Mentoring during the pandemic
John Bittleston


It’s when the sea gets choppy that you need to be near someone who understands storms. Your mentor-coach should have prepared you for a rough ride. S/he may not have anticipated quite the violence that Coronavirus is doing. You need seven things to hang on to while this storm is raging.

First, protection. That consists of isolation from the exceptionally contagious bug, distancing from other people and dangerous places when you cannot completely isolate and sensible cleansing if you may have been exposed. To ignore any of these is foolhardy, however young and fit you think you are. You don’t know your immune system strength. This is not the time to test it.

Stay safe, stay sane.

Second, hang onto your source of income - for most people that means a job. Give no opportunity for your employer to say you were not alert, or not thinking straight, or not thinking at all. Keep yourself in the public eye - well, at least in your employer's and colleagues’ eyes. We are always reluctant to chop those who seem to be keen and diligent. It’s suggestion time and you are one of the sources of new ideas - on how the business can be partly run on home time, on new products and services to sell, on ways to save and make money.

Get thinking.


Third, get your own finances straight. Income and outgoings are normally pretty steady for those employed. That’s why we don’t need to check on them all the time. They are not steady now and they won’t be for quite a while. Know your finances in detail on one day every week. Take some trouble even though you don't want to. Why? Because it is the best way to control your money. Also, if you had to apply for a grant, or even charity, you will get both much faster if you can show that you know what your finances are in detail, quickly and methodically.


Fourth, look at the value of the company you work for. Whether it is a public company or a private one, keep an eye on its value. Your accountant can help with this. If necessary s/he can do a quick and cheerful desktop valuation as a favour. If the ship looks as though it is sinking, look around for a job and assemble your wares for display to potential employers. It may be very tough to get another job. See you are fully armed for the battle.


Fifthtidy up all you can in your life while this disaster is happening. It is a good time to bury unwanted baggage. Look at your age, your career progress, your financial commitments for the future, your aspirations and the realities of a post-Covid world. Don’t frighten yourself to death. Just see things as they really are. We cannot help you do this free but we’ll do it for this year on a strictly no-profit basis while the emergency lasts.

For some, this will be a great time to do the PASDAQ®*.


Sixththink about how your economy works. And about how your work / business fits into it. A significant part of any successful economy has to be generating new wealth. Easy to see that when there is a manufacturing base. More difficult when the base is largely service where one wealth lives off another wealth. Whatever your contribution to the economy, think through how it will be changed by the impact of coronavirus - demand, delivery, consumer use, repeat / frequency. The new operating norms are going to be changed by individuals deciding them not by trade committees looking to protect their traditional methods.

You are one of those individuals - whether you like it or not.


Seventhdo not waste this time. It is a pain but it is also a gift. You won’t get it again.


The work done in the downtime determines the outcome of the battles ahead.


What you do today is a predictor of what your society will do to you tomorrow.


Best of luck.

John Bittleston


2019 Achievements
Yen-Lu Chow