Waiting for the Silver Bullet–dreaming about the future
This situation isn’t going to last forever.
Some bright spark is going to sort through all the data we humans and our new AI servants are collecting to find the silver bullet that will bring this virus to its knees.
The challenge is that whatever the silver bullet is it won’t be the magic bullet we need to push the reset button on the economy and society in general.
Take a deep breath. This is going to take a while.
Waiting for the silver bullet
The concept of social and physical distancing gets old really fast
Its all fun and games right now while the concept of social isolation and physical distancing are new.
After you danced a bit, sang a bit, learned to cook,had way too much to drink, done your own cleaning, played with your kids, and finally got bored with the online indulgences your partner prefers, you’ve probably got time on your hands. During those times when you’ve run out of things you can do without irritating your partner and and still enjoy the confines of your home you’ll find yourself sitting in intellectual isolation. You are going to begin fretting about money, the mental health of your friends and the general health and safety of the family who aren’t shut in with you.
I’ll bet you’re beginning to toy with ideas about how to go about future-proofing your life, your career and your family.
How did it feel the day you were told you weren’t working onsite anymore? How did it feel to have to ‘down tools’ not knowing when you were going to be able to pick them up and be productive again?
How badly will this pandemic throw off your career arc and your plan for the future?
Let me ask: What are you going to do? Or shall I refine the ask: What are you going to do next? Is your job going to be waiting? Is it going to be the same job?
Damn. Its all changing.
There may not be a silver bullet right now, but we will get on top of it. It will be controlled. Once the virus is under control, we’re all going to have to make some decisions. Some of them will be difficult.
On top of the pandemic, or rather, hiding in the shadows of the pandemic are seismic shifts in many industries, including resource-based industries.
There will be an echo of the shifting tectonic plates of the economy rippling through Alberta, my home, after the silver bullet. Even after the pipelines are built, and the oil is flowing, things will continue to be unsettled. We’ve already transitioned from an exploration economy to a production economy.
Think of the questions Albertans are starting to ask themselves. When they’ve completed or are forced to stop building the resource delivery infrastructure (pipelines) what happens next? What do they do? Put their tools down and walk away? Put their hands in their pockets? Try to move forward? Its in the culture and nature of that community that they will move forward.
To what? How will they find a new fit?
Your place in the world is also changing. What’s your plan? What’s your new fit?
Dream your future.
What would make your future a happy one?
- Is it time to leave the office and climb into the cab of a truck? Or is it time to get out of the rig and take on a logistics management role?
- Do you really want to go in to work that assembly line every day?
- Maybe you should stop wrangling teams of skilled tradesmen to go into public service. Join a police force or the fire fighters and paramedics.
- Is cyber security where you should be?
- Is now the time to stop maintaining other people’s apps and write your own?
- Why are you stripping down that heavy equipment when you could design and build an improvement to the modules that fail so damned often?
- Is there a future for you in 3D printing, or gaming?
- At what point do you take over where AI can’t go and begin to manage the instinctual analysis to provide real insights into a challenge?
Talk to someone. Share your dreaming.
Take a deep breath. Chat with someone who might be able to help you focus.
Find a mentor. Find a coach. Map your future.
I know a few coaches and mentors. Not all of them want a buck or two just to talk. A couple of them may sound like high school career counselors, but, hey, maybe that’s what you need right now. I’m pretty sure that the rest of us could use it too.
Learn from this disaster. Prepare for the next one. Talk to someone who will listen, and who may have an idea or two.
Who should you talk to?
- Your boss? It seems like an intuitive move but it my not always be the best move to make. I have had some good bosses but only one, just ONE, boss that I would feel really comfortable talking to about how to approach this watershed moment. Do you want their name? 😉 I’ll share.
- Your pastor, priest, rabbi?
- Your favourite teacher? If I could reconnect with a certain high school teacher I had, I definitely would.
- Your partner? Not yet. Don’t add the burden of your uncertainty to their emotional load until you’ve got a direction to share and discuss.
- Your best friend? Carefully…do you know that they’ve been totally honest about what they are really going through themselves?
- And then there are independent, like-minded coaches. I know a few I’d recommend.
When you really stop and think about it, I bet you’ll know who you should be talking to. And if you can’t come up with someone, reach out to me. Let’s chat. Offer me a virtual coffee or a drink😉, and we’ll have a talk..