So what’s lockdown been like for you and your family? For me, it’s been elements of the perfect storm and I have treated this last three months an enforced career sabbatical and an opportunity to press pause after nearly twenty years in the fast lane working in a vibrant and dynamic financial recruitment industry.
I have definitely found that this opportunity and all of my achievements have far outweighed the necessary financial burdens under furlough, as I’ve experienced some never again precious moments with my family that you just can’t put a price on. These have included spending the last three months seeing my newborn daughter grow and develop, teaching my elder daughter to ride her bike without stabilisers, building two dry stone walls in the garden with my wife and getting very oily immersed in the renovation of my classic car! Mechanics out there everywhere don’t worry I’m not going to change my day job!
In addition to this, I have rediscovered what living in a friendly and highly supportive neighbourhood is all about from clapping our wonderful NHS and Carers, to taking part in our cul-de-sac sunflower growing competition and not to forget toasting VE Day from a socially acceptable on my drive distance! I think that one of the best things to come out of this truly terrible and yet remarkable episode has been really getting to know my neighbours, rediscover friendships and be there for my family in a different but equally adaptable zoom way. I have seen and like to think I have been part of an overwhelming “let’s all help each other culture” that I hope will now be embedded into our DNA and to the very fabric of post-COVID culture.
Other key milestones have included continuing to keep in touch with my work colleagues and professional network and this has involved weekly zoom socials & quizzes and fortnightly wilderness walks with my chief executive.
In a world that has become more and more influenced by the news that we see, hear and read about, by social media and public opinion fuelled through tension release and scrutiny, I passionately believe that we will all be far stronger as a result of this. As a Politics graduate, I have perversely been fascinated by the ebbs and flows of these last three months yet don’t envy one bit our Politicians who quite frankly are damned if they do and damned if they don’t!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asking myself what might 2021 and beyond look like for businesses and communities and for the UK as a whole given our forthcoming exit in Europe and given our all-time record level of government borrowing, that will need to be paid for.
Having experienced and had some of my best years in recruitment during the last recession, I feel optimistically confident that there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel.
Never before has it been more important as employees, employers, nations and individuals for us to ensure that we don’t become blinkered and have tunnel vision, we must continue to share and care, to be creative and bold in how we and the next generation recover and learn from this pandemic (in preparation for the next COVID!). Collectively and collaboratively by sticking together and working together we will have a far better chance of emerging fitter and stronger.
I’m back in the game from today and with no regrets at all from the last three months. I’m fresher and hungrier (and even a bit lighter!) than ever to help my existing and new professional networks to discover and shape their next wins, and to put solutions to the challenges and problems that I am sure we still don’t fully understand.
Please drop me a line if you’d like to arrange a catch up over the next few weeks and I’ll look forward to us getting a date in the diary.
In the meantime, let's keep safe, keep positive and above all have no regrets! Here’s to us all prospering again soon, best regards, Jamie.