Covid-19 - an opportunity to reflect?
Published: 9th of November 2020
Wow, what a strange week it’s been! When I started writing this blog I was focusing on whether Covid-19 could give you the time to think. Then I’ve had a week of attempting childcare and working from home and realised that a lot of us are probably feeling busier than ever!
My job is to help parents juggle family and their career and never has this felt more challenging than at a time when the lines are blurred between your parent and work identity.
However, it’s also my job to help people reframe their way of thinking and find the opportunities in difficult situations.
Whether you’re juggling your new role as full time teacher, alongside your main career, or if you’re one of our amazing keyworkers holding the country together, perhaps there are things to learn from your current situation.
Reflecting on your career
What do you value about your career? Sometimes it is when things are taken away that we realise how much we miss them.
If you’re working from home.....
- Do you miss your co-workers and the office environment?
- Or do you relish not having to do the commute?
- Does the closure of your workplace impact you deeply?
- How do you feel about working independently?
If you’re a keyworker....
- What does the term ‘keyworker’ mean to you?
- How do you respond to working under pressure?
- If you had to self-isolate, what would you miss about being at work?
Sometimes it takes a big change to jolt your thinking and realise what is important to you.
Reflecting on your family life
Often, I speak to parents who want to spend more quality time with their children and redress the balance of work and family life. This is quite the extreme version of spending more time with your family if you’re now at home 24/7 with them, and you may be praying to the god of softplay by the end of the weekend!
If you’ve had the kids at home all week, have a minute to take stock:
- What have you done that you wouldn’t usually have the chance to do with your kids?
- What feedback have you had from your children? Verbal and non-verbal.
- If you have a partner, how have you worked together this week?
- What have you taught your children about the world of work?
You’re likely to have experienced lots of challenges this week with adjusting to having children at home. They will also be finding it difficult and most likely will have absorbed some of the anxiety of the nation right now.
Put yourself in your children’s shoes
Often in coaching, I ask clients to view situations from different perspectives and so it might be helpful to think about your little ones and what challenges they may also be experiencing.
They’ve also had their daily structure and social lives change. They may not understand why they can’t touch people, why they can’t go to Brownies anymore, why they can’t see their granny and granddad. And a few weeks for a child may feel like an eternity in their little lives.
How might they be feeling? If you’re not sure, try asking them.
Making the most of your situation
Think for a moment about your individual situation with Covid-19.
Just think, if you could only describe your situation using positive language, how would you describe it?
This is mine....
- I have the chance to watch my little boy grow up, to think about what I value in my career and life and the people who mean the most to me.
And then resist the urge to follow that with ‘but’. Just let it sink in, appreciate it and carry on being the amazing parent that you are.
What would yours be?
Stay safe and take good care!
P.S. Have you joined my FREE Career Clarity for Working Parents Facebook group? It's packed full of top tips to keep you motivated and on track for moving forward in your career.