I have spoken with so many professionals over recent weeks, and the common theme is embracing the positive opportunities this has brought for the family unit, the fear of what happens next and the very negative worry of the pandemic itself; now I am no scientist, politician or financial expert, so I am not here to discuss the Coronavirus itself, I am following the news to get the information on this one just like you!
However I am happy to chat in respect of juggling work, home life, family, redundancy and career choices; I founded my company back in 2012 from my dining room (literally, we got rid of our dining table and chairs and replaced with my desk, a PC and printer, closely followed by the addition of 3 more desks, 3 PCs and walls covered in white boards before growing up into office space and replacing our dining furniture!!!), and now I am back with my desk at home, settled into the conservatory this time and just moved our dining table and chairs into the living room slightly – too old to go back to eating off laps again!!! I am no stranger to working from home, from juggling children whilst working and managing a team positioned all over the UK, our industry expertise is not necessarily found in one location, so we operate remotely and you know what, it works!
Set times of the day when you need to work, and let everyone in the house know when this is and that you need quiet; I find scheduling work first thing in the morning proves most productive if suitable, get up early before the family so you have some peace and quiet and work then doesn’t interfere too much with home schooling, exercise (Joe Wicks maybe!!!) or family time which, let’s be honest, is much needed right now, it is not just us grown-ups that need some structure, so do our ‘Little Me’s’ too…
Plan for the unexpected, but make sure your family are aware of the many roles you are delivering right now and help them to understand that you may need to dash off on a call, a Zoom or quickly respond to an urgent email etc…. communication is the key word here, if everyone knows what is happening then it is easier to handle. Same with your work colleagues and bosses, let them know if you have other roles to play at home and apologise if these interfere (remember the video with the politician whose ‘little me’ came in and interrupted the video call J), everyone understands, the key is not to stress or worry, if there is background noise then so be it, after all you haven’t chosen this situation.
Make sure you set time aside for lunch and know when to turn off the PC for dinner, it is great if a member of your household can help with preparation, washing, housework etc so you can share the load – my 13-year old has become addicted to Food Tech at our house and she cooks dinner twice a week, she is happy and I get to spend more time at work ‘guilt free’, everyone is a winner (she is a pretty good cook too!)…
But there is one subject that has already impacted some, and for others this may be looming as we look ahead to what life will be like after lockdown – many questions I am asked is ‘what do I do if I lose my job, what if my job isn’t needed anymore, what if my company doesn’t survive this’ and so many more of a similar nature, and the answer is always the same, plan now and keep positive, ask yourself the following questions;
What do I like most about my role?
What will I miss the most if I lose my job?
How could my next job work better for me?
What are my main skills and talents?
Where is the positive in my next chapter, where do I want to be?
Start to think about the future now, so if the worst happens you are already one step ahead and the outcome won’t be so overwhelming – talk to someone about your options, that may be a friend, colleague, family member or a professional career consultant, but whoever they are make sure to use this opportunity wisely, it may not happen overnight as this is a journey, just don’t do it alone.
Any change is an opportunity to improve, to improve is to make better and to make better is to be happy – if you need to talk through, we offer a Free 30-minute consultation, no strings and no obligations, just let us know and we will book you time in the diary….
Keep safe and well, keep positive and remain ever hopeful,
Claire Lyon, Professional CV Writing Ltd – April 2020