It May Be Time to Catch Your Breath

by Pranav Ramesh
April 29, 2020

Author: Jay Johnson




noun: furlough; plural noun: furloughs

1. leave of absence

As each day presents a new challenge for us all, I do believe that we will come through this better off.

Overly optimistic?

I don’t think.

Yes, many are being furloughed and may see this as a difficult time.

I, however, see it as an opportunity.

Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to many Peterson Technology Partners consultants and employees alike. While I thought the conversations would be difficult, most were not. In-fact it moved the conversations in a completely different way; it became more personal and less business. I have to admit I have seen a side of many that I never had the opportunity to see or even know existed.

What came out of the conversations was that many will use this time to reset their personal lives. As developers, we tend to work 60+ hour weeks, go home, eat, sleep, and start all over again. Today, many whom I spoke with are now spending time rediscovering their families, learning new things, reading, and connecting with family and friends through video conferencing than ever before. Here are a few excerpts from some conversations that I recently had.

One developer said that he was going to take a vacation. I asked how this was possible as we cannot fly or travel.

His response was brilliant.

He said that he has not taken a vacation, or even time off, in many, many years as he works 55+ hours a week.

To him, a vacation is simply doing nothing.

Not having to think about his project or writing code.

Being lazy in terms of when he needs to get up.

Catching up on some movies and documentaries he has been meaning to see.

He was so looking forward to his kind of vacation!

Another developer was going to spend time with his family.

Finally doing all those daily activities that he was not always a part of in pre-furlough life, especially with his children.

His normal day was working, coming home, eating later than the rest of the family, putting them to bed, and then doing the same as he was tired from his 8:00 AM to whenever position. He also looked forward to spending time learning some new technologies, but just never seemed to find the time to do so.

Finally, one of my favorites was an employee that lives in Chicago telling me that he was going to learn to plant a garden.

I asked if he had done it before. His response was that he had not…

but what a great way to spend some quiet time.

Nurturing and learning to grow some plants and vegetables so he could see and taste the fruits of his labor!

So, my request for you is to search deep inside yourself.

What are those things you have put off because we just don’t have the time to do?

Is there a hobby that sits in a box?

Is there a book that you have been wanting to read?

Is there a certain dish you want to cook or do you want to learn to bake bread?

Now is the time to do so.

I believe you will feel you have accomplished something bigger than just sitting in front of your computer with your head down and, instead, use your brain in a different way.

As for me, I know I have already changed how I do things, and I feel better for it.

Life has slowed down a bit.

My days are still filled with plenty to do, of course, as each day presents a new set of challenges.

However, when I see the sun shining, I smile.

I have learned that it truly is the little things that we take for granted but have the opportunity to see differently today.

What is it you will be doing, learning or catching up on?

Stay safe, stay well, see you all on the other side!


(P.S. Here is a link for some additional resources that are offering 30 Day Trials to add new skills to your resume)

Written by: Jay Johnson

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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago’s premier Information Technology (IT) staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 22+ years. Named after Chicago’s historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland.

Based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP’s 250+ employees have a narrow focus on a single market (Chicago) and expertise in 4 innovative technical areas;

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Data Science
  • Robotics/Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • Cyber/Data/Information Security
  • DevOps/DevSecOps

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.

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