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Using the Covid-19 Pause to Embrace Change

As I’m sitting here at my dinner table reading LinkedIn and other news outlets, it seems to me that everyone is talking about the great return, coming back, going back to normal. I can’t help but wonder: What does normal mean? Is that what we really want? And before you hit that reply button and tell me “YES, I DO!” I want to ask this again, do you, really?

What if we could create a new “normal” that better suits you? How open would you be to exploring that idea? What if, instead of chasing an idea of success, you could choose to pivot and build one centered on what is REALLY important to you? 

We do not need a return to normal. Instead, we need a transformation or a pivot. For me, COVID-19, and all of its ugliness, has made me really reflect on life, our impermanence and the real meaning of our time on earth. The Great Pause has transformed me. It has given me the clarity that I need to pursue my calling and become a professional Coach, one who is focused on personal growth, and career success. I work with ambitious, motivated first-generation risers to help them achieve a life of professional success. I serve and support first-generation professionals, who, like me, are making their own paths as opposed to following one.

Crises have a way of putting things in perspective and recalibrating how we see the world. This most recent crisis is no different. But when this fog over our lives has lifted, there will be the tendency for many to characterize this as a fluke and force us back into the same positions and frame of mind we once held.

That would be a mistake. Resist.

I know firsthand that the process is not easy, though. Working at a place that you know and having a steady stream of income are both very comforting, especially in these uncertain times. It is also the way we have been wired by society, and it’s the path we are expected to follow. However, imagine the possibilities. Imagine all the wealth that you could create and that you are leaving on the table because of fear. Imagine a life where you are not just living to work but actually living. Imagine yourself smiling and full of joy. That life is out there. You just need to find your way to it. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially because everyone’s path will be different. But I’ll start by sharing with you the five-step process I used in my own journey.

  1. Dream it. Ask yourself what brings you true joy? Go ahead. Dream. It’s free. But also know that it’s OK if you simply aren’t sure. That’s where a coach, someone like myself, could provide real value. We are trained to work with individuals to help them discover what paths are available to them.

  2. Reflect on it. Once you’ve settled on a dream, with the help of a coach or on your own, make a short list of possible paths to this dream. As you map out each path, note what feelings are bubbling up. Do you feel a smile on your face, or do you feel a knot in your stomach?

  3. Analyze it. Explore the options. Make a plan A, B, C and worst-case scenario. Additionally, make a list of people that you can reach out to that are already doing it and ask them for a 15-minute conversation. You will be surprised at how generous and willing people are.

  4. Plan it. Set new goals, ones that directly relate to your new dream. Draft a path forward with actionable steps. Changing course isn’t going to happen overnight, but just like any project, having smaller goals that lead up to that big one will help you maintain forward momentum.  

  5. Take action. One step at the time, even if they are baby steps, start taking action. 

When I went through this process and started to think about my own life and career, I realized that while I found many aspects of my HR career interesting and challenging, I was happiest when helping others achieve success in their lives and careers. And so, this is what I’ve chosen to focus my time and energy on as well as building beautiful people centric cultures in emerging organizations.

 So as we start to look toward the end of the stay-in-place orders and the beginning of what life will look like after this pandemic-induced pause, I again urge you: use this gift of time, not to return to normal, but to transform yourself. Again, ask yourself, what is it that I really, REALLY want? That is a question all of us need to answer in our own way, and I hope I can help people find it with what I do. If you are ready to explore the possibilities and want to chat, you can message me directly.


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