#transition #transformation #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #coronavirus #LifeChanges
So you want to make a change in your life.
Will that change be a transition, or transformation?
What’s the difference? Perhaps it can be summed up by saying a transition is a minor change, while a transformation is a major change.
COVID-19 has forced most of us to make small changes in our lives. It’s also forced some of us to make bigger changes.
Whatever type of change(s) you had to make, do you want to go back to the way things were?
Many would say YES, because they miss some interactions. They miss being able to do some things they liked doing.
But very likely, there are some – even quite a few – who see this period as a time to transform their lives. They actually do NOT want to go back to the way things were.
Perhaps the job they did before COVID was not satisfying to them. When the job disappeared during the pandemic, they had no thought about going back, although their old bosses really wanted them back.
Perhaps the pandemic led to more time at home, with children, family etc. They probably got to witness more of their children’s activities than they could when they were working.
Many probably discovered that going to work was expensive – commuting costs, buying lunch every day, day-care expenses etc. If they didn’t have those things, they discovered they could live on less. Or, they discovered that the pay they got was almost entirely eaten by those expenses.
So, how did the pandemic affect you? Did it give you perspective on your life, to the point that you realize there are better things out there for you?
Maybe you feel that way, but don’t know what those better things are. So, you instinctively go back to what you know, even though you didn’t particularly like that old situation.
Meanwhile, a “new normal” is evolving, We may not see a complete eradication of COVID-19 for some time, if ever.
Society has been trying to eradicate some diseases for decades. Other diseases – perhaps COVID-19 will be among them – can be kept at bay with vaccines. If you are eligible, but not vaccinated, getting the shots, including boosters, is your best weapon against serious illness or death.
Regardless, it would be safe to prepare for COVID-19 to be around for a good while. Adjust as you must, but know that you may not have to take unnecessary risks. If we all bore in mind that the virus is always lurking, perhaps we can all take steps to minimize its effect on our lives.
That will require an effort by EVERY individual.


#workplaces #workers #pay #benefits #childcare #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
The pandemic changed everything.
First, it gave workers a bit more leverage in how they deal with work/life balance.
That has good, and bad, effects.
Workers are leaving jobs that paid little, with no flexibility in their lives, to either stay home with children – day-care costs are rising and options are limited – or moving on to jobs that pay more and, perhaps, offer some of the flexibility they want.
A story by Marc Fisher for the Washington Post, and a “This Life” column by Nedra Rhone tackle this issue in detail. Both were published Dec. 30, 2021, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Post story focuses on Liberty County, Ga., along the state’s coast. Liberty is a small county, with a major military institution, Ft. Stewart, as its biggest employer.
But the county is growing by adding big warehouses. These allow people to leave the small, mom-and-pop hotel and restaurant jobs for higher-paying, and often more flexible, warehouse work.
That hurts the lower-paying sole-owner businesses, causing them to cut back on hours, service etc., for lack of help.
Some employees had been laid off when many of these operations shut down. When they reopened, many of the workers did not return, for various reasons – not the least of which is the risk of being infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Rhone’s column discusses the differences among various generations in how they react to changing workplaces.
The youngest generation of workers had their world turned upside down. Many now want to be entrepreneurs, meaning they may never work for anyone but themselves in their lives.
(What these young folks may not realize is that working only for oneself may have its own pitfalls. They still have to serve clients, who will be their ultimate employers).
So, all of this begs the usual question: where do you fit in this changing workplace?
Is the idea of going back to work too risky? Or, is it going to cost you more to go back to work (commuting, day care etc.) than you would make?
In summary, workplaces are changing. Workers no longer feel forced to take, or go back to, jobs that put them at risk, will cost them more to work than not, and not get a good return from the employer(s).
Employers currently are adapting by cutting back on things that could decimate their businesses. They have to find more creative ways to entice people from multiple generations, who have different hopes, dreams and attitudes toward the workplace.
To quote Donald Lovette, chairman of the Liberty County, Ga., Commission, from the Post story: “It’s not that people are lazy. It’s that some of them are better off financially by not paying for child care, staying home for a while … It’s simple economics.”
Employers, even those in basic businesses like hospitality and restaurants, have to come up with new ways to get and keep workers.


