Trying to Pick Up the Pieces You Have Left Behind
A common theme throughout this pandemic has been, “covid fatigue.” Not only did COVID-19 take the entire world over in an instant, but it took it over indefinitely. I think we can all agree that it’s gotten old fast, but as awareness increases and vaccines are distributed, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, or at least we hope so.
Unfortunately, the pandemic infiltrated all our routines and, for many, their own professional growth. With many businesses being impacted, it’s natural to feel anxious about what comes next and how you can make up for lost time. What will the workforce look like when it’s all said and done? How can I pick up where I left off before this all started? These are a couple of the many questions that remain.
While there is no easy answer, the argument that I am making is one that begins with the value of continuous improvement for the people and environment surrounding you. As humans, we can never stop improving because there are always new things we can learn and tasks we can do better. The second you think you have everything figured out, reality slaps you right back in the face with a giant slice of humble pie (or cake, if that’s what you prefer). The pandemic is an example of this. Whether it be in your career or personal life, the desire to improve every day is something that will take you and others around you down the path of success sooner rather than later.
There are many major benefits to adopting this mindset, but I want to focus on the 3 that are most important: personal/career growth, family and stability, and leading/inspiring others around you. While it might make you anxious to think about the last year or so, the fact remains that we are an adaptable species. It won’t be exactly the same, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take what we learned from this experience and apply it to getting back into the swing of things.
Whether it’s regarding your personal life or career, the desire to take what you have learned from this pandemic and improve is going to open several new doors for you. One of the most sought-after traits in any employee is the desire and willingness to not only do the task at hand but also adapt, figure out ways to be more efficient, and enhance that task. It doesn’t even have to be astronomical – it can be small, incremental changes that you make each and every day that can ultimately make a substantial impact for your progression.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to challenge yourself to gain knowledge or experience in something new each day even if it isn’t relevant to your career. It’s also important to remind yourself to be open to different ideas, thoughts, opinions, experiences, etc.
Family and Stability
Let’s address the elephant in the room – we work because we need to be able to afford to live. Throughout this pandemic, one thing that we can universally agree on is that we all gained a new realization for just how important family is. That being said, work can also be fun and rewarding! Not only does it give us a sense of purpose and belonging, but it allows us to embrace the opportunity to challenge ourselves in different ways. Like I mentioned above, doing just a little more each day will make a significant contribution in your career and home life. The farther along we get into our careers and the more value we bring to our jobs with accomplishments, the more financial stability and flexibility we can bring back to the family and enjoy our time even more.
Leading and Inspiring Others Around You
This might be the most overlooked reason to come out stronger than you were before the pandemic. Sure, a lot of people say they are going to do something, but if you compare people who say they are going to do something versus people who actually do something, what do you see? Leading by example is the best form of leadership because it’s what other people respond to the most. With new routines and quarantines in place, we are at a time where people are looking for anything positive to look forward to, so this is a great opportunity to keep your head down, work hard, and do things the right way while taking the chances to better yourself. Other people around you will take notice and follow suit.
The pandemic has thrown a curveball into everyone’s lives, and there’s really nothing we can do except learn from it and apply the experience to our personal and professional lives. A lot of time has passed, but that doesn’t have to translate to time lost. Hopefully, these three ideas will give you the proper reminder that all is not and never was lost. There are positives to be taken out of any situation, and even though it might seem difficult at first, it will get easier as we adapt and adjust to getting back to normal one day at a time. Even if the light at the end of the tunnel is faint, at least we have some sense of direction to guide us.