23 Mar

What Employees Should be Doing Now in Light of COVID-19

When I was a lawyer, we had 2 rounds of layoffs in 3 years between 2000 and 2003. There are going to be furloughs and layoffs across the nonprofit sector. Now having to advise leaders about tough budget and staffing decisions, I have empathy for both those who have to make these decisions and those who are affected.
Some advice for all employees right now:
1. Update your resume.
2. Update your LinkedIn profile.
3. Show up to work remotely at least 80% (we are all struggling) and be a team player. Be productive. Jump in to do things that are necessary and prudent but not your job. Work on deferred projects and long-term plans in addition to your current work. Check in on co-workers. Be creative and innovate.
4. Sharpen your skills. Take an online class. Read. Listen to lectures and talks.
5. Network. You know where to find everyone. Touch base with people from your past you’ve lost touch with or haven’t spoken to in a bit.
6. Look at your spending habits and make a budget.
7. Think about a side gig. What can you do to earn extra money if needed. Investigate how you might go about that.
8. Keep an eye open for hiring even during this time. Subscribe to job boards, newsletters from head hunters and list-serves.
9. Work on your brand. Thought about blogging, vlogging, hosting a podcast, writing an article or a book? Now is a great time.
10. Remember that if you are affected, you are not alone.
Nanette Fridman, MPP, JD, is a strategist and coach for values-driven organizations and leaders. She is the President of Fridman Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and leadership and team development. Nanette speaks nationally and is the author of On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service and Holding the Gavel: What Nonprofit Board Chairs Need to Know. She can be reached at
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