HowBadlyDoYouWantIt #attitude #perseverance #GoForIt #desire
It’s easy to feel down when you observe what’s going on around you.
Sometimes, you have to look hard to find the good.
Sometimes, when you are in a bad mood, you have to look at what’s good in your life to pull you out of it.
You may want something that you think might be out of reach. Perhaps, it’s not.
So ask yourself these three questions: How badly do you want it? What are you willing to do to get it? When are you willing to start going for it?
There is always hope.
But hope doesn’t get you what you want. You have to add effort and desire to that hope.
So, a quest begins with desire. You have to really want something to achieve it.
Then, you have to determine how willing you are to do what it takes to achieve it.
That may be the toughest question of the three. Once you have the desire, you need to think that it’s possible. If you want it, and determine that it’s possible, the needed effort should come.
That brings us to the last question: when will you start?
If you want something badly enough, you’ll want to start doing what you need to do as soon as possible – never mind how busy you think you will be.
If your goal involves helping others, it’s always a good time for that.
Now also may be a good time to reflect on what you want to do with your life. We’ve been through, and are still going through, a pandemic that has changed many aspects of our lives.
It has provided time to reflect – to analyze what we were doing and whether it was worth it to keep doing it.
If what you were doing before the pandemic was not fulfilling your goals, it may be time to think long and hard about how much effort you want to keep putting in, without getting the results you want.
It may also be time, if you like and appreciate what you were doing, to perhaps find new ways to do it.
Regardless, keep the three questions mentioned above in mind. Use them to determine not only what you will do now, but what you will do next.
What’s next, if you do things correctly, could be just exactly what you want.


#RemoteWork #WorkingRemotely #coronavirus #COVID-19 #FlattenTheCurve
If you thought working from home, or, at least, away from the crowded office was a temporary solution to combat a contagion, think again.
Now, 40.7 million Americans expect to be working remotely by 2026.
Meanwhile, 86.5 million freelance workers are expected by 2027.
Those statistics come from Upwork Inc. Statista data, and were part of a Bloomberg News article also published Sept. 30, 2021 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article says that businesses, in a survey of 1,000 hiring managers, have increased their willingness to use freelancers.
The coronavirus pandemic was a catalyst for this trend. But it probably has been building for a long time.
If you are in business, it’s better to pay for tasks than hours. When employers hire people as employees, there is a tacit, if not written, agreement that the employee will work, and be paid, for however many hours they are hired for.
Sure, employers can cut, or add to, an employee’s hours at will, in most cases.
But the employers are essentially paying for time. It means more security for the employee, and more obligation for the employer.
Sometimes, that security and obligation also comes in the form of non-salary benefits, adding to the employers’ costs.
When employers hire freelancers, there is no such obligation. The freelancer performs a task(s) and gets paid for that task. That’s much less secure for the worker, but, at the same time, provides more flexibility for the worker to do other things.
The ultimate flexibility for the worker is the ability to work from home. He or she may not get as much from the employer in this arrangement, but the tradeoff (no commuting to a work site, for example) may be worth it.
For some, the fear of loss of secure employment may not be desirable. Some depend on an employer’s benevolence. But, for others, being one’s own boss, essentially, provides coveted freedom.
Given issues with child care, inflation and the increasing costs of commuting, being one’s own boss, in the long run, may be a great tradeoff to the old time-for-dollars, strict schedule model.
To work successfully from home, however, you have to be sure that distractions, like children, won’t hurt your productivity. You still have to give the boss what he or she wants, when he or she needs it.
In short, the trends toward more freedom, flexibility and freelance work are coming. That may not suit everyone, but there may be little anyone can do about it.
It’s best for everyone to prepare for those trends now. That may mean staying with your on-location job and work a gig on the side. Perhaps that gig could be your answer to following the coming trends.


