COVID-19: Adapting to Change after the Storm

I had curled up on my sofa one day to watch a movie that I thought my curiosity will build up for slowly. Barely few minutes into the movie, I found myself fast-forwarding it to see how it ended. My curiosity was palpable. Was it a real-lifestory? But no, it wasn’t. I silently thanked God in my heart that it wasn’t real. The movie was about a virus that spread rapidly like COVID-19 and wiped a city full of people.

Every effort to contain the spread was futile. It was contracted through an infected fish. Anyone that ingests or touches anything that has come in contact with the infected fish ends up being infected. They start exhibiting cannibalistic tendencies and bite their victim who becomes infected and bites the next person. This kept on until the virus ravaged the whole city.

Many times, after watching movies of this nature, I usually comfort myself by bearing in mind that it is fictitious. But right now, the world is combating COVID-19 which is something bigger than what we see in the movies. And then we realize that all we can do is to stay indoors and safe, while praying for those who are infected and those caregivers who are fighting at the frontlines daily. There is the concern of how this pandemic will change the way we have been doing things. Many disruptions are taking place across industries all over the world.

I can’t say for sure if there are many good sides to this pandemic. I know one good thing that is happening: families are bonding as there is a compulsory “stay at home order”. In fact, it has now become a slogan; “Stay at home to stay safe”. Some businesses that are not on total lockdown are communicating with their employees through digital platforms.

The first thing to note today is that change is already here. Are we prepared? Richard Templar, a British self-development author in his book, “The Rules of Management” emphasized the need for managers to always stay ready for change. You may not be a leader of any work or social group but everyone in today’s world is a leader. We are all leading ourselves to become the best version of what we were yesterday.

Richard gave an example of how the organization he was working for at the time had two takeovers within the space of a year. They had barely settled down to get acquainted with the new normal of the first takeover when the second takeover happened. His colleagues who could not cope were complaining bitterly. He also did but soon learnt that resisting change will not help him survive. So he put on a “bring it on” attitude. With that, he got more responsibilities and survived the change. He became flexible and didn’t fall by the wayside.

How we can put on the ‘Bring It on’ Attitude to Adapt to Change

Ross Findon from Unsplash

Embrace the change:

Easier said than done right? However, this is the first step to dealing with the change that is staring at us in the face. I clicked my LinkedIn notification button and the first one reads “Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg: Movie industry ‘ready to embrace’ at-home viewing and theaters”. No doubt, there are many other industries that will also be making the necessary adjustment triggered by the pandemic. But are we as employees, business owners, professional women, mums, community leaders, and members, social leaders, etc. braving up to accept the new normal so we don’t fall by the wayside? This leads us to the next step.

Being Proactive:

On one hand, lots of career coaches on social media have advised that professionals should utilize this time to upskill. That is, to do things that will increase their earnings post COVID-19. Some also cited as an example, the Bubonic Plague of 1665-1666, where Isaac Newton went into quarantine and made the most of it. He used that time to work out the laws and formulas of gravity and motion, the theory of optics, spectrum, light and also invented Calculus. On the other hand, others are proposing ‘rest’ and ‘no pressure’. However, I am on the side of upskilling and increasing your earning potential.  This is because it is one way we can cope in our already volatile job market that has now been compounded with the effect of the pandemic.

By Matthew Hamilton from Unsplash

Staying Positive:

I know it may be hard to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of the present COVID-19 pandemic. But have you noticed that you achieve  more when you are in a good mood than when you are filled with  negativity? It will help if you keep yourself motivated in spite of all that has gone wrong in the world. Let’s be hopeful that all that has happened will turn out for good. Let’s prepare ourselves to put our best foot forward.

In the words of Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, an Executive Coach, “Life is changing and the key to balance is recognizing the change and re-adapting to it”.

As we take steps to make the necessary adjustments, let’s endeavor to stay home and stay safe until this fight against COVID-19 is over!