A lot has happened since the first week’s meeting of the Mastermind Group.  The numbers of reported infections and deaths have increased, and the responses from client companies are to take effect.  Companies that have employees who can work from home are typically requiring this option.  Many of the jobs that require employees to be in physical attendance are being eliminated. Not all industries are equally impacted.  Some are even benefiting from the current environment.  Industries that have been deemed “essential” are still hiring. 

I appreciate this group’s energy, which is authentic, encouraging, and generous with each other.  Everyone in the meeting shared information about who they are, what type of staffing & recruiting they do, and how their businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus after two weeks. Most people have some active job orders remaining with others put on hold.  Most have seen a sharp reduction or cessation of new job order inflow.  A few have had all of their open jobs put on hold.  Though the trend is a lack of new job openings, one person has had 19 new job openings in the past two weeks!

In most cases, interviews between clients and candidates have been done virtually, with onboarding taking place virtually to accommodate the need to work from home.  Most of the group’s temps/contractors remaining employed are working from home now. Some people have found that recently placed candidates are fearful of losing their jobs, and some candidates are putting their searches on hold due to the current uncertainty.

The issue of covering the risk of being paid on temp invoices came up.  The advice to ask for prepayment for the upcoming pay period was given and may be wise with some clients now who are deemed to be a higher risk. 

In times of uncertainty, one of the biggest challenges is managing our internal state.  It’s easy to get swept up in fear and negativity…that’s a normal response.  The key is to allow ourselves to feel what we feel and then intentionally lead ourselves and others to the state we wish to reside in.  Most people’s positivity has dropped from their normal level.  Some reported their attitudes trending back up again. 

We discussed things that we can do to keep our emotional states positive.  Some of the ideas included focusing on self-care.  This includes regular practices such as meditation, expressing gratitude, exercise, walking in the sunshine, eating well, and connecting with other people, especially loved ones.  Also, now’s a good opportunity to use your extra non-productive time for educational and creative activities including hobbies. Choosing to access that calm space we all have when we let go of our thinking and sit still can help as can reading, watching, and listening to inspirational, uplifting material.  A slowdown in business activity can offer us opportunities to slow ourselves down to do things that we’ve been putting off.  Having a heavy flow of business can lead to extreme “busyness” that distracts us from these things.

Our emotional state is always in our control, though circumstances can seem to take over. Where we choose to put our attention and thoughts directly impacts our emotions, which then affects our body language/posture.  It’s been proven that we can directly change our emotions by putting our bodies in the positions we would be in if we felt the emotions we desire, such as confidence, enthusiasm, optimism, etc.  For example, stand up and raise your hands over your head in the “victory stance” and feel the impact on your emotional state.  I always get a jolt of positive emotions and brain science studies back this up.  In summary, we have two ways to take control of our feelings:

  1. Choosing to focus our attention and thoughts on what we want (this includes the stories we tell ourselves)
  2. Choosing to use and position our bodies the way they would be if we were experiencing the emotions we desire

In summary, this mastermind group offers a safe place for people to be authentic and speak openly during this difficult time.  You can share your struggles and connect with others who are having similar experiences.  We all benefit when we know that we’re not alone in the issues we experience.  I encourage industry leaders to join in to give and receive suggestions and positive encouragement to take positive steps forward and avoid getting stuck in despair.

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