#TruckerProtests #CanadianTruckers #coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve
The trucker protests in Canada amount to a few ruining the livelihoods of many.
The truckers seem to be protesting vaccine mandates. Yet, most of them – more than 80 percent – are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, protesters have been basically cleared from blocking the Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor, Ont., to Detroit, Mich., the most widely used border crossing in North America. But reports say other protests, including those in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, are continuing.
So, the question becomes, why?
We’ve all experienced frustration, sadness, anger and, perhaps, every other volatile emotion during the last two years.
The virus has done a number not only on some of our bodies, but also many of our psyches.
That anguish, combined with divisive politics that has emboldened a few, perhaps is at the center of the trucker protests.
The good news is the border egresses are being unblocked, and, hopefully, the manufacturing supply chain disruptions can be eased.
A second manifestation of the virus-provoked frustration and anger is in U.S. schools. Parents, probably still frustrated over opening, closing and reopening of schools during the past two years, have taken to challenging the curriculum, reading materials etc., that probably have been used in their schools for years.
If the parents and schools don’t work out their disputes in a fashion that allows students to learn history, and other undisputed lessons, properly, schools will not only lose teachers and other educators in large numbers, but the ultimate penalty could be schools losing accreditation.
Loss of accreditation could mean that graduates of those schools may not be admitted to colleges, or other higher forms of education, regardless of how intelligent they may be.
The lesson here is that we all want freedom of speech. We all want our grievances heard. As parents, we all want to help make our schools the best they can be.
But, we all must remember that the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit us to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.
The right to free speech is not unlimited. Those who wrote the Constitution EXPECTED us to avail ourselves of our rights with some care and respect. They EXPECTED us to know not only our rights, but also right from wrong.
Therefore, leaning on the Constitution to justify wrongdoing is not what the founders intended.
In short, we have rights to be exercised. We, therefore, should exercise them. But we should do so responsibly.
How does one define responsible? If exercising your rights is causing harm to others who are not part of the dispute, one should think twice about how one exercises those rights.
Consider the person who calls out sick to work when he or she is not sick. That person may have a grievance with the employer. But his or her coworkers are most likely to suffer more punishment than the employer.
Speaking of illness, you may feel you have the right to conduct Activity X during a raging pandemic without taking available precautions. You may feel that if you contract the disease, so be it,. But you do not have the right to contract the disease and spread it to others. That’s why mitigation measures and vaccines may be necessary.
It seems as if the protesting Canadian truckers realize this, and have gotten their shots in large numbers. That makes the reason for protests all the more baffling.


#jobs #workforce #JobsNumbers #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
The 467,000 new jobs created in January 2022 were many times more than expected. Yet, “The Great Resignation” is leading people to quit jobs in large numbers. Perhaps, many are going to better jobs, or, at least, different ones.
Despite this good economic news, many have framed the current work/job environment as a case of generous benefits keeping people from looking – or taking – jobs. The January report should dispel that notion.
First, let’s dispense with the idea that people who are not in the job market are lazy.
For most, that’s hardly the case.
What people are doing now, that they may have not done before, is look at the costs, and the risks, against the rewards, of taking a particular job.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning – we could face a surprise new variant at any time, there are still risks to being up close and personal with others, especially where there are no rules or mitigations against viral transmission.
A sick worker is no good to either his or her employer or family. An unvaccinated worker is more likely to get sick and spread the virus. Not knowing whether the person next to you is vaccinated presents its own risk.
Secondly, presuming you have no ability to work from home – most in lower-paying jobs cannot work from home, you have to get to work.
You have to calculate how much of your paycheck is going to commuting. If it costs you a lot to get to work, and you don’t have enough left over after commuting costs to cover your other living expenses, that presents a disincentive to take a job.
Thirdly, if you have young children, and no means to care for them while you are at work, that presents yet another risk to taking a job.
Though most schools are staying open, some have periodic closings prompted by the virus. Perhaps too many students, teachers and staff are ill, or have exposure issues, and cannot be in school.
When too many people are absent, schools close, or go to online options. Of course it’s temporary, but it’s still a problem for a working parent.
The smaller number, and higher cost, of day-care options enlarge the problem for parents.
In short, the labor “shortage” we see is more complicated than government benefits that are too generous.
For some workers, particularly those whose spouse may earn a relatively high income, a worker may also find that his or her lower-paying job is generating an income that primarily pays taxes, and little else. There may be other reasons to hang in a job, i.e. benefits, pension credits etc. But, in some scenarios, one can easily put an entire paycheck into taxes alone.
Just as it may be hard for some employers to get enough people to keep his or her operation going, it may be just as hard for a worker to decide whether it is worth his or her effort to take a job.
In the long term, as birth rates decline and people make life choices that give them more flexibility, there will actually be a labor shortage. In that case, the only solution could be to allow more immigrants, refugees and others to come into the country. In fact, a recent U.S. Census report says the largest segment of population increase is coming from immigrants.
It’s no easy fix, but it is one that we all may have to fix together as a society. Jobs have to be more attractive. Services and solutions need to be available so workers can go to work without fear or worry.
Both employers and employees need to be part of any solution.


