It cannot be said loud enough or often enough: the pandemic has created disruptions for everyone. The interesting thing is to watch how people respond so differently to the disruptions. Some shift and keep moving forward. Others drop everything they are doing and start a completely new path. Others are frustrated because they are attached to the way it was and are treading water until things return to “normal.” Others throw up their hands and quit and refuse to do anything because it just feels too difficult to adjust.
I tend to look for opportunities. In my lifetime, I have never seen more opportunities than we have available to us right now. The pandemic has level-changed things so rapidly that no one is ahead. It is changing how people shop, communicate, travel, eat, practice religion, and invest money, to name a few of the areas affected.
Anytime there are significant disruptions, opportunities arise. For my 5 Thursday Thoughts, here are five areas of opportunity I think the current disruptions offer.
The financial opportunities are multifaceted. The pace of electronic transactions has skyrocketed. Peer-to-peer and consumer-to-business transactions are done without physical cash, checks, or cards. The tap of a phone or click of an app sends cash to the other parties immediately. This medium has an impact on what we know as banking and currency. It opens the door for broader acceptance of digital currencies. It also changes the companies worth investment. It shakes how banks give loans and how they award interest. Paying attention to these changes and taking advantage of some opportunities presented can be life-changing. These highlights do not even account for the housing market currently on fire and changing people’s financial position. Wealth can be created in disruption.
I frequently hear that this is the Great Resignation. More people are quitting their jobs than ever before. Some are starting new careers. Others are just tired of being in the workforce and are adjusting their lifestyle to allow them to do something different. Workforce decline is creating dilemmas for companies worldwide. They need employees to continue to operate. Therefore salaries are increasing at a rapid rate. If you were thinking of making a career change, now is an incredible time. Workers are at a premium. You may be able to negotiate a career situation that could be life-altering for you and your family. You just have to be willing to take the chance.
I mentioned the housing market earlier. People are moving. They are moving out of some of the larger US cities to less populated places. Not necessarily rural, just less populated. The South is seeing a massive influx of people. Remote work and remote learning are at an all-time high, and people are keeping the same jobs they had in the city but moving to a place with a lower cost of living. If you have any desire to relocate, now may be the time.
You can make almost any change now easier than in the previous 18 months. I can think of a couple of changes we made in organizations that I am a part of because of the pandemic that will never be changed back. People do want a sense of normalcy, but things are so disrupted at the moment that you can make changes with minimal fallout. It is not that people do not care; they are just currently looking at other things. Make the change now. When they come back, you will have been doing the new thing so long it will be old.
The disruption has created an opportunity for us to learn. Most of us have had to adapt and adjust at a rapid pace. We have acquired knowledge about things we never intended to acquire. It has also placed more learning resources at our fingertips. Things that once exclusively required you to travel for in-person attendance or were exclusive only to the number of people that could get into a room have now moved to online learning environments where there are few limits. I have participated in several online learning events that would have cost me thousands of dollars under normal circumstances. More and more information is being created digitally. If you want to learn something new, now is a great time to do it.
Don’t allow the disruptions of life to discourage you. Find the opportunities and make the most of them. The opportunities will not last forever.