Written by Michele Rock
On March 11th, Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona issued a declaration of a Public Health State of Emergency to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On March 15th, a temporary statewide school closure was issued and was later extended through the end of the school year. On March 17th, the CDC issued updated guidance that included cancelling or postponing gatherings of 10 or more people; recommending telework and other alternatives, restricting access to nursing homes and long-term care facilities and providing recommendations to restaurants and eating establishments to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. On March 19th, Governor Ducey required restaurants in AZ counties to provide dine-out options only and required all bars, gyms and movie theaters in those counties to close. That same day all elective surgeries were halted to free up medical supplies and resources. Since March 31st, Arizonians have been under an Executive Order encouraging them to limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except to conduct or participate in essential activities.
During these unprecedented times there are actionable steps we can take to reclaim our emotional comfort. Career Connectors brought in Lisa Barrington, Certified Coach and Certified HR Professional, to help us maneuver through this difficult time together.
What We’re Feeling & Why
Lisa shared several models of cycles, or stages, to help us understand what we are feeling right now. The Kubler-Ross “Grief” model includes Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining and ends with Acceptance. It is about “Loss”. The Bridges Transitions model follows a similar dip, beginning with an “Ending” of some kind, which dips during the “Transition Zone” and begins to incline with a “New Beginning”. It is about change and transition.
Using the two models above, Lisa developed the COVID-19 Roller Coaster model which gets into the nitty gritty. Lisa pointed out that this is not a proven model, but a proposal of what she’s observed combined with existing models. While we might not experience all the emotions listed, or we might experience different emotions, we will all move through the steps in our own timeframe. During this time we are jumping all over the model due to confusion and constantly changing guidelines. We are probably at the bottom of the model right now. It is normal to feel this way. Embrace it and feel free to share your feelings. The good news is, “at some point we should all be able to climb back up the curve” to a new reality or “The New Status Quo”. Hopefully, this will be a better place.
Actions for Improved Well Being (Commit to at least one thing!)
- Socialization is so important and there are many creative ways occurring right now:
- Driveway Parties
- Facetime, Video or ZOOM Parties (Happy Hours, Wine Tastings, Cooking, etc.)
- Watercooler Moments – Look for opportunities to replace the informal chats with people that occurred when you used to walk in the building, or before a meeting, etc.
- Walk using video and/or earbuds with people who are outside of your personal quarantine group
- Watch Parties (i.e. Netflix Party) replace the interactions that used to occur at Social Events
- Join an established Exercise Class or start your own
- Less social or introverted individuals looking for a job should strive to break out of their shell and reach-out to their Network. Always keep in mind to offer something in return when you ask for help.
- Our “Sympathetic Nervous System” is turned on because all we are hearing right now is negative information and our body feels the “threat”. This is bad for our immune system since our bodies weren’t designed to handle the constant increase of our Adrenal glands or high Cortisol levels. To turn off the Sympathetic Nervous System – Take Deep Breaths and Breathe! This will turn on the “Parasympathetic Nervous System”. Examples are:
- Focus on the positive and what you can control for 1 minute at a time, which will help alleviate depression
- Fill your body with oxygen
- Yoga, meditation, stretching, even just walking around helps
- Intentionally avoid exposure to what puts you in flight or fight mode
- Limit exposure (COVID-19 updates) to 15 minutes once a day or 5 minutes twice a day
- Turn off devices at bedtime or put them in silent mode 30 minutes before bedtime
- Eat Healthy and boost your immune system
- Some foods remind of us a special time or bring on good memories. This can bring us joy!
- Get enough “restful” sleep
- Daily write down 3 things you are grateful for, this helps increase endorphins and dopamine
- Enhance your happiness by looking for the positive
- Look for ways to help others. These acts of kindness also help us
- Send meals to elderly
- Send text to friends and family
- Keep in mind the positive is coming. The New Normal is coming
- Identify what brings joy to your life and make sure those activities are part of your day. Our chat discussion had some great ideas, included below:
- Uplifting Music
- Conversations with a friend
- Stroll or walk
- Crafts or projects
- Volunteering – great distraction and serving people/causes
- Check out “Some Good News” with John Krasinski on YouTube for some fun and positive stories
- Sewing (masks) to focus on something positive and creative
- Cakebread Winery has a cooking class on Facebook live
- Remember the Job search will be better if you take care of yourself!
- Adjust or renegotiate boundaries within your quarantine area as needed to ensure you set yourself up for a positive transition
Culture Fit in the Job Search
Lisa recommended we watch Bob Chapman, CEO of St. Louis, MO-based Barry-Wehmiller on YouTube. He is a perfect example of what a “leader” should be! She reviewed several aspects to consider when evaluating the cultural fit of a company:
- Check a company’s website to determine if they are focused on finances or people
- What do they highlight?
- Are they “walking the talk”?
- Are employees and customers treated as stakeholders?
- Is Sustainability part of the culture?
- Management Style?
- Google (i.e. Glassdoor)
- Check out News or articles (i.e. Best Places to Work, Linkedin, etc.)
- Company Rituals
- Practices, Policies and Procedures
- Do they support or restrict?
- How do employees behave?
- What is their belief system?
- At the end of an interview ask the interviewer to provide an example of where the company culture was “positively” exhibited? Where it didn’t show up?
TEK Systems, is obsessed with technology and its power to change everything. Technology fuels their passion and commitment to helping organizations reach their goals. They bring fresh ideas that help businesses galvanize performance. With 250+ local employees, located in 3 offices, partnering with 125+ Arizona customers like Bank of America, State Farm, America Express and ASU, TEKsystems is bringing in the teams and support needed for their partner companies to thrive. Current openings exist for Project Managers, Software Engineers, Helpdesk/Desktop Support, Database Programmers/Engineers, Field Technicians and Information Security. Check out all their open positions. Feel free to reach out to Nick on LinkedIn. He is very interested in helping others navigate the Job Search Journey with his company or another company.
Connected Vehicle Optimization,
Patty A Mazerolle, Director of HR at CVO
CVO is an industry-leading technology provider and has been in business over 25 years. They champion innovation in transportation safety and efficiency and provide solutions that enable their customers to make informed, cost-effective decisions. Check out their Technology, Operations and Finance openings on LinkedIn here, an easy apply option has been set-up. You can also email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include the position you are interested in and highlight that you heard about the opportunity via Career Connectors. Some of their open positions are Systems Analyst Manager, Billing Support Specialist and Data Warehouse Manager. Even if CVO doesn’t have an open posting in your area of interest, Patty is happy to assist you in connecting with others in her network.
Resources & Closing
Jessica Pierce, CEO/Founder of Career Connectors closed by inviting attendees to use the resources available through Career Connectors, including those listed below, as well as joining the online events on Wednesday mornings from 9-11. Jessica also thanked the awesome volunteers that make these events possible!