"I’ve had to let some amazing people go and had some of the toughest conversations in my working career."
Five years ago my wife and I decided our future was not in the city of Sydney. We both had a close connection to Avalon Beach so we packed up and moved to the Northern Beaches to start our new lives and growing family.
Our move came with a time sacrifice for me as I now had a one hour commute (each way) to the office in the city. I started working ‘tradie’ hours to fit it all in; up at 5am, in the office by 7am and back in the car at 3pm to beat the rush. But the reality was I was still working until 7pm most days and a 60-hour work week had become my norm. To cap it off, over the last 12 months I had taken 57 domestic and international flights, which meant that apart from weekends, I was never really home or grounded.
In January, we were projecting that our business would have its best year in our 20 year history of operations in Australia. Then came COVID-19. Our company has taken a massive hit; 80% of our work is in large-scale business events with over 500pax. Our sales halved and so has our workforce. I’ve had to let some amazing people go and had some of the toughest conversations in my working career. Thankfully our teams and clients have demonstrated incredible resilience and I know we will come out of this stronger, together.
But whilst the economy and our business has suffered, personally I feel like this has been the opportunity I needed to reset. For the past eight weeks, like everyone else, I’ve been homebound. I haven’t spent that long at home in five years and to my surprise, I’ve loved it more than I thought I would. I’ve built a stronger bond with my two year old daughter and, dare I say it, I even think my wife likes having me around more. I have felt truly at peace with no planes and no commute. Just lots of family, fresh air and dedicated working hours to rebuild the business.
I’m not tone deaf; people have lost their jobs and are really struggling through this pandemic. I am choosing to find my silver lining amongst the chaos and I am not letting go of that. I hope we can all find something in our lives to reconnect with; that we can all find our silver lining.
MD AT GEORGE P. JOHNSON ANZ