About a year ago I was talking with my business manager Keri about how messy the Concordia office was. We both agreed that it was not only messy, it needed a facelift! I thought about the amount of work and effort it would take to clean out all the closets and files and to move the book cases packed with books. I decided that it just wasn’t worth the effort or the distraction from working with my clients.
Then March 2020 came. Like many others, I thought that Covid would be similar to a major East Coast snow storm and that it would be temporary, so I just kept working. I don’t know when reality hit, but it was sometime this summer when I realized that all workers, including me, needed to do some serious long-term planning.
Colleagues, we are in this for the long haul. We may return to traditional offices, and then we may be sent back home again. We may return for a few days each week, or perhaps for only a few days each month, in order to lessen the number of people in the office. Each of my clients has a different scenario, but what is clear is that business as we knew it will not return anytime soon.
For my readers who are essential workers and health care providers, first of all, thank you! Now, please plan and take your vacations. You may have been saving for a big trip, but you need to take time off sooner rather than later. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You can also tune into my colleague Colleen Sweeney’s tips.
For those of you balancing child care with employment, balance no more. I don’t mean throw your kids to the curb, but please don’t think anyone can work 40 hours a week while simultaneously taking care of young children. It is simply not sustainable. You are cheating yourself, your children, and your employer. I have been telling CEOs and Executive Directors to be patient, but if your employer is paying you, you need to be engaged and proactive, not just reactive. If you haven’t done so already, research the childcare options available to you and treat this like the long-term situation that it likely will be. This is not the time to stall or tread water in your career; think about how to achieve the future you desire.
If you are feeling socially isolated, figure that out too. Perhaps you can increase your bubble, train for a marathon, or find any way to connect with others safely.
So, what are you doing to plan for the long term? This is not a snow storm! I did embark on that office facelift, and look forward to working in a new and more functional space.