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Finding Opportunity In Uncertainty

Life has been turned upside down on a global scale. The Coronavirus has had an unimaginable impact on every individual throughout every industry. It is still hard to believe this reality at times. On top of concerns for health and safety, tens of millions of people have now found themselves out of work through furlough or layoffs, looking ahead towards uncertainty.

As the world tries to understand the new normal, there is an opportunity to define yours. Now is the time to get organized, engage, and learn.

The goal of this article is to provide steps, links and resources for not only enduring the uncertainty, but conquering it. If you have any additional tips and resources you feel should be here, email

Above all-else, prioritize applying for government support programs. These programs exist to support you and your families in times of need.

Review And Organize Your Finances

Before pushing forward, it is critical to get organized.

Update Or Create A Personal Budget And Assess Your Financial Situation

Your budget is your financial roadmap, showing where you are and where you are headed. Knowing what you need to spend and when you need to spend it allows you to be more decisive and responsible during times like this.

Creating a budget also establishes your “Financial Runway,” or how long you have until money runs out. 

Begin by pulling up your credit card and bank statements. Start listing out any recurring services into Need-to-Have (to survive) and Nice-to-Have categories. Total up your rent or mortgage, weekly grocery and transportation costs. Now we’re budgeting!

If this is your first budget, here is a simple Google Sheets Budget Download for Personal Expenses to start you off. Once opened in Google Sheets, select File – Save As, and then it is yours to edit and expand. Start adding in your expenses and expand as needed.

Eliminate The Nice-To-Have, But Not Necessary Expenses And Services

With your financial runway established, extend it. A longer runway will reduce financial stress and allow for a more forward focus. Always remember, many small or micro charges add-up to large sums. Removing the nice-to-have services, temporarily, will extend your runway and allow you focus more on your next career moves and reduce some financial stresses.

Areas you should look out for reduction are entertainment, subscriptions, shopping, takeout. Remembering these reductions are only temporary will make it easier to remove.  You may find you never needed some of them in the first place!

Quick and easy reductions

  • Remove excessive streaming services

  • Reduce internet speed and cable services

  • Remove premium subscriptions to services with free versions

  • Plan your meals a week in-advance and shop accordingly

  • Buy generic brands of common products

  • Lower the thermostat

Free Financial Training Resources And Tools

Click through to these free financial resources focused on budgeting and financial planning. These come from reputable organizations and have been immensely helpful.

Managing Finances When Your Unemployed

Financial Wellbeing through Salesforce Trailhead

Managing Your Bills During COVID-19

Set Short-Term And Long-Term Goals

Set long-term and short-term goals – both personal or professional. Whatever your long-term goal is, knowing your intended end result will help you stay on course through any short-term challenges. The simple act of creating goals helps direct your focus and builds momentum. Setting goals also establishes a purpose. Purpose drives action and action drives change.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield created a short video about being productive and dealing with isolation in Space. While the isolation aspect of our world is slowly easing, this message still rings true for life in general. 


Whether taking small or large steps, taking them is essential to continue moving forward.

Update Your Social And Professional Profiles – Market Yourself

It is time to update your LinkedIn bio, skills and career experiences (and any other platforms focused on career development). Start marketing yourself. Utilize and maximize these platforms to increase your chances of connecting with companies actively hiring (or soon to be hiring). 

While On LinkedIn

  • Request recommendations from friends and colleagues

  • Setup job alerts for companies and fields you are interested in

  • Connect with college connections 

  • Connect with LinkedIn members creating content that engages you

  • Be open about your career search

  • Network with your Network

Learn New Skills And Enhance Existing 

Couple your career search, downtime or furlough time  with skill development, new and existing. The era of the internet has offered endless amounts of free knowledge. A simple search on YouTube for any sought after skill will result in hundreds of courses and tutorials at your fingertips. Developing new skills will open up new career opportunities and even spark new passions.

Consider Digital And Technology Skills

This pandemic has exponentially accelerated the transition from in-person to online. Dramatic changes and transitions magnify weaknesses in technology or infrastructure. Whether it be the need for a better application, new revenue stream, or an entirely new business model, these very same weaknesses are opportunities for you to create for and grow into. Crisis and change always create new opportunities for those open to adapting.

Many established brands are offering free courses from accredited professors and business professionals. Take advantage of this free learning. 

LinkedIn Learning Blog offers informative posts, courses and resources on a range of topics. They recently released free learning courses specifically focused around the impacts of COVID-19 and employment.

Salesforce Trailhead is a free learning platform. Trailhead is primarily centered around the Salesforce ecosystem, while also offering catalogs courses throughout Business Management, Sales and Marketing Strategies, Technology skill sets, and much more. See for yourself

Class Central has centralized over 450 Ivy League courses from prestigious schools including  Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Maintain Healthy Mind And Body

Staying active and healthy is critical. Our mind and body operate in tandem. When we neglect one, the other begins to fall. Maintaining a healthy and focused mind and body will give you an advantage during those moments when you feel completely overwhelmed.

The simplest ways to do this is stay physically active and keep an eye on what you eat – nothing ground breaking here. A few other resources can be found below to encourage maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Yoga for Beginners YouTube Playlist
Explore in-home exercises for the days (or weeks) staying at home.

Healthy Eating with Salesforce’s Executive Chef
Get info, tips, and recipes to make delicious plant-rich meals.

The Value of Sleep
Get tips for better, more restorative sleep so you’re ready to live your best life.

Mindful Living with the Plum Village Monastics
Harness the power of mindfulness to reduce stress and create peace and joy in your day.

The Power of Movement
Integrate movement into your day to keep your body and mind healthy.

Help One Another Without Expectation

We all need help right now. Ask for help when needed, and give help when you can.

Reach out to your friends, family and networks. Offer up your skills and expertise so that you may grow together.  Goodwill goes a long way.

And Finally

If Matt Damon has taught us anything from continuously finding himself in challenging situations:

From The Martian: “At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”


Now, with this burst of inspiration, let’s take action and begin conquering challenges, one at a time.


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