As the saying goes, 2020 came in like a lion. With the previous year’s breezy economic winds at our back, we took full advantage of favorable conditions, setting sales records in the first few months. Brimming with optimism, we clearly saw with 2020 vision down the runway of growth, and we were cleared for takeoff. And then . . .
This March , in a scene played out simultaneously throughout the Commonwealth, we packed our desks and said goodbye to our co-workers, unsure of when we would see each other again. The deadly Coronavirus had hit home. It was Friday the 13th, an ominous prequel to the Massachusetts Stay-at-Home advisory soon to follow.
The first weeks of pandemic reality set in as we set up our home offices, started Google Meets (“you’re muted!”), turned homes into school homerooms and walked our dogs . . . a lot.
Awkward acclimation aside, almost all of our clients were considered essential. By extension, their indispensable R&D made our recruitment of technical contractors an “essential business” too. We were fortunate as entire industries were decimated. For John Galt and our clients, circumstances dictated a quick pivot to reconfigure facilities and implement Covid-protocols to immediately accommodate essential personnel, as well as future returnees to the workplace.
Meanwhile on college campuses, students had their on-campus experience unceremoniously cut short, with graduating seniors charging headwinds into an uncertain future. With that backdrop, we prepared to welcome an incoming class of new graduates, but questions still hung heavily in the air.
How would we onboard them in the middle of a pandemic? How could we deliver quality training without jeopardizing personal safety? In May we begun the process of answering those questions by holding the first of numerous Town Halls with prospects who weren’t even on the payroll yet. Those conversations would help us understand every individual’s concerns and construct a framework for their Training Camp. Executing this joint vision would take a true partnership and team effort.
In the end we leased 14,000 square feet of dedicated training space, and retooled our training materials and processes to allow for in-person learning under maximum social distancing. For those who lived with high-risk family members, we implemented technology to integrate their remote experience with the in-person training class. From management to mentors, individual contributors to interns, everyone rallied to make it all possible. Recently John Galt was recognized for this effort with the Excellence in the New Normal award by our national industry group TechServe Alliance, but the real honor was the Training Class’ nomination that made the award possible.
With the completion of Training Camp, the trainees’ integration into their teams and just plain time with Covid’s imposing omnipresence, there’s dare I say, a rhythm of normalcy. It’s everything we did, but with a virtual twist . . . req meetings, daily huddles, shared calendars, happy hours, charity efforts, holiday parties, etc. Business rebounded as we adapted, kept our masks on, and remained faithful to the process. Against all odds, we even celebrated our Engineering Recruiting Division’s all-time hiring high!
Successes aside, it’s not business-as-usual because there is nothing usual about the serious pandemic we face. As case numbers dropped, other parts of the country surged. Now we’re all in the same holiday surge together. Beyond the illness itself, the highly contagious virus infects all of our lives with its looming threat preventing get-togethers, sports, concerts and lots of other things that made us smile. With this New Normal being less social and more distance, the stress and necessity of vigilance is ingrained into our daily mentality, as the stakes are far too high for complacency.
But now with a vaccine on the horizon, it is technological advances that illuminate the end of our tunnel. We celebrate our clients who are delivering and monitoring the vaccine in the nation’s widespread life-saving immunization effort. Now more than ever we appreciate our industry of technology staffing and the purpose with which our clients and contractors research, invent and develop their impactful contributions. How lucky we are to share a kinship with people who love what they do and make a difference doing it.
And how lucky we are to share a kinship with each other.
As we look back at 2020, we are amazed by our people, and how they kept their remarkable commitment to each other and our customers, despite a million significant distractions. While 2020 may be the year we want to forget, we will be left with the indelible memory of how each and every John Galter responded.
When the pandemic started, we had a saying, “HomeWork=TeamWork…we may not all be together but you’ll always have your John Galt Team.” There is no other team we would want to have gone through this year with.
Should 2020 be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Absolutely, but it already left its mark. It was the year we went back to basics, appreciated more, commuted less, learned about ourselves, learned about each other . . . and liked what we saw. In making the best of it, we found the best in ourselves. In like a lion, out like something else altogether. That describes the year, but maybe us as well; We’re tougher, stronger and more-grounded.
Winston Churchill said if you’re going through Hell, keep going. We kept and will keep going…right on to the better, brighter and healthier days we’re sure are ahead. With our signature optimism, we wish you and your families the happiest and most appreciated of New Year’s!