#HappyNewYear #NewYear #2022 #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
It’s been an interesting year, or two.
Will 2022 be any better?
That’s up to each of us.
COVID-19 may be around longer than we want it to be. In fact, it may never go away entirely.
As we have with seasonal flu and other diseases, we have to learn that precautions may forever be in order. If everyone eligible got vaccinated and boosted, it would go a long way toward mitigation.
If we begin the year with that premise, let’s move on to the promise.
Things are getting better, as unemployment is dropping, and wages, in many cases, are rising.
Here’s the rub: going to work isn’t what it used to be, in many cases.
More customers/clients have become, for lack of a better word, abusive.
If you are on the front lines, you get paid to resolve disputes. But you do not get paid to take abuse. You may have no control over the situation, though some would have you believe you have absolute control to resolve their grievances.
You have to remember that the situation is not your fault, in most cases. While the pandemic and accompanying restrictions have brought out the worst in some, they have brought out the best in others.
Yes, it’s easier to say that when one is not being abused.
Let’s resolve this year to be kinder. Let’s resolve to understand why we might be frustrated, even angry. Let’s resolve that what’s making us frustrated and angry may not be what, or who, is in front of us, and not take out our frustration and anger on that thing or person.
Again, it’s easier said than done, but if we can all give it thought, perhaps we can minimize disturbances.
Remember, too, that not only you, but everyone around you, can be affected by your behavior. The next time you may feel inclined to disrupt an airline flight over, say, a mask, remember it’s not just about you, and your “rights.” And remember that the flight crew is there to keep you, and those around you, safe. You have a part to play in that effort. Play it graciously and cooperatively.
That brings us to what you may want for yourself, and others, in the new year. Is your situation ideal for you?
Do you want to take a different route, or direction, in 2022? Now is a good time to think about that.
Know that there are many programs out there that can improve your situation, financial and otherwise, without having to change what you are doing now.
These programs require no specific education, experience or background. They only require an open mind to check them out, a desire to change your own circumstances and a willingness to help others.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, whatever you decide to do in 2022, do it with kindness, humility, integrity and generosity.
Remember that what you do will not just affect you. And remember that the person who you think is persecuting you may be there to save you.
Happy New Year!


#AvailableJobs #workers #employment #coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve
A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021.
So reports Anneken Tappe for CNN Business. Her article appeared on Nov. 12, 2021.
She wrote that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.4 million job openings that month, because of a worker shortage. The number of openings dropped slightly from the 10.6 million openings in August 2021, the article says.
Meanwhile, employers hired 6.5 million people, while they lost, including those who left voluntarily, 6.2 million, the article says.
Earlier, the Associated Press had reported that employers largely were still looking for workers who had previous experience in the work for which they were applying. Speculation had been that workers were applying for jobs which were totally different from the jobs they had held – perhaps paying a lot more money.
The AP article also hinted that employers believe eventually they will regain the leverage in the job market that workers have now.
Still, if you are a worker and your job disappeared during the pandemic, but may be slowly coming back, you have to ask yourself: is the job worth going back to?
As the cooler fall and winter weather creeps in, are you worried that your kids’ school(s) will close for a period because the virus spreads anew?
If your kids had to do school remotely, could you work at the same time? These questions tell us that the virus has not left us, and, perhaps, won’t for a good bit of time – if at all.
Complicating one’s decision to return to a job is the lack of day-care options, or the lack of places a parent could drop off a child to go to school remotely while they work.
Another factor: have you, as a worker, considered all possible job options? You may actually find an employer, desperate for help, willing to train you to do something different. Perhaps that something different would allow you to work remotely, if you had to.
If you are an employer, have you considered offering better pay, training and work/life flexibility to attract more, or better, workers? Are you willing to invest more to keep the good people you have from leaving?
This push-pull of the current labor market is one reason, along with supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, that prices on just about everything are rising.
Despite short-term pain your wallet may feel, if workers ultimately attain workplace leverage and get more pay and better benefits, everyone – yes, employers, too – will benefit.
Of course, if you are not sure what you should do next, but are willing to explore different alternatives, there are programs out there that may intrigue you.
They require no specific education, experience or background. They allow you flexibility to work from home as needed. They merely require an open mind to check them out, and the ability to be coached. You can even do them part time as you work a regular job.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
This labor market is difficult for employers and employees. It’s one of those transition periods from which good things can result. We just have to be patient in the short term.
Also, the more eligible people get vaccinated, the sooner we can keep the pandemic at bay.
So, what will be your next move?


