24. How to prepare for major disruption and avoid making mistakes during the coronavirus pandemic - Lessons from a disaster expert (COVID Series)

career change career planning covid series job hunting managing complexity redundancy redundancy & job loss
The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 24

Never have we ever in our lives, in this generation, at this point in time, wanted to know more what to do, how to do it, and when will the threat of COVID-19 be over. All over the world, political leaders, scientists, health practitioners, businesses, families. We are all struggling to find our feet and get a sense of direction amidst the threat of COVID-19. It is impacting our health and our economy like no other crisis we’ve ever seen before.

In this episode, I interviewed Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, a disaster avoidance expert, consultant, coach, speaker, and former academic practitioner with over 15 years of experience as a cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist. Gleb has written for major outlets such as Inc. Magazine, Time, Scientific American, Fast Company, and Psychology Today, and has been interviewed extensively on TV and podcasts. As CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, he has consulted and coached hundreds of clients worldwide, including large corporations such as IBM, Honda, and Wells Fargo. His academic career includes seven years as a professor at Ohio State University and dozens of peer-reviewed pieces published in leading academic journals. He authored one of the bestselling of several books, such as “The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook”, “Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters.”

When we booked our catch-up months ago, the plan was to prepare you for redundancy: how job hunters can make good decisions at times when emotions are high, during a crisis, or during unexpected events. Little did we know we would be talking about avoiding disasters during the biggest disaster of our time. We quickly pivoted our chat, of course, and focused squarely on what is happening in the world now: the uncertainty and complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its flow-on effects on the economy, our work, or our livelihoods.

Gleb helps us understand how to respond to threats effectively, how to make good decisions, and how to prepare for things that can go wrong that we are not anticipating. Many times during our conversation I had my coaching framework validated over and over again by Gleb’s research and recommendations: that we need to think and plan long term, that we focus and work strategically towards our goals, that we work pragmatically to develop a long term, sustainable career. I felt reassured that I’m tracking well in the support I’m providing you folks, my students, and clients.

And together we will get through this and be better positioned for the new world of work that will crystalize on the other side of this crisis. We’ve all heard this before: the crisis is both a threat and an opportunity. So, we need to be ready to bypass the threats we face right now and those yet to come, and use this hibernation time to prepare ourselves and update our toolkit to make the most out of the opportunities ahead.

In times of crisis, more often than not, we are overwhelmed with our emotions and base our decisions on what we “feel” is right. We are usually not prepared to deal with it and especially not able to make good decisions that will benefit us for the long term. So how can we make good decisions especially in times of crisis or in times where something unexpected happens, like COVID-19?

Here are some key takeaways from this interview:

  • Beware of these 3 cognitive biases: they are the specific errors we make because of how our brain is wired. They are the systematic patterns of making bad decisions:
    1. Normalcy bias – where we feel like the future will be normal, that it will be like the past.
    2. Confirmation bias – where we tend to look for information that confirms our beliefs and ignore information that doesn’t.
    3. Optimism bias – where we tend to be way more optimistic about the future.
  • Ask yourself 5 questions to minimize risks when making important decisions:
    1. What important information didn’t I yet fully consider? What evidence then should I take into account?
    2. What dangerous judgment errors haven’t I addressed? What cognitive biases haven’t I considered?
    3. What would a trusted adviser tell you? What would they tell you about this situation?
    4. How have you addressed all the ways that this decision could fail?
    5. What would cause you to revise your decision? What would cause you to change your mind about whatever decision you’re taking place?

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Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

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Enjoy the episode and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert | Founder, Pantala Academy

Book a time to discuss 1-1 coaching and achieve your goals faster

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

We listened, and we both got jobs!

"I am writing to let you know that I got a job. I found The Job Hunting Podcast because a friend of mine recommended it, and he also was successful in his job search. Your podcast tips and chats with guests helped me prepare for my job interview. My new position is a gateway to the organization and will allow me to grow as a professional. Thank you for the incredible work you do! We listened to your episodes and assimilated all the learnings." - Listener from New Zealand.

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