Being Prepared For Setbacks, and Comebacks

The effects of the COVID-19 fallout have been far reaching. As of this post, I find myself on the wrong side of fate, having been unexpectedly laid off by my former employer and searching for a new opportunity during a time when hiring has seemingly halted to a crawl. The circumstances however set up a massive stage for the saying “minor setback for a major comeback”. Making sure this statement rings true for the most amount of people possible will take all of us sharing information and resources to help each other through this time. From the standpoint of a person with an unfortunate influx of extra time, two things come to mind:

– How to respond should the unexpected occur and…

– Positioning your to come back from the unexpected.

If you’re among those of us who had the displeasure of being laid off, addressing what to do next is likely at the top of the to-do list. In the ideal world, plans A through H would be laid out and in place, but in the real world most of us don’t have emergency plans in place to get us through at least 60 days. Nonetheless, it is still more than possible to not only recover, but to position yourself to be in better place than you were pre-pandemic. Personally I’ll be approaching this with “a minor setback for major comeback” mindset and will be doing these things to see myself toward a better tomorrow:

1. Relax, Step Back and Focus

While we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic the likes of which we haven’t dealt with in this lifetime, it is exactly during times of fear, uncertainty and increasing tension that we should take a few things for ourselves. Take some deep breaths, take a step back, and take time to assess. No matter the degree to which the pandemic has affected you, remaining calm and objective should be top of mind while considering next steps. Since news and information will likely be released daily, make best efforts determine what’s accurate and relevant as it relates both generally and to your specific circumstances. Make plans for, and focus on that which is within your control. Lastly, be encouraged. We’re all in this together, and as the saying goes “this too shall pass”.

2. Plan For All Scenarios

The worst case scenario is a possible outcome. That being said, so is the best case scenario, and everything in between. Our job more than ever now is to stay ready for everything so we don’t have to get ready for anything at all. For those of us who were laid off, this means being ready to interview tomorrow, while also be prepared for extended lengths of unemployment. For others during this time, it literally and most unfortunately means planning for life and death. We face a high degree of unknowns and uncertainty related to a variety of factors. Being prepped for the most amount of outcomes is the best way to ensure you’re not caught off guard should something unexpectedly good or bad occur.

3. Take Specific Steps

Photo by Edvinas Šiaučiūnas on

You’ve heard of SMART goals right? Well inject the “S” with a healthy amount of steroids. Just because the current state of affairs is uncertain doesn’t mean you have to be. With immediate and seemingly lasting shifts such as skyrocketing unemployment, distance learning, and social distancing being the norms of our present and immediate futures, having specific answers to how we utilize our time, money, and talent will be paramount to navigating us through the pandemic. It’s one to say “I’m going to learn a new skill during the pandemic.” It becomes a totally different ball game when you say. “I’m going to learn how to write engaging blog posts by taking courses on LinkedIn Learning that teach me what a blog post should contain, how it should be constructed, when and where I should post my content, and how to get readers to engage with my posts.”

Take this “exactly” challenge when you have a moment. If you’ve resolved to do anything, being as granular as possible, ask yourself “exactly how am I going to do this?” As you start to answer with the steps you plan to take, ask yourself again “exactly how am I going to take this step?” You may find that while some of the answers you have are quick and easy, other answers could broad and vague. These broad, vague answers likely represent gaps that need to be filled in your plan and could be the difference between significant progress, or spinning on a hamster wheel.

4. Remain Confident in Yourself

Did anyone ever tell you how great you are? Well be reminded of your greatness again while reading this series of well known but commonly forgotten inspirational statements. Remember, no one can do what you can do like you can do it. As a result, do your best today for tomorrow could hold your big break. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, but it’s the people who persist along the way that succeed so continue fighting. Even if you fall short 100 times before you succeed once, you will be a person who succeeded and learned 100 things along the way. Because of that, you will always be someone with something to contribute. Remain consistent, keep faith and be prepared to sacrifice as all of these are keys to victory. Face these times head on because as COVID-19 has proven to us, there is no shortcut, just hard work to overcome. You can do this, and you are going to do this because let’s face it you have to do this!

While circumstances at the moment are fairly unknown, one thing is certain; There is light at the end of the tunnel, and the finish line is a lot closer than it feels!


#HardWorkEasyLiving – Do HWEL For Yourself

Author: DC_EASY

From Rochester, NY to California. Living for today, planning for tomorrow, and appreciating my past from the rearview.

6 thoughts

  1. Hi David,
    You are awesome! I went into a week long depression after watching the team leaders of SAG AFTRA talking about lay offs and how there is NO FILM. I’ve been meaning to call Frank as I kept visualizing him during the speeches. You are so smart and dynamic. I will not worry about you at all. In the meantime, continue to hunker down as much as possible. Distance and be careful. I lost my former business partner to Covid 19 and know 3 people on the east coast that got it and recovered. This stuff is so scary!!
    All the best to you David!
    Janet Dyer


    1. Janet, thank you so much for reading! These are definitely crazy times and it hurts my heart to hear no work is happening right now. I’ll continue to stay safe on my end and you do the same!


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