There is an old Chinese curse that says “may you live in interesting times” and indeed we are living in some very interesting times now.

A few months ago, COVID-19 sounded like a video game but this is no game. This is an unprecedented pandemic on a worldwide scale and the biggest challenge to our industry since the GFC.

It is particularly important in times of crisis (especially when we have to isolate ourselves) to have a sense of community. So belonging to a network like NPAworldwide is key to a sense of connectedness.

I remember Jim Sullivan, former Chairman in New York City, recounting how it was his NPA colleagues who got him through the aftermath of 9/11 when his business took a major hit.

I recently returned from what was an amazing conference in New Orleans. There was a great spirit of collegiality and unity. The world has changed drastically in those few short weeks.

Since then, like all the other Aussies returning from overseas, we have had to self-isolate in our homes for 14 days away from family members and worse- my dog.

It is now 11 days into my quarantine and whilst focusing a lot on work, it has been quite isolating.

The highlight  of my week  was when I connected with my recruitment colleagues. People facing the same issues as me and appreciating what challenges lie ahead.

I attended a number of Zoom calls with NPAworldwide colleagues across Australia and internationally where we shared information, engaged in water cooler talk, joked around and keep each others’ spirits up. Whilst I enjoy the financial benefits of a split fee network such as NPAworldwide (I made 7 splits last year), the intangible benefits such as the collegiality and camaraderie is worth multiples of the commercial benefits.

Today we had a Zoom call with my accountant who walked us through the latest government economic stimulus packages.

Whilst the future of our industry is uncertain, in the great tradition of Charles Darwin, those that adapt best will survive. Recruiters who are part of a network where we can share jobs,candidates,information, tools, ideas, banter and support will be best placed to emerge from this situation not only intact but in a relatively advantageous position.