We are all human. We expect our needs and wants to be met. I believe you know what I am talking about. As you went about your Pre-COVID life you had wants like a new truck, travel, an active vacation, or that next promotion; perhaps, this all seems less important now.
The world as you knew it has been altered for many years to come. How the world goes about their work has changed. WFH, Video conference, and happy hours are now being replaced with online hiring, training, and onboarding of new staff. Our career paths that seemed a certainty during the longest-running bull market, that cranked out jobs and profits, are now resetting. How a business survives is in question. Growth and expansion appear to have been placed temporarily on the back burner. The game of business has changed. The plays in the game must be strategized differently. And, the players? Well, you and I are the players, and we are in for a rude awakening.
Unless…you’re ready. That is exactly what my goal is today. To get you and everyone you know aware and ready to play the new game of business. I have a hint for you. If you were a work rock star pre-COVID, unfortunately, there are no guarantees today. This is a massive change in the way the world of work operates. While you have been adjusting to your new work reality, both front line and remote, world demand for products and services have reset like a cruel game of musical chairs. Consumers are spending less, not traveling or driving, consuming at home subscription services and deliveries. The new reality of increased personal savings, less discretionary spending, and high unemployment caused a spiral effect downward.
It’s as if the world has a new boss and they want to put their “own people in place”. The new boss has this right, and is simply more comfortable with people they have played the game with and most likely won with prior.
The workplace has always been about supply and demand. When workers are in short supply, wages, safety conditions, working conditions, perks, benefits, and career opportunities all progress.
Right now (regardless of the short term reason) unemployment has skyrocketed to record numbers as we attempt to slow down the invisible enemy. As a result, businesses and their leaders are left with less demand for whatever widget they sold.
In the fictional book, World War Z, we read interviews from survivors of a Zombie War. In this new “after zombie” the world, how people live, and what is valued has changed. In a new world of limited people and resources, old jobs and skillsets were no longer worth what they once were. In fact, the new world had limited value for lawyers, politicians, and salespeople, and they were paid less than previously; less than folks that can build things. In the Post WWZ world, carpenters, welders, and mechanics were at the top of the hierarchy.
Now, of course, this is fiction. But in the imaginary, we can learn a lesson. We find ourselves in a brave new world where grocery store workers, food production staff, and healthcare workers are our heroes and receiving the praise, support, and increases in pay that acknowledges their critical nature.
America must now build things. Our success in converting to a global economy with just-in-time inventory and overseas manufacturing has failed us when we needed it most. This trend will be far-reaching and cause government, business, and leaders to create more local, redundant ways of managing our supply chains.