Wherever you are reading this, it’s likely you have spent the better part of the last year in some kind of lockdown. And no matter what you do, it’s likely that your career has been affected in some way. For many of us, our work and our lives seem to be (slowly, maybe) getting back on track.
But, things still feel different, don’t they?
We’ve collectively experienced trauma. And no matter how marvelous the science, few can bounce back from trauma with the click of a confirmed vaccine appointment.
During our recent conversation for my podcast, Jennifer LeBlanc brought something up that really got me thinking. She was recalling a difficult time in her life and the importance of having her support system there every step of the way.
She talked about friends and family coming together to make sure she was alright and moving forward and how self-care, the act of giving herself a little love, made a world of difference in her recovery (wine and bubble baths, a saving grace for womankind).
This conversation got me thinking: After months of lockdown, how can we use our support systems to get us back on track, professionally?
Of course when you are grieving (in any sense) your support system helps remind you to eat, get out of the house, or even just smile that day, but what if you could have a support system in place that keeps you inline with your goals, ambitions, and passions?
What would it look like to have a team that reminds you to network, reach out to old contacts, or mentor a younger colleague?
People have felt stagnant in their roles long before COVID. If you’ve ever been passed up for a promotion, disinterested in a project, or dreaming of a different path, you know how easy it is to stay circling that drain much in the same way we do when we grieve the loss of a loved one, marriage, or anything that was holding space in our hearts.
We rely on that support system to bring us through the darkness and out the other side so why can we not do the same for our careers?
Throughout my career, I have had a version of this without even realizing it, and now that I do, I can see it growing and shifting into more productive ways.
The colleague who I have known for years who asks me to coffee every so often can become someone whom I consistently check in on to see if they’ve moved companies or need a contact in my particular industry.
The supervisor you have a great working relationship with can become your mentor and help coach you to help you get the promotion you are after.
The fresh-out-of-college new hire can be brought under your wing and developed.
If ever there was a time to teach us that we need one another, surely it has been the last year. Reaching out to those who can help, and helping those who reach out to us is our path back to getting on track.