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Controlling The Uncontrollable

You can plan to plan as much as possible

A loan officer plans out her business to control her future.
Contributing Writer

How do you control the uncontrollable? The simple truth is you can’t – and that’s a lesson the entire world has been learning and re-learning for well over a year. As soon as we thought we could begin to put the pandemic behind us, the delta variant turned everything upside down again.

In the housing industry, we deal with the unpredictable and uncontrollable all the time. Rates are constantly fluctuating, inventory issues come and go, and sometimes appraisals don’t always come through. The unpredictable is a normal part of life for us, but, here we are again, dealing with even more of the unexpected.

Though there are so many elements of life in a pandemic that are out of anyone’s control, there are still some areas that can be controlled. You can control your plans and actions and strive to generate the best outcome of a seemingly negative situation.


Control Your Plans

Think about your tasks and plans. What can and can’t you control? Though you can’t control the future, you can control your day, week and even your month, and make decisions that will produce a positive outcome, despite the circumstances you may be working in.

You have the power to decide how you are scheduling meetings with customers and partners. Will you meet in person or digitally? Do you have a plan B in case your meeting plan A falls through? Always be prepared to pivot when the unexpected comes your way. It’s up to you to make the call to change plans or take precautions – do not leave it up to your customers or partners.

The same goes for conferences. Do you plan to attend in person? If so, do you have a plan B in case in-person conferences don’t happen? To come up with your plan B, first, ask yourself why you go to that conference in the first place. Is it for networking? If so, look into LinkedIn tools for networking that you can use to still connect with new people, even when you can’t meet them at a conference. Also, if you haven’t already, consider joining associations that could connect you with new people through remote meetings. This way, you still have the benefit of connecting with other professionals, but are able to do it in a safe and reliable way.

Another plan you need to have in place is for the reopening of your office. While many employers plan to bring their employees back soon, the timeline may now be delayed. You may not be the one making the office plans and deciding the timelines, but it’s important to be thinking about what you would do in different situations. Do you know what you will do if you have the option to return to the office? Are you prepared to keep working from home if that option isn’t available? Having a plan now gives you time to weigh all your options and make an informed decision that is best for you. If you leave it up to the last minute, you may feel pressured to make a rushed decision.

Finally, in addition to all your workplace plans, have a plan for taking care of yourself. Dealing with a pandemic and ever-changing business challenges takes a lot out of you. Know what you need to do to recharge and reset. Working in housing is very demanding right now, so you need to take care of yourself to ensure you can stay healthy and happy to be as effective in your role as possible.

Control Your Actions

Though we have no control over the current state of the pandemic, it does not mean anyone is without responsibility. It’s not about you or any one person, it’s about those around you. Think about the comfort level of staff and coworkers, as well as the comfort level of your customers. Be flexible and act accordingly to what people are comfortable with. You can only control what you do, based on the rules and guidelines in place. Flexibility is what keeps business moving forward even amid unpredictable circumstances.

You Can’t Control The Future

While you can’t control the future, you can plan for it and, as small as they may seem, your actions can make an impact on it. As we head toward the end of the year, think ahead. Have a plan A, plan B, and even plan C. Expect the unexpected – we’ve seen that things can change in an instant. Even though you have no idea what the future holds, it does not mean you can’t put plans in place to prepare for it to the best of your ability.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine October 2021 issue.
About the author
Contributing Writer
Mary Kay Scully is the Director of Customer Education at Enact, leading the development of the company’s customer education curriculum. The statements in this article are solely her opinions and do not necessarily reflect the…
Published on
Oct 26, 2021
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