Here we are - calendar dates vary widely, but by mid week, I'll be entering week 4 of my personal decision to shelter in place. I say personal decision because like a lot of states, mine was a bit late to the whole "mandate" thing.
With that in mind, I'm going to switch gears and talk about everybody else. If you're still employed as a white collar professional, you fall into one of 2 camps regardless of the industry or your profession (HR and recruiting pros aren't exempt from what I'm about to say):
1--You've got a lot to do. Based on the circumstances and your company, your hair is on fire and you're working long hours with no breaks. Thank you. Nice job.
2--You don't have a lot to do. Many of you will refuse to put yourself in this category, mostly because it's dangerous thing to admit to yourself - and it comes with current and future responsibilities. But for any business with declining results, no one buying and an employer fortunate enough financially to retain you - many of you are in this group.
If you fall into group #2, this post is for you. I write it out of respect, with compassion, etc - but mostly to give you some tough love.
So you're still employed as a white collar professional and you don't have as much to do. You've probably got at least another month at home and some hours to fill.
Stop reading the news, get off your a**, out of the fetal position and use the hours you have - as well as the relative peace - and invest in you.
Get busy building the projects, work product or skills you always said you would do/chase if you weren't so busy.
The next month is a tale of two professionals in your industry/at your career level. You both have the same educational background, relative skills and career attainment at this stage in your career.
One of you is going to stay in the fetal position over the next 3 months (regardless of when you return to the office, things are going to stay slow, I'm calling it a minimum of 3 months, more likely 6), talking about how bad everything is, bitching about their 401k, etc.
The other one? That person is less available on demand to hop on a social Zoom call or a Slack/Glip/Whatever chat like everyone else.
The reason that other person is a bit less available? Because they're in the lab, taking blocks of time to work on the aforementioned projects, work product or skills that will add value to their company or themselves after this thing ends and the economy recovers.
The person in the lab becomes at least 5% more valuable to their company and the marketplace at the end of this 3-month period.
COVID-19 and what it's done to the world is awful. Most of us have some form of fear on a variety of levels. Take care of yourself and others, enjoy some time being physically close and present to your family, and meditate a bit.
But if you have down periods at work, It's time to flip the switch. Start planning and working for the June 1st or September 1st version of you.
Being 5%-10% better than your peers might make all the difference in the world over the 12 months - for you and your company.
Stay healthy. Do you.