Updated: May 6
This year, 2020, has been tough, to say the least. With the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of deaths, economic degradation, unemployment, and social isolation you might think the world was coming to an end. Millions have been negatively affected and that number just keeps rising. My sincere condolences to those who have been through hell, stay strong.
So, what if I told you that there was a silver lining? This post is not about naive optimism, we are beyond that. Rather, I want to make you aware of the opportunity that lies ahead of you even though its visibility is mired by all this negativity.
This pandemic has made it all too visible the fragility of modern society. Its fragility is nothing new, and will probably continue to exist, but this is the first time that many people became explicitly aware of its existence. As human beings, we need security. We want to feel safe in mind, and in body. We ignore most things that would threaten our security if confronting them would mean leaving our “safe place”, our comfort zone. This is a decision made using a Cost-Benefit Analysis. Simply put, the benefit of solving the problem would not be worth the cost of leaving your comfort zone.
By societal fragility, I am referring to the current state of the world. People have lost their lively hood. Fear is driving the actions of many. We point fingers at our fellow man causing a greater racial and political divide. When we bounce back, is this all we would want to have achieved?
Change is coming. Change is inevitable. We cannot have a society that shuts down during a pandemic. We cannot have a society in which people do not have a secure livelihood. We cannot have a society that keeps depending on fragile educational, commercial, and political structures.
When the world announces itself as in need of change, change happens. In 1760 we had the Industrial Revolution marked the transition into a new manufacturing process in the US and Europe. Around 1950 we had the Digital Revolution that marked the shift from mechanical and analog electronic technology to digital electronics. We are on the verge of another revolution, which will introduce a new set of economic values; a set of demands that will be in short supply.
What Can We Do?
This is the time to be observant. Changes in economic values result in a demand for new skills. Right now, due to the large number of layoffs, there will be more job openings than usual once the economy stabilizes. Also, since most employers took a hit, so they will be careful who they hire and what they hire for. Sadly, the competition is going to be fierce, especially for low skilled jobs.
Now we have some time, we need to upgrade our marketability. We need to learn while being observant. Guys, this is NOT a matter of having the privilege to be able to learn, but rather a necessity if you do not want to be left behind. Ask yourself, during this Stay at Home order, what good habits have you developed?
I truly believe most people are capable of achieving greatness and fulfillment. However, those who do achieve greatness are specifically selected, not on the basis of skill nor ability, but on the basis of responsibility. You might be thinking; “Woah, Brandon, what are you talking about? Responsibility?”. Yes. Responsibility.
We all want to be happy, comfortable, and content in life, but that – like everything else- comes at a price. Imagine there is a really attractive and genuine woman you want to be a part of your life, but you feel you do not measure up. To attract a woman like this you would have to give up your stupid hobbies and straighten yourself out. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? So why is this difficult?
From my perspective, this is difficult for two reasons:
Sacrifice is required to move forward and the “comforts of home” keeps us stagnant. Imagine there was another woman who really was not good for you, but she accepted your stagnated self. It would be hard to argue that some men would not pick this woman over the more genuine person. And this would be fine of course, but you would lose the right to complain to the world for not granting you the genuine person. You had the responsibility to straighten yourself out, but you did not. Just as most people can become fit, but those that do become fit bear the responsibility of going to the gym and exercising frequently.
Responsibility is hard, but you do not have to bear it all at once. Start step by step, and each little step over time develops into a new habit! We are all at home, this is the time to get those steps in motion. Read a little bit each day from the writings of your mentors; the people you admire. Start on your fitness with simple home exercises. Connect with your family a bit more. Watch daily online tutorials for skills you want to learn. The choice is yours.
WHAT ARE THE POSITIVES?
Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of guy? For some, it depends on the day, or whether or not they have had their morning coffee. Let us try to focus on the positives:
New Economic Values
A new set of demands opens the way for new or different skill sets. If you are not marketable under our current economy, you have a chance to change that. You may not currently have the skills employers will look for, but you do have time now to learn.
Semi-clean state of the job market
A lot of people got laid off as businesses tried to lower costs as they remained open. Most non-essential businesses shut down completely. This means that there will be a lot of openings in the job market when these businesses start hiring again. Use this time to think of ways to set yourself apart.
Time for side hustles and entrepreneurship
There is probably no better time to get into entrepreneurship. We have seen how “secure” our current jobs are. Gone are the days when a person could work with a single company their whole lives. People move up and about in ways that befit their goals. Employers look to hire cheaper labor, and workers look for employers who pay them more. Capitalism ensures both sides gain/ profit.
With the market in flux, new niches will be created to meet the demands of the new economy. Within these niches lies the potential for creating a side hustle. We need to take control of our income so we are not completely vulnerable each time the economy takes a hit.
Time to invest in yourself
You have been given this time, what are you going to do with it? I think that the Stay at Home order is not to prevent people from getting the virus, but to slow the infection rates so that the hospitals are not at capacity. We all have to get back to work soon, especially when the free stimulus checks are not “free”. When that happens, what would you have accomplished at home?
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK