The world of work has changed. One could argue that farming in 10,000 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia – the cradle of civilization - or the domestication of animals, the Renaissance, the printing press, the Industrial Revolution, the assembly line, the internet, and mobile devices all changed how humanity operates.
Every one of those milestones expanded the workforce. Today, however, things are different. Hopefully, this is a temporary setback, but the “have’s” and the “have nots” no longer just applies to wealth – it’s those that have work vs. those that don’t. The pandemic has changed the world of work in new ways. Those that have a job that can be done remotely and virtually have a very different experience from those who don’t. It’s incumbent upon those who are in a position to extend a helping hand to those in need to reach out. It’s the modern-day equivalent of teaching your neighbor how to grow food.
Every company today is a tech company. Digital skills are important in jobs ranging from retail to insurance to construction to education to media and beyond. This pandemic has changed life for all of us. The last several recessions have faced “jobless recovery” – where the economy returns, but job levels have taken far longer to reach pre-recession levels. This is very different from a farmer discovering that a cow could pull a plow to help crops grow. These are worrisome times.
Now, more than ever, humanity needs one another. If you are impacted – you might have lost your job and are struggling to find out how to up-level your skills – or you might be an early-career grad trying to figure out how to break in – everyone is looking for help.
What a great time to be a human resource professional! – We have the experience and expertise. While we all dream of bringing peace to the world, solving world hunger, or even just brokering better relationships within our own families, HR professionals have a unique opportunity during these times to help others in need.
“On March 28, 1944, a radio broadcast from the Dutch government-in-exile in London urged the Dutch people to keep diaries, letters, and other items that would document life under German occupation. Prompted by this announcement, Anne began to edit her diary, hoping to publish it after the war under the title "The Secret Annex." From May 20 until her arrest on August 4, 1944, she transferred nearly two-thirds of her diary from her original notebooks to loose pages, making various revisions in the process.”[i]
And she wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
That is the challenge we face today – now, more than ever, we all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves how can we use our position and our privilege to help those in need. This is the modern-day equivalent of a farmer in 10,000 BCE teaching a neighbor how to grow food. Now more than ever, we need to reach out and help our neighbors.
Now more than ever, HR professionals are in a unique position to change the world!
5 tips you can do to help those in need
- Use social media to share open positions as broadly as possible.
- Share resumes with your colleagues – across companies.
- Mentor those early in career.
- Post a blog with tips and tricks to get hired at your workplace and industry.
- Reach out to your managers with open positions to brainstorm how to evangelize.