#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #jobs #LostJobs
The pandemic is hastening a new normal.
As Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted in November 2020, half of business travel and 30 percent of “days at the office” will go away forever.
Heather Long discussed this trend in an article for the Washington Post. It was also published March 1, 2021, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article also points out that some jobs that were destined to be automated – in other words, robots and other machines doing the work of some people — will progress sooner than anticipated because the pandemic discouraged people working in close quarters.
Technology also permits people to do some jobs from anywhere, be it home or on a tropical island.
The McKinsey Global Institute says that 20 percent of business travel won’t come back and about 20 percent of workers could end up working from home indefinitely, the article says.
That has an impact on hotels, air travel, commercial real estate and neighborhood businesses that depended on clientele working in confined office buildings or manufacturing plants, the article points out.
The article even talks about a worker at Walt Disney World who had hoped to get her job back after the pandemic, now trying to learn how to code (computers) watching YouTube videos.
Though the article talks about people needing to be retrained, that has its pitfalls. You can be retrained to do one thing, only to see that retraining become obsolete in the near future.
So what does one do in this situation? Even if your job came, or will come, back, how long will it last? Was the job you had even worth going back to? Sure, you may need a paycheck in the short term, but where will you be in a year, five years, 10 years?
Fortunately, there are many programs out there that allow a person to devote a few part-time, off-work hours a week to start, that could put extra money in one’s pocket. Eventually, if one stayed with it and worked diligently, he or she could potentially earn an income that would dwarf what he or she would make on the job he or she once did.
As a bonus, there is no specific education, background or experience needed. And, if you find that such a program is for you, you could introduce it to your friends and help them do the same.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, you can help mitigate the disease by diligently following the public health guidelines and getting vaccinated when your turn comes up.
You can take time to evaluate your situation and determine what your new normal will look like. However, it’s dangerous to presume that someone, or something, will come along to bail you out. Though some short-term help may come, it will not solve your potential long-term problem. That will entirely be up to you.
Being cooped up at home for extended periods has its advantages. It gives you many moments to appreciate what you have, and think about what comes next for you.
As an example, what if you could work for Company X in a big, expensive city, but live in much less expensive outskirts – or, live nowhere near where your employer is?
Or, what if you could be your own boss, work from anywhere – pandemic or not — and help many others do the same?
This is a time of change and choices. Change carefully and choose wisely.


#coronsirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #jobs #QuittingYourJob

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of people to lose their jobs.
However, those still working, though fortunate, are stretched thin.
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, in collaboration with the software company SAP, found that a quarter of U.S. workers have considered quitting their jobs because of pandemic-related worries.
Alexandra Olson, for the Associated Press, discussed this trend in an article also published Oct. 25, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“About 7 in 10 aorkers cited juggling their jobs and other responsibilities as a source of stress,” the article reads. “Fears of contracting the virus was a top concern for those working outside the home.” Olson writes.
And, the article says, the employers are responding. The poll finds 57 percent of workers saying their employer is doing ”about the right amount” in responding to the pandemic. Some 24 percent say their employers are “going above and beyond” what they should do to keep workers as safe as possible, the article quotes the poll.
So, what is your situation? Are you working from home, juggling home schooling for kids and other stresses?
Are you going into your workplace, perhaps leaving kids at home to school themselves?
Are your kids going into their school buildings for regular classes?
Or, is it some combination of those?
Also, do you fear catching the virus? If so, are you taking the precautions the experts advise, such as wearing masks when you have to be close to people, and otherwise keeping away from people? Are you washing your hands regularly? Are you sanitizing surfaces as you use them?
If you have to go out to work, and are taking the necessary precautions, the experts believe we can contain the virus.
If you are an employer, the last thing you want is a viral outbreak in your place of business. The Incentive is there for you to do what you need to do to keep people safe.
If you own or work in a restaurant, bar, hotel or other hospitality industry, do you feel safe there?
Are you encouraging customers to get takeout food, or otherwise limiting the capacity of the business? Certainly, you’ll feel that financially, but it’s better to be temporarily safe until one or more of approved vaccines is widely distributed.
If you still fear the pandemic, and want to look for some other way to earn money, there are many programs out there that allow you to spend a few part-time hours a week and potentially earn an income that could dwarf your current income. Bonus No. 1: you don’t need any specific education or experience – just a willingness to check it out and be coached. Bonus No. 2: There are ways to do it from home, if it is unsafe to be out. To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
If you are worried about this virus, which is unlike any other virus we’ve seen, the good news is on the horizon. Take the necessary precautions until such time as the majority of people are vaccinated. And, more importantly, when it’s available, get vaccinated yourself.
Pandemics are by nature temporary. How long they last depends on what each of us does. Proceed with caution, but proceed.