What we've all learned from lockdown
Updated: Nov 17
So, yes, we've succumbed. We bought a new TV. After eight months without one.
Because we found ourselves watching endless catch-up TV on an 11 inch laptop screen.
Because it's dark and almost Christmas.
Because it's our Christmas present to ourselves.
It's a 32 inch smart TV. To accommodate it we have to move tables and chairs. And get used to a completely new type of TV.
And it made me think.
How life has changed under this lockdown. How we're now so used to ordering stuff online. How we're constantly getting used to new technology. And how - if you think about it - none of this working from home, working from anywhere, would have been possible say 15 years ago.
If you remember, the first smart phone came out in 2007. The internet only dates back to the early nineties. Once upon a time you had to go into a bank. During opening hours (which in our town meant - NOT during lunch hours. Or after 5 pm. And most certainly not in the weekend!). To get actual money in your hand. Which was the only way you could pay in shops. (And yes, before you say it, that IS how old I am.)
And whilst we've all got used to working from home. We've not really completely embraced this new way of working.
Because, when I speak to some women they are still searching for a job in their local area. Because they don't want to travel (too far). Whilst actually there are jobs in which you can work remotely.
Others can't wait until this is all over. So that they can go back to the office. Meet with their team. Have some sort of social interaction. Just to be out of the house.
And for some this lockdown has been an absolute blessing. A time when they've been able to relax, reflect, consider what they want to do next.
But what you've all got in common is that you think that this is just temporary. That COVID will be resolved. That we'll all be vaccinated and everything will go back to normal. Whatever normal is.
But what if it isn't? What if this was the equivalent of the smart phone? Or the chip and pin card?
What if life will never be the same again?
How will you adapt? Or rather, how will you take control?
Because despite the restrictions. Despite the lockdown. Despite the devastation that COVID has left us with. This crisis has also led to some good things.
The ability to work from anywhere and everywhere. Allowing us to communicate with anyone anywhere on the planet.
I don't know anyone who doesn't know what Zoom is, or how Teams works. No business in their right mind can now say that you HAVE to be in the office to be effective.
Which means that the world becomes your playground. Your job does not have to be in your local area. In fact YOU don't have to be in your local area!
So, what does that idea do for your job search? How wide can you now spread your net? And how do you want to use this online connectivity to shape your career?
On the other hand, it has been set in stark contrast how much we need each other. The social interaction. The face to face contact. The need for us to keep in contact. To stay mentally sane. But also allowing us to be creative. And innovative. To help us make things happen. And to be happy.
What is it that YOU need to do your best work?
Is - in most cases - not necessary. Not for work, anyway. The amount of travel we all used to do. Flying up to Edinburgh for a 1 hour meeting. Driving all across the country. Cramming ourselves into overcrowded trains to be in the office by 9 am. Not necessary. For some, yes. But for most, no.
At the same time there is a real desire for people to get out. To go places. A pent-up desire, ready to burst out.
So how do you see your life after lockdown? Are you ready to fly off? And how about for work? Still so keen?
OK, so I started this article with me having bought a new TV. But outside food (and a pile of books for my birthday), that's pretty much my only expenditure. I don't even remember the last time I used actual money. In an actual shop.
And that's fine with me!
Because, really, how much 'stuff' do you actually need? A lot less than I thought, that's for sure!
And that has relevance for your 'life-after-COVID'. Because if you have not missed the shopping, the eating out, the spending money. If you have been able to live on a lot less than you did before and have been quite happy about it. Then what does that say about your need for money? How much money do you actually need to lead a good life? It might be a whole lot less than you thought! Opening up a number of (career) opportunities!
Opportunities. All of them. To shape your career and your job. Just the way you like it.
See? That's what I mean!
How buying a new TV doesn't just move tables and chairs, but - like a set of dominos - makes you think about everything. About how everything moves. How nothing stays the same. And how you can turn that to your advantage.
What are you going to do?
Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler. Oh, and she knows a bit about change management too.
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