The pandemic has piled change and upheaval atop all of our lives, which at times can feel scary and frustrating. We humans do not like uncertainty or unpredictability! Everything lately seems different, heightened, and moving rather quickly. That is certainly true when it comes to the world of work. Like me, you are probably inundated with all of the same media talking points:

The future of work is remote! Wait, no, it’s hybrid! Or maybe it’s AI?

The resume is broken! The resume is dead! The new resume is…AI!

It’s true that there are big changes happening, but we don’t have to lose our heads over it. It’s important that we recognize the magnitude of some of our issues and the fact that our world has gone through a profound experience that has shaken us all. Everyone is reevaluating everything, which is unsettling but also exhilarating and hopeful. Remember: times of change can be times of opportunity, too. It all depends on how we approach change and what we do with it.

I imagine that many people feel the way I do: a little concerned and fixated on uncertainty. But then again, I also feel profound moments of calm—even confidence. I can’t solve inflation or supply chain issues, but I can do what I know: help people find jobs and take the next step in their career; help companies find the skilled professionals they need to meet their goals. In other words, I can continue to run my family’s staffing firm.

What I will not do is listen to any negative thoughts.

You know that voice in your head? The one that makes you doubt your talent and ability? The one that tries to convince you that the time isn’t right or the situation is all wrong? The one that says it can’t be done because it’s too hard, too expensive, too whatever? Don’t listen! That negative inner voice is wrong and will hold you back far more than whatever obstacle you think is in the way.

One of the most important things that successful people do is ignore that voice. Sure, being a talented athlete or brilliant inventor will give you advantages in life, but without the ability to forget past setbacks or failure, you’ll never succeed—regardless of talent level. Remaining strong and positive in the face of adversity and negativity is a bedrock of success.

And it’s not just personal. Think your business is too small to meet your goals? Can’t compete with the bigger, older, established companies? Think something’s too expensive or too hard? Well, if you think that way, it will probably be true.

I choose not to listen because, in spite of whatever the headlines say, and whatever the challenges we face, I know that ATR will be fine. Our team has the knowledge, skill, and expertise to succeed no matter what the marketplace throws at us. We’ve been around for nearly 35 years and have weathered all kinds of challenges and changes in workforce management. We’ve made it through the first two years of this pandemic, and we’ll continue to succeed through hard work, determination, good relationships, and a commitment to treat everyone fairly and with respect.

Does this mean I have all the answers? Or that I fly through my days without a care in the world? Of course not! There are real challenges facing our nation, and the workplace is roiling with change and will look very different in the future. I don’t know all the answers (not even close!) but I am confident that the things that made us successful in the past will serve us well in the future.

Not just me personally, or just ATR, but all of us—our nation and our broader world. I’m focused on the positive, not the negative. I’m focused on the opportunity that these changes represent for all of us. Now is not the time for handwringing but rather for action. Join me in silencing that negative voice inside and embracing the change we see all around us!


Looking for more positivity? We’ve already written several columns with practical suggestions that can help employers hire and retain great workers:

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