Right now a lot of people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the slow return to normalcy. Granted it’ll be a long time until things are back to how they were but as they say ‘slow progress is better than no progress’.
This normality will be positive for some and for others, something they are dreading.
There are people that have been furloughed from jobs they don’t want to back to.
There are people who have finally been able to live without feeling obligated to be social.
There are people who miss being in the presence of friends, family and lovers.
There are people who miss going to work.
But I think that what many are forgetting is that even when things go back to the normal, it won’t be same, too much has happened.
A pandemic is a pretty big deal.
It’s changed us.
Most people have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just a loose idea of how they would like things to be.
You carry it around with you wherever you go, it influences the choices you make.
You say yes to doing that thing that will help you progress and hopefully make things easier in the long run. You say no to things that are fun, exciting and interesting because you consider them a distraction.
But then sometimes something or someone comes along and disrupts the plans you made.
It could be someone that makes you realise that you’re settling, a listing for an amazing kind of job that you didn’t even know existed or meeting someone that went down a non-traditional route and has managed to make a great life for themselves.
Your eyes become open to the possibilities of life. You realise that the plan you made was created to give you a safe and stable life rather than being something you were truly passionate about.
You spend a large amount of your formative years trying to figure yourself out. You’re favourite colour, what you like to eat and the kinds of movies you like to watch.
But it goes much deeper than that. Perhaps it’s what political party you want to support, your career path, whether you want to get married or have kids, who your friends are, your opinion on world issues and the sort of place you want to live.
However, sometimes these things change. Perhaps you wanted to be an Accountant at 19 but years later you now want to be a Visual Merchandiser.
Changing your path might feel difficult because it goes against the person you thought you were, the character of you that you created.
Suddenly other aspects of yourself may no longer seem to fit because one part of you has changed.
This is the point where many choose not to change.
I’ve wanted to be an accountant for long so I may as well stick with it.
It’s going to be so hard to become a Visual Merchandiser so I may as well stick with a more stable option.
The thing is though you’re allowed to change, not only from childhood to adulthood but day to day.
As you gain new experiences, your perspectives will change. Don’t reject your development and hold yourself back.
When you think of work, what sort of works come to mind?
Is it fun, exciting, thought provoking, challenging and interesting…
or is it more along the lines of boring, difficult, repetitive and time consuming?
Work often comes with a negative connotation that has nothing to do with the actual work.
The truth is work can be interesting and difficult or thought provoking and time consuming. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy it.
Of course if you’re inner monologue is on a loop about how boring your work is you probably won’t have a good time doing it.
The work often gets better once you engross yourself in it instead of having ‘negative’ feelings toward it.
For a lot of people they will have reached a point where they have realised working from home just isn’t the same as being in the office.
Because it isn’t.
You might find yourself less focused, less productive and more distracted, especially if you live with other people.
And so it might be helpful to find ways to replicate how you feel at work in your home.
A few ideas are:
Create a suitable working space – Even if it’s just setting up at the dining table each day. Working from the sofa or your bed isn’t a suitable environment because they’re unlikely to places that you associate with work. Also it’s helpful to create some separation so that when you log off for the day you can move to the sofa to relax or tuck yourself into bed and read.
Get dressed – Not into your work clothes but wear something presentable instead if staying in your pyjamas or wearing a worn out pair of joggers.
Follow your usual routine – Whether that’s starting your day with a cup of tea at your desk, a mid morning snack, going through your inbox for the first 30 minutes of the day, having lunch at 1.30pm, whatever it may be.
It’s easy to fall into thinking that you only have 2 options.
Do nothing or do what everyone else is doing.
Sometimes that works out okay but other times you need a third option.
That third option is to carve you’re own path and do what feels best for you.
And sure that might draw attention to you or people will have something to say about you straying from the norm but it’s better than the alternative.
I’ve learnt that it’s important to be able to stand in your truth without considering other peoples opinions and thoughts before you’re own.
It could be pursuing a career that others see as risky, taking a solo trip or even speaking up about issues that are important to you.
It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you do what’s right for you.
One of the biggest surprises I’ve had since starting work is the fact that I have to be a driver (drive your career, propel things forward in your desired direction), as in steer my own ship.
In school you do what you’re told and you can’t really defer from what doesn’t interest you in fact it’s discouraged and sanctioned. But in the workplace it’s almost the opposite.
You’re rewarded for going after what you want and if you don’t take the initiative to be a driver, well you’re doomed.
I’m really starting to understand what Godin means when he talks about cogs and Linchpins.
If being a driver isn’t in your nature you might find yourself feeling discontented at work, wondering why you’re career isn’t going as you thought.
The only choice is to change.
Maybe, you don’t know how.
Or maybe you just need to learn how to drive.
And if that’s the case know that driving lessons are available.