Lock your career?

It is interesting to write, thinking about a career in lock down. The majority of us are holding tight to what we have been doing and trying to re-invent our professional roles and ways of working in extremely changed environment. Waiting for the wave to go over us; as if we are surfers going under water and waiting till the wave we didn’t catch passes.

When I was learning to surf I remember clearly we were explained: if you see a big wave coming and you cannot catch it you must let the surf board go, dive under water, bring your head to your chest and hold your head in your arms. So that you are not injured. Don’t panic and wait for a bit till you float above the water again, as there is no point in losing energy and it is easy to get out when the wave passes.

All of this was helpful while I was tumble-dried in waves and I also remember being astonished what a beautiful metaphor it is when we encounter “waves” in our real lives. Be sound and use judgement. If it is too big, just dive under. It is the best thing you can do. Embrace your head in your arms. Take a moment to hibernate.

Using the metaphor we are all dealing with a wave now. Some of us jumped on it, some are still trying to judge, whether/how to jump, some of us waiting till it goes by. 

There is lots of confusion around. Lots of discussions that people need to think about alternative careers. Re qualify. Lots of encouragement to study and learn new things, as it is a perfect time. However, while reflecting myself and talking to my colleagues, it seems that lots of us feel that their motivation is really down. That we do have all time in the world to learn new things but no drive for it. This might lead us to guilt and shame. Shame that we do not “use time effectively”. Guilt and worry that we are not enjoying our work to the extent we used to. Is that a sign that we need to change something? Is that a sign we need a change in career? 

There might be lots of nuances, but my spontaneous short answer would be NO! It is totally normal to feel a range of emotions. It is ok to feel down. And it is not necessarily mean we need a change in jobs, teams, etc. We need to have capability and resilience to stay with it. We need to evaluate the size of wave. When everything is changing around, we need to find, what is stable and treasure it. We need to embrace all the learning we are through. Learning is not just about e-courses and webinars today. We learn every minute now how we engage with our beloved and those close to us, colleagues, how we carry our professional roles, how we deliver our tasks. We are discovering lots about ourselves while going through some traumatic experiences. It is huge learning. It requires lots of energy. So it is ok to hibernate when you can. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Be less efficient. Without shame and guilt. But when the wave has passed over us we need to “go out” and look around. To decide, how we are going to surf our careers.

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