By Karen Nutter, Executive Coach
How are you feeling?
Are you angry? Afraid? Sad? Ashamed? Happy? All the above?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been through an emotional roller coaster over the past two months. There has been SO much change in a short amount of time that adapting to it all is nearly impossible. One day, you get up and go to work, meet with colleagues, and go out for dinner. The next day, you’re trying to find a quiet room in the house where you can work while your spouse and kids are demanding help and attention Every. Single. Minute. Sound familiar?
Slowly but surely, businesses are starting to re-open in various towns across America, and that means your “new normal” of working from home is quickly becoming an “old routine.” While we may not know exactly how the return to work process will unfold from one business to another, one thing is certain – more changes are coming. Are YOU ready?
Getting Yourself Ready
Unlike the speedy onset of changes due to COVID-19, for most of us there will be some time to prepare ourselves for our “return to work” and there is a lot to consider. What first comes to mind for many people are the daily living considerations such as: “Who will take care of the kids,” “What will I wear,” and “Will I need to wear a mask and gloves?” While those things are definitely important, ensuring you are mentally and emotionally ready to return is a good place to start preparing.
Check-in with your emotions. How are you really feeling? If you’re experiencing a lot of anger, fear, or sadness you are not likely to return to work ready to manage the new circumstances coming your way. Take some time to identify what you’re feeling and why and come up with some ways to reduce or relieve those tensions. Recognizing what we feel and where it stems from helps us manage those feelings more productively and increases our self-regulation.
Re-ignite your motivation. How motivated were you before the coronavirus versus how you are now? In the past few weeks I have spoken with people who were ready to quit their job prior to the pandemic but are now excited by the new challenges. And, at the same time, other people are dreading going back to the office because they just don’t feel like they’re in the right role or company. You owe it to yourself and your current and future employers to recognize what motivates you so you can align your career with those driving forces. You will be happier and more fulfilled, and that will benefit your career and your company.
Re-examine your goals. If there was ever a good time to take a look at your life and see if you are on the right path, this is it! The world as we know it stopped, and now is a great time to make small or large changes that will help you reach your goals or change them completely. Where do you want to be in five years? Ten? What do you want to accomplish? Where do you want to live? What kind of work would fill your soul? Take some time to write down your goals and see if you’re on the right track or if you can use this time to re-invent yourself.
Invest In Your Return
While the world is filled with many unknowns and that may make you feel vulnerable, the reality is the world has always been, and will always be, filled with many unknowns. We can’t control most of the factors that affect our life. However, we can control how we view and respond to life around us. Take some time to look at what you feel, want, and need, and then take the steps necessary to prepare for the new phase that’s coming. Use the current changes in the world to propel you towards your desired life.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”