No one needs a reminder that we’re six months into what the media has dubbed as “the new normal,” not just for the United States but the world at large. It is important to recognize that what is now standard for most people doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the status quo for the longer term. The looming question is: what’s next? For the economy? For everyone living in this country? For jobs?

The Concern Is Real

Even with the week ending September 19, 2020, we’re not significantly under a million in the new unemployment claims threshold. The margin is slim, but what that means is we are still four times the amount that was average prior to the spike at the onset of the COVID pandemic. Numbers to fret about? Potentially. The combined total of new unemployment claims reached 61,925,000 people in the US alone, which represents 30% of people who fall in the criteria of the available workforce.

You could be asking yourself, well how does that affect me or my family? Fair question. You may be one of those people who fall into about a third of the working population who filed an unemployment claim and could consistently be out of work. Many companies have trimmed their workforces to reduce costs, and that is for quite a few of the larger corporations out there, whereas small and medium-sized businesses have shuttered altogether. There is a direct impact to you IF this describes your situation. Or it may be someone you know, like a friend or loved one no matter how removed.

Resiliency And Opportunity

There is a silver lining in all of this: people living in this country are resilient. It is who we are. For those living in America today, in this moment, opportunity is everywhere. States are opening back up, large corporations are hiring tens to hundreds of thousands of new workers — for long term and for seasonal positions as we move into November and December, just a couple of months. New small businesses are springing up out of the ashes of what many thought to be a dying economy.

The Current Economic Shift Is A Rebirth Of Sorts.

Some businesses lost a tremendous amount as the pandemic swept across the United States. Some even lost everything. Families and friends, neighbors, communities, all felt the pain the void left as COVID ripped through. Yet, after the dust settled, while some families and businesses ended up in shambles, others were using this as an opportunity in extremely unusual and unprecedented circumstances, unlike anything any of us have seen in our lives. Through it all though, the opportunities remain and sit ready for the taking.

The saying “seize the moment” comes to mind in a time like this. When families must be fed and housed, children educated and provided for, and communities surviving, the only thing left to do is to ask yourself “what’s next” and then act on it.

Hope Ahead

Words need a plan and subsequently action. No action, like goals without their first steps, just means those words fall on deaf ears and are spoken without results. The very way of life we live and are used in this country will become a relic of a period of great economic expansion – a hope that one day we can return to such a life.

Hope gives people something to strive for; however, the first step must be taken to give that hope substance, and that substance requires action – action that starts with asking the question “what’s next?”