From late March many of us have been confined to our homes, as a pandemic claimed the lives of well over three hundred and fifty thousand people across the globe. Our world changed, and the way many of us work changed with it.
As isolation eases, what have you learnt about yourself and career?
In Career to Calling: How to Make the Switch, I describe job-crafting as a practical method for assessing your current work as well as a way to find meaning with the day that is in front of you.
Before discussing job-crafting, I acknowledge readers with struggling businesses or those trying to find a job or uncertain about the one they have. The idea of job-crafting may seem out of touch with what you are dealing with. Others (including myself!) are questioning their calling and asking big questions – ‘Is this the way of working that I signed up for?’ Pick-up my book as it might provide comfort, direction and a reset for your 2020 goals..
Let’s take a look at the three factors of job-crafting: tasks, connections and attitude. These factors and the following questions can also apply to a team.
”One client is surprised by their productivity. Pre-COVID, they avoided working from home due to thinking they were easily distracted. Another expected to miss the daily round of coffee meetings. Not at all. A quiet afternoon tea with their partner has been enough. For other clients, isolation, technology hassles or a house-bound young family has been immensely stressful.
Has COVID changed the nature of the tasks that make up your job? Have you taken on additional responsibilities or learning opportunities?
One client is surprised by their productivity. Pre-COVID, they avoided working from home due to thinking they were easily distracted. Another expected to miss the daily round of coffee meetings. Not at all. A quiet afternoon tea with their partner has been enough. For other clients, isolation, technology hassles or a house-bound young family has been immensely stressful.
Melissa, a colleague who is an Australian journalist in Madrid, has been task-crafting by learning how to edit videos in an effort to become more versatile. ‘Advertising has plummeted and we are concerned the newspaper will cut staff’, she says. ‘If I can use programs like Premiere Pro, I’ll have a better chance of future-proofing my role.’ Melissa is also using the lockdown in Spain, which is one of the strictest in Europe, to explore further task development. ‘Now is the time to perfect your craft or start a passion project. I recommend enrolling in an online course to learn a new skill. Sites like Coursera, Edx and Udemy have a wide range of free and low-cost courses’.
Here are 5 ‘check-in’ questions:
- What worked for you during COVID (right fit, using your abilities, being of benefit)?
- From a callings perspective, which tasks weren’t aligned (right fit, values, ability, enjoyment, purpose)?
- What surprised you?
- What are you going to do now?
- What support do you need?
2. Crafting connections
Crafting connections involves examining the nature of relationships and networks and creating new ones. Have you connected in new ways?
One client mentioned strategic projects have been more inclusive as team members from regional and interstate offices are now invited to the Zoom meetings. Perhaps you have had the scope and motivation to bring people together or connect with a new mentor, coach or isolated colleague? Have you made a meaningful difference to customers?
For the quieter folks this has been an ideal time to connect in their preferred way – expanding online presence and widening their influence without the presence of those dominating extroverts!
With remote work gaining widespread acceptance, emerging opportunities will be available wherever talent and passion can be found. Who are you reaching out to and sharing your purpose story – what lights you up, what you care about and how to contribute?
3. Shape your attitude
A key message in Career to Calling, is making the elements of BRAVER a lifetime belief and contemplation – as we think and act so we become. What a difference the right attitude can bring to you and all those people around you!
B Have I been of benefit and achieving my potential?
R Is this work the right fit for me?
A Am I using and developing my abilities?
V Am I acting in alignment with my values?
E Am I enjoying what I’m doing (most of the time)?
R Am I living my reason, my ‘why’?
- Have I been BRAVER with tasks, connections and attitude?
- What do I want to stop, start or continue?
- What’s my goal?
COVID has given many of us an unprecedented opportunity to pause and reflect on our journey toward career happiness. Could this be a time to step out of your career comfort zone and discover new ways to make a difference? Answer your nagging internal questions with honesty and without fear of failure. Give it a go. Deeply listen to what is calling you. We’ll be on the sidelines guiding you along the way.