I hope you had a safe Memorial Day weekend in America 2.0. While restrictions are just starting to loosen, the lockdown has undoubtedly given new meaning to the word “staycation.” After all, moving IS living right? Our bodies were designed to move. Motion creates emotion! Sitting is the new smoking etc. It’s in our DNA and is our livelihood to get out, be social, and explore. In fact, the tagline for my travel business, Bold North Tours, is to “promote the movement of travel.”
Our jobs are also our livelihood. They give us a social outlet, dignity, meaning, and purpose and sometimes even fill our passion. However, what happens when our jobs inhibit our movement and we place wealth over health? Americans are notorious for not using their vacation time or working just as hard during their vacation. Studies show productivity can be achieved with rested workers doing shorter shifts.
Perhaps you are shackled to a desk most days or stuck in traffic during your long commute. Do you work standing up on prep line in a kitchen, on a factory floor, or now just find yourself more isolated working remotely? I see it as a metaphor to our current crisis that we need to somehow find a balance between our health and the economy, our safety and survival. Are they viewed as mutually exclusive? I believe we can do both.
If you are fortunate enough to be employed, how safe do you feel returning or back in your workspace? Maybe you have been given more latitude to work from home. This is a good time to take stock of your current employment. What benefits do you have to promote your personal wellness? What is the work / life balance policy, if any, and is it used in practice or just lip service? I suspect that requesting a sick day will not have the same stigma when we come out of this crisis on the other side. Previously, nothing would scream hangover like a request for a mental health day! But that is changing as employers understand the need to allow for this.
The companies that survive this crisis in good shape will have adopted an employee first and digital first policy and will incorporate proper safety protocols. If you are searching for new career opportunities, find these employers of choice. They promote worker safety as one of their top recruiting tools to attract the best talent. These companies focus on communities, volunteering and emphasize stakeholders over shareholders. They put people over profit. Look for them, they are out there, many on Glassdoor where employees write reviews of how they are treated by their employer.
Job Tip of the Week:
You often will hear advice for recent graduates entering a challenging job market to focus on the company first and actual job second. The same applies to job seekers at any level. During challenging times and in a difficult job market, I would offer the same advice. It may not be the right position but it should be the right company. Right now, maybe your ideal dream job won’t be available but with a quality employer the job advancement and opportunities usually follow.
Be kind, stay healthy and support a local restaurant.