• Lori A. Jazvac, MRW

The Art of Thriving in Challenging Times

Updated: Apr 7

You may find the streets barren these days, numerous businesses and shops closed, and people turning their home into their refuge and indefinite personal workspace.


Remote work is no longer a possibility, but now a necessity. Social distancing is a common practice and a precautionary measure against COVID-19. Staying at home now has been ingrained as a regular habit. And the world of work is evolving into new dimensions, taking people by surprise to see life changing in front of their very own eyes. Many people are having to become technically savvy and more creative in transforming their lives to align with global concerns and changes.


Our world is facing a global crisis with serious health concerns brought on by a serious pandemic and unstable economy. While this recession is quite different from 2008, there are still strategies that you can take to move forward. There is still a unique approach that you can take to turn "lemons into lemonade" and make this situation work for you rather than against you.


The question is: How will you utilize this time wisely to get prepared and refine your brand?
How will you stay engaged and achieve your goals virtually?

It is important to remain proactive by understanding labour market trends. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released the latest data on the groups impacted related to #COVID19. Read more at www.OntarioLabourMarketReport.ca.


Who is at most risk for job loss?


* 9% of all working men and 13% of all women are at risk of layoffs.

* 1/4 of all those working part-time are at risk of layoff.

* 2/5 workers making $14 or less and 1/3 workers making $14-$16/hour are at risk of immediate job loss.

* For those making $40/hour, the risk of job loss is 1%.


Nonetheless, regardless of what field or industry you are in, your career is being impacted to some degree as well as your personal or family life. This is a time of great transition. Flexibility and adaptability is key while ensuring you maintain good health and keep your stress levels in check.


Even though we've been through challenging or turbulent times where our patience and faith have been tested before, we can and will get through this provided we each do our part and abide by public health guidelines and policies and take care.


Know what works for you, what has propelled you through difficult times, and who are your key supports.
Leverage your innate strengths and have faith! Be patient, yet persistent. Remember, there is a higher purpose to turbulent situations.
What are you called to do? What are you called to learn from this experience? Where and how can you drive change?




Here are 8 tips/strategies for thriving in challenging times:


1. Take care of yourself and be kind to others.


Remember to take care of your needs first. This means following appropriate distancing hand-washing, cleaning, and stay-at-home measures. Get enough rest, eat healthy, and exercise. Take time each day to do some yoga or meditate with deep breathing. Taking care of yourself while being mindful of how your actions impact others will mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These best self-care practices will help position you in a healthier frame of mind to tackle your career situation in a more empowering manner.




2. Invest in thorough research.


Stay up to date regarding labour market trends and developments. Not all industries are being impacted. Due to COVID-19, companies in travel, food services, hospitality, retail, and event planning have been impacted the most with closings. However, the healthcare field is in high demand requiring courageous professionals to offer high-quality service. Professionals who can work remotely to drive innovation, risk management, and compliance will be on the rise. Grocery stores and cleaning services are also in need of ambitious help.


Remember that many companies are hiring and there has been an increase in remote job postings and opportunities within the public sector. This is a time to read, do forecasting, remain resourceful, and explore all prospects available. Opportunities will open themselves up to you once you identify clearly your purpose and the environment that you want to thrive in.




3. Check your benefits entitlement and solidify your finances.


Have a backup financial plan in such serious cases for security. Speak with your financial advisor, realign your financial savings plan, and learn how to protect yourself and your family. Check your benefits entitlements with your HR manager as this will greatly help during the recession. While you may want to consider cutting back on unnecessary expenses or lavish purchases at this time, create and adhere to a sound budget. The government has outlined a CERB plan for those impacted by COVID-19 so remember that you are not alone; there is help. Investigate all your options.

Learn more here.




4. Honour and refine your unique value.


While so many changes are occurring around us on multiple levels, while the work continues to rapidly shift, it is essential to stay positive, strong, and focused. Take time to sit down and think about how far you have come in your career rather than beating yourself up where you could be or how come you have not gotten far as you could have.


Timing can be a funny thing, but it's amazing once you work on achieving your goals and stay dedicated to doing so, how much you can accomplish! You are often your worst critic so be kind to yourself and appreciate and unleash your boundless potential.


What does your next step look like in moving forward?


What sets you apart from the competition?


What skills have you developed or mastered?


What value have you delivered to your field and industry over the years?


What unique value and/or expertise could you deliver at present? This is a good time to refine your brand and align your expertise and qualifications with industry needs.


Remember your unique value is your personal asset. Respect and honour it. Articulate your value to key decision-makers, hiring managers, or recruiters, for they could be seeking someone just like you with your exact skills, strengths, and experience!




5. Set SMART (specific, measurable, action-driven, realistic, timely) goals each day.


Assess your situation in its entirety and forecast ahead. Be honest with yourself. What is your career focus moving forward? What problem can you solve in the workplace?

How can you continue your job working from home? Carrve out your remote work space to maximize your productivity.


Do you need to search for new opportunities? There are plenty of remote work opportunities. Visit the Job Search Vault.


Where is there a need that aligns with your particular career values and goals?

Do you need to strengthen your skill sets?

Is this a time for a major career transition or can you bridge any gaps?


Once you have assessed your situation, take steps each day to work towards your goal. Whether that involves taking a course, speaking to 2-3 prospective employers or recruiters online or via phone, or carving out a remote work space, go ahead and tackle those goals. Remember to stay committed and believe in yourself.




6. Distinguish your value with a stellar resume package and compelling LinkedIn presence.


Once you have clarified your career focus, seek professional support concerning the creation of a stellar resume package that sets you apart. Develop your LinkedIn presence; this goes hand in hand with the resume as a vital networking tool. There are various tools that you can add to your brand marketing portfolio. The key is to have them ready in advance rather than waiting last minute. Career transitions are always better and more successful when planned ahead of time.




7. Track and acknowledge your milestones.


This is a stressful time. But remember that each milestone counts. Track your progress and journal your feelings and emotions.


What patterns are you aware of?


What are you doing that is working?


What could you be doing more of that would enhance your personal or professional growth?


Be patient with yourself and work on mastering marketable skills and maximizing your value. This could mean upgrading your education during this downtime, driving innovation virtually, enhancing your virtual networking skills, or learning the latest technology to optimize your communication.


Maximize your time to catch up on those long-standing projects or goals that may have been left behind. Reconnect with an old friend and express your concern. Whatever steps you take now towards professional and personal development may prove fruitful by end of year.



8. Stay connected with various professionals and leverage online networking.


You may be used to seeing close family and/or friends more often. While this may have changed temporarily, know that you can still find alternative ways to stay in reach through phone, email, video, Skype, Zoom, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or internet. Take time each day to call someone and stay in touch. You just may brighten someone's day, find solace, or strike up new ideas or collaborations in staying connected. Remember, we're in this together, and out of every crisis arises opportunities if we choose to see them and identify where we can best shine.

The world of work is drastically changing, but it's calling you to make a genuine difference!


Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon!


Creative Horizons Communications is a one-stop, holistic, and virtual career service firm supporting jobseekers globally to tackle their next career milestone. Let us help you! Contact us via creativehorizonsresumes@gmail.com or call 905.730.2374.

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