Little did I realize when I wrote about a personal situation in last month’s article on “Staying Balanced in Crisis” that the topic would continue to be relevant…for far different reasons.
The dramatic change in our daily lives over the course of a few short weeks has triggered fear, worry, panic and caution but also connection and opportunity. I’ve connected with more people in the last three weeks on a personal (and virtual) basis than I had for the first three months of the year. We all like to be remembered and connected when the world goes awry. There have also been new opportunities – for reflection, for strategic thinking, for more exercise, more creativity. When we slow down, we have the chance to pay more attention to the world around us.
Yet we’re all facing the uncertainty of the future. What’s next? I’ll share some of my thoughts in this month’s article on how we can take definitive action for ourselves to determine where we go from here.
Stay safe and be well.
The world is upside down. Our daily routines have been disrupted. All of those options that had so much appeal (working from home, staying connected via social media, avoiding personal contact with certain people by texting, etc.) lost their appeal once they became mandatory. I guess the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.
The worst part of our current situation is the uncertainty. When will this end? What will the world look like when it does? Will my kids be able to go to summer camp? Will I be able to have my wedding/ vacation/ event/ conference….? Will I/ my family get sick? What will my finances look like? Will my career be on track? WILL I HAVE A JOB?
When we face uncertainty, the best thing to do is to focus on what we can control.
(And I don’t mean storing up on toilet paper.)
There are three areas that I think are critical to give some attention during this time of great uncertainty.
Review your finances. I’m not saying obsess over the market every day. But do take action to review your near term situation as well as your longer term goals. Do you need to reduce your spending for a while? How much cushion do you have? Speak with a financial advisor on your investment allocation, savings and long term goals. Refer to online resources. I like Morningstar. Now is not the time to react. But it is a good time to become informed. Be intentional and calm in your actions.
Focus on your well-being. You may find you have more time, or at least more time at home now. What part of your well-being have you wanted to adjust that perhaps you now can? Is it eating more home cooked food? Exercising more? Cultivating relationships? Developing a skill?
I’ve committed to a few areas to enhance my well being. I’m doing yoga via YouTube from the Woodlands Yoga Studio. My sisters and I are in a daily “improve your health” texting community where we hold each other accountable for doing something every day to meet our individual healthy living goals. I’m reading more books that are “good for me”. A friend of mine has Zoom parties with a group of friends several nights a week where they play dice games. It’s a good time to set a well being goal and get creative on how to make it work.
Manage your career. Do NOT…I repeat do NOT hunker down in your shell. Be visible. Communicate so your boss and co-workers know what you’re accomplishing. Stay connected with colleagues. Think deeply and strategically about how your job/ company/ industry is being impacted. If you were looking to advance your career or make a change prior to Covid-19, continue to be strategic. Use the time to get clear on what you want, what actions you can take once things lighten up. Keep your career momentum going. Need help on how to do that? Drop me an email at Susan@womenleadingtogether.com. In addition to coaching, I’m offering several complimentary programs over the coming weeks that can help you keep your focus on your career.
My wish for all of you is that you use this time to take a leap forward in some way for your life or career. To quote the famous college football coach Lou Holtz:
“In adversity, there is opportunity. Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity. I’ve never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity. Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our website for upcoming programs, articles, and resources to advance your career.
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