2020 has brought an unexpected change to all our lives, a change that will be with us for the foreseeable future and remember forever. The cause was the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak which, on 11th March, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Stress, confusion, and uncertainty started to fill our lives as we faced an uncertain time of illness, loss of income, job insecurity, isolation and change to all aspects of our daily lives.
Schools, shops, restaurants and many businesses closed and working from home systems and methods of online learning were quickly put in place. Parents became teachers, individuals were furloughed, the risk of future redundancy increased for many, some experienced big pay cuts and others were categorised in the newly evolving definition of the ‘Keyworker’.
Home took on a different meaning in our lives becoming our place of work, our children’s school and our place of relaxation. We couldn’t see friends or family and relied on video calls for contact with the outside world. We couldn’t go on outings and had to create our own home entertainment.
Whatever your circumstances, we have all been affected by Covid-19 in some shape or form and are all reacting to the unpredictable disruption to our lives in our own way.
Will life go back to the normal we used to know, or have we now got to get used to the inevitable ‘new normal’ that will lead us into 2021 and beyond?
The questions now facing us are profound:
- How do we develop ways to get through the hard times?
- When can we start making decisions again about our future?
- How will the way we spend our time and energy change?
- Will there be an escalation in working from home?
- What will our commutes to work look like in the future and will we reconsider long distance travel for meetings?
- Is this the time to be reinventing our lives and our careers considering options such as a career change?
- Will people consider portfolio careers as a safer option against aligning themselves to a single employer?
Over the next few months, I will be publishing a series of blogs to help you start piecing together the answers to these questions. I admit I do not know all the answers, if only I did! However, what I can provide is help based on my many years of experience in career, confidence and performance coaching combined with what I am currently witnessing in the world of careers. As we continue to face disruption in our personal and working lives, I hope I will be able to provide you with some consistency, calmness, and support to help reduce anxiety and stress, raise positivity and encourage aspirations, enabling you to discover ways to move forward happily and confidently into your ‘new normal’.
In the meantime, think about the best next step for you to take that will help you adapt to any concerns you currently face, focusing on the things that are in your control now as you start to gradually see and experience the world outside your home again. Start reintroducing feasible aspects of your life that you enjoyed before and can enjoy again, no matter how small. It may be a walk with a friend or trip beyond your home and surrounding area. Think of new ways to look after yourself.
Lockdown can be an opportunity for us all to reset, rethink and re-establish our lives as we emerge into the new world of careers.