A lighthouse in a sea of change

As we enter a new and, hopefully, less turbulent year than the one we have just navigated, FIDI President Ebru Demirel reflects on the mobility industry’s resilience and its capacity for guiding its customers through their own rocky transformations

Welcome to this anniversary edition of FIDI Focus. What an honour to be involved with an organisation that has the staying power to be publishing the 300th edition of its magazine!

The theme of this issue is change and recovery – and, oh boy, have we seen a lot of change in 2020. In fact, I think we have all seen more change in 2020 than we ever thought we would in a single year. So, let’s all take a moment to pat ourselves on the back.

You might already see light at the end of the tunnel – and if you’re one of those lucky ones, god bless you – but even if you are struggling to make payroll, even if you are trying to figure out how you are going to keep the lights on, at least you are still in the game. At least you are here to play another day and, sometimes, that opportunity is all the universe is going to give us – for the moment at least, it is testing us, and waiting to see how we do.

The other day, I was thinking about change and about how good at responding we, in the moving industry, tend to be. There are few bigger changes in life than deciding to move to another city – or, sometimes, another country or even continent  – and we in the industry are there to witness that every day, as we guide our clients through the change process. We handle some of the most precious items in our customers’ lives, such as their children’s toys, or the photo album that reminds them of their great-grandparents.

It goes even further than that, too. A key part of change is building the trust in others so they are willing to go through the process with you. In the past couple months, for example, I have seen many of us start to apply disinfectant to consignees’ new homes. Moving is such an invasive process and, for the customer, knowing that the mover is watching out for your wellbeing in that way is priceless. We can be the steady lighthouse in the sea of change and anxiety in which our clients are swimming.

Perhaps our industry’s natural affinity for responding to change is helping us in other ways, too. One thing that comes to mind is that, in these uncertain times, clients are making big decisions on a compressed timeline. Notice of a move used to come a month ahead of time. Now, sometimes, clients get the word a few days, or maybe a week, before the big day. We movers tend to respond well to that, too, displaying a reassuring competence that puts peace into the hearts of panicked clients.

Another kind of change I have noticed is on a more personal level. I spend more time with friends and family than I did a year ago. I have got to know them in ways I never have, and I understand why they do things the way they do, when in the past those things just drove me crazy. I don’t know, you’d have to ask them if they agree, but I would like to think that this has made me a better person. Sometimes, I think you’d have to be out of your mind to say anything good has come out of this year, but I suspect that, a few years down the road, we’ll look back on this year and realise, ‘that was the year I finally got my priorities straight’.

Of course, my best wishes to everyone for a happy new year – may 2021 be a year of prosperity and joy for us all. May it bring us the kind of social and economic recovery we need, and the closer human contact we all crave.

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