employees who bring new ideas, embrace change, and meet and beat their objectives. In return companies will strive to keep those invaluable employees above all others.
4. Embrace the Possibilities and See Past the Sacred Cows
In such trying times companies are looking for ways to reinvent themselves in every dimension. They need to reinvent themselves and offer new products and services and capabilities. They need to streamline business processes and implement changes at record speeds. And they need to fundamentally change all prior paradigms, cultural behaviours and ways of doing things.
Employees who just go with the flow and even resist change, either openly or passive aggressively, are preventing the company from making forward progress and reacting to the new realities.
Employees who are idea generators, change agents, challenge all sacred cows, and able to take action to move the business forward are just what your company needs and will keep on board. These employees “embrace the possibilities” and see potential for change in virtually everything. They are not stuck in the past and in the old ways of doing things. They recognize the need for change and are ready to act and attack.
5. Under Promise and Over Deliver
This is not the time to miss commitments or expectations on the job. Promising to do something and then failing to deliver or being late are fatal mistakes.
Think about it as if you were a customer. If you buy a product or service that exceeds your expectations you will be delighted with that company. On the contrary if you buy a product or service that falls short of your expectations you will likely stop buying from that company and you may even spread the word that this is a company to avoid.
Now consider that your employer is a customer of your services. If you over deliver on expectations they will be delighted with you. If you fall short of expectations you will eventually be unemployed.
6. Positive Attitude
This is no time for negativity in the workplace, no matter what is going on either at work or in the rest of your life. As difficult as it can be projecting a positive attitude will help reduce the stress of already difficult situations and environments.
This does not mean ignoring the truly problematic challenges and people that surround you. It does mean approaching this with the best possible attitude with the intent to get past these issues and make things better in the long run.
You need to network. Network with the people at your company and network with people outside your company. Especially if you are working from home it can be much more difficult to stay connected to everyone in your company and you can quickly start feeling like you are both out of touch and vulnerable in your job.
As busy as you may be you must make the time to network. Proactively reach out to others in your company so that you remain informed, in the loop and relevant.
At the same time networking outside your company will keep you in touch with what is going on elsewhere and what other possibilities may be there for you should you find that you are looking for a job.
8. Stay Healthy Mentally and Physically
Every day life can be stressful enough. Throw on top of that the astonishing impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and you have a real recipe for overwhelming stress.
It is most important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Adhere to the guidelines of your governments and health organizations to ensure you remain healthy in every respect.
9. Make a Plan for the Next 100 Days and Beyond
Our overall recommendation to survive the next 100 days in your job is to make a plan. The plan might be on paper, on your computer, or in your head. But the important thing is to take the time to think about and create a plan.
Make a plan on what you are going to do in your job to succeed for the next 100 days and beyond. We’ve discussed many of the steps on what you need to do to not only remain employed but to thrive.
Your plan should also consider your future beyond your current company. Even if you are an amazing employee other circumstances may conspire to put your company out of business and you out of a job. Think about any new skills, training or education you may want to pursue to increase your employment options. Can you leverage your current skills in another job, maybe even a second job. Should you start a new business? All of these should be elements in your personal plan.
100 Days in Conclusion
These are trying times to say the very least. With record levels of job losses due to the pandemic no one is immune from losing their job.
In this article we’ve offered suggestions on steps you should take to succeed on the job over the next 1oo days and beyond. Even if you’ve already lost your job and are on the hunt for another job these steps will help you succeed in both the interview process and landing a new job.
It’s not easy. Remember that there are an incredible number of people in the exact same position as you are. Now is the time to take the steps to make you stand out from the crowd.