Getting back to Work – Post Pandemic Economic Recovery

Contributed June 15 by Cheryl Viola, Executive Director, MBA

The state has 3% unemployment, which is a big problem for employers. I have heard from the employers in our area that not only are they struggling to get workers to apply for jobs, but that many don’t stay long enough in a position to be fully trained or gain experience.

Last week an associated press article stated that companies are posting job openings faster than applicants can respond. The challenge right now is that there seem to be fewer people applying.  Some of the challenge’s workers face are health problems related to COVID-19, child-care problems, and some people are making more money on federal and state jobless programs than when they worked.

With the government assistance ending, people need to realize that initially returning to work and losing some of that assistance. As people return to work or new positions initially, they might feel that they are making less, in the long run, the employee is gaining skills that will carry on to other positions. Each job has tasks you like and others you dislike. Every job provides valuable experience and growth opportunities. When we start any position there is no way to predict or determine what the future will bring.

Looking back on my career or I should say careers. Because like many over time I have worked in more than one industry. I even took a leave of absence from the workforce to raise children for eleven years. Anytime you renter the workforce after a leave of absence, you are required to take a few steps back, at times starting at the bottom, however when you work hard and learn you can move up quickly.

Patience is the key. Workers need to have the patience, think of themselves as a sponge, permit themselves the time needed to learn all that they can.  A valuable life skill that every employer seeks in an employee is commitment. Commitment to stick to the job, commitment to putting in the time, commitment to the team. Being hired and not showing up for the first day or leaving after one day, one week, or even a month is not enough time for the employers to properly train you.

The economy has suffered from supply shortages. These shortages have been created by not having enough people to produce the product as well as material shortages. These shortages mean that there is less product on the shelves which drives the prices up. I was in contact with one of the Chamber Members and I was asking about their lack of inventory. The owner told me the manufacturer was producing only 25% of their capacity.  As more and more people return to work, more things will open up. To advance in any job, employees need to prove dedication, loyalty as well as coachability. Our willingness to work hard and learn from others.

Your co-workers are your team. They depend on you and you depend on them.  Being coachable is a valuable skill set. In today’s market place employees are continually keeping one eye open for the next job. They are seeking higher pay, better incentives or they may have the fear of job security. Too often people are seeking the next best thing.

One of the employers I spoke with is in a reactive mode. They are so busy trying to fill orders that there is not enough managers or time to properly train employees let alone build trust when employees come and go quickly. Another local employer discussed the incentives they offer and how they struggle to meet the incentive that will encourage longevity.

The one thing that everyone seeks in employment is meaningful work, we as humans need to feel needed, and that we do makes a difference. This means different things to different people. It is important to find your passion and find a job that you enjoy. The journey as you seek that perfect fit could include a variety of experiences and opportunities. To some, it is truly helping others or giving back to the community involvement.  Whatever it is you seek, be sure that you allow the time needed to learn the skills and seek the opportunities within the company you are with. Opportunities will arise, patience, hard work, and dedication does pay off.