This is no time to panic.  Stay focused on doing your job, especially if you can do it safely and according to CDC guidelines.  Look for ways to quantify how you are adding “value” to your organization or company, because your job is valuable…more valuable than money in the bank.


Of course, you need money in the bank too.  We used to say six months of emergency reserves are required, just in case you do get laid off.  However, during this pandemic, strive to have eight months in reserves.


If you are unemployed, don’t panic.  As Cathie Ericson wrote in her WorkBloom article “Just Put on a Happy Face” and continue to network with other professionals.  I would also add that you do a “reboot” and refocus your skills so you can come back to your job better and more competitive than ever when this pandemic passes.


Hey I know it’s stressful out there, especially for older ones who still have to work.  I’m 57 years old, so I’m no spring chicken.  If I get Coronavirus, it’s likely game over for me.  If I do kick the bucket, just burn me up and spread my ashes over my favorite mountain!


I would like to share a true story.  This morning I got up at 5am with a fever, a headache, nausea, and felt plain lousy.  Any other time I would just attribute this sickness to bad carnitas or too much carne asada from the prior day.  But today, my first thought was, “oh dang, I’ve got the virus”! 


But we don’t want to think like that.  And I didn’t stay panicked too long.  I quickly picked myself up by my bootstraps and pumped myself with fresh garlic, orange juice, vitamin C, echinacea tea, and other natural home remedies, then went back to bed for another three hours.  When I got up again, I felt a little better, so I ate breakfast, coffee, and did my regular routine.  I even went for an hour walk/jog and pumped some iron.  Then I wrote this article.


I thank God that by day’s end I felt 70% better.  Hallelujah!


It was so scary!  Today I was reminded of exactly how scary this virus thing really is to all of us.  But there is a positive side to all this, the scare from this morning will make me more careful when I have to go out in public.


Anyway, this morning I decided I’m NOT going to let this dang virus scare me out of living my life or from doing the best job I can in my chosen career.  Many people are relying on me to keep working, keep producing, and succeed.  And my father always impressed upon me that working hard always results in good, as well as keeps us a productive member of our society, so I keep working.


Sure, the threat of Coronavirus may continue for some time, maybe longer than we first thought, but this “thing” WILL eventually pass my friends.  So today we don’t want to rest on our laurels, worrying, or just sitting on the comfy couch, binge-watching TV episodes.  Hey dude, I know there’s some really cool Netflix shows out there, but hey, this is for “after” our job is done!  😊


As John Wayne said, “Hurry it up!  We’re burnin’ daylight”!


There’s so much we can be doing today to keep our skills sharp during this downtime, even if our jobs or businesses are currently frozen.  And remember, our jobs are VERY valuable…more valuable than money in the bank!


Why do I say this?  Well, do the math with me and see why.  And actually, there are reasons beyond money as to why we should place high value on our jobs.


Three Reasons a Job is More Valuable Than Money

  1. A job is worth millions of dollars in the bank;
  2. A job keeps your brain sharp, skills honed, and body in shape; and
  3. A job gives you a sense of purpose, keeps you focused on meaningful work, and may even get your mind off the virus for part of the day.


A Job is Worth Millions of Dollars in the Bank

Do you know how much cash you need to have on deposit at a bank to earn enough interest equal to a $50,000 annual salary?  The answer is $3,846,153.85.


Using today’s Schools First Federal Credit Union 1.3% interest rate on their “federally-insured” 24-month certificate of deposit, you would need over $3.8 million on deposit to earn $50,000 a year in equivalent earnings (please ignore the $250,000 FDIC limit example and the fact that you need to put your money in several banks).


You might say, “I can make more than 1.3% interest”, but recall this is just an example of a “federally-insured” safe investment where you are guaranteed 100% return of your principal on deposit.  I’m just using this as an example of how much cash you would need to have in the bank to generate a $50,000 salary as income.


Yes, a job with even a $50,000 annual salary is as valuable as having $3.8 million in the bank, as you can see by reviewing my math above.


The point I’m making is you need over $3.8 million in the bank to make the same amount of money (under current interest rates) that you would with a job that pays $50,000 a year.


Do you have $3.8 million in the bank?  I don’t!


A Job Keeps Your Brain Sharp, Skills Honed and Body in Shape


Do you want to let your brain get “fat” while you’re at home resting or binge-watching Netflix?  Of course not!  By the way I am overweight, but that’s mainly because I love carnitas and carne asada burritos.


Anyway, I’m talking about your brain.  If you don’t want your brain to get fat during this pandemic, then get off your laurels and get back to work, even if it is at home, employed or not.


There are so many “free” online opportunities to sharpen and hone your professional skill set to add more value to your company or organization.  And again, if you’re unemployed, you want to take advantage of all opportunities to continue to network with professionals, using LinkedIn and other social media, making contributions to your profession or your whatever your calling in life may be.


Job Keeps You Focused on Work and Mind Off the Virus


You know how exhausting it is to be watching the news or reading countless articles about the virus.  There is so much more purpose in serving the stakeholders or shareholders of our organization or company, providing them with A+ customer service, brainstorming creative ideas, and looking for innovative ways to improving your process, product, or whatever will benefit them most.


If you put your mind to it, you could even invent something that could help another human being to improve their quality of life, if not your own.


We are all sick and tired of thinking of this Coronavirus, but as I shared my experience from this morning, we all need to kick butt on this virus and overcome it.


We will overcome this pandemic, especially if we do it together.  This will pass.


If we all come together as a society, regardless of our station in life, we can keep working safely, taking care of our most vulnerable members, and look for opportunities to help our neighbors and those disadvantaged by circumstance.  Working together will benefit us as much as it helps other people in our village.


In summary, stay focused on doing the best job you can during this pandemic and keep working.  This will improve your physical, mental, and spiritual state of mind.


And if you don’t have a job right now, go back to school (online of course) and retool and improve your professional skills so you can come back stronger and more competitive when this Coronavirus pandemic is just history that we will study to prepare for the next time a similar pandemic comes around.

I hope you enjoyed this article.


John Herrera, CPA, MPA

President / CEO

MuniTemps – Municipal Staffing Solutions


Newsletter Issue: 2020 No. 2

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