There has never been in a time in my experience where things have been so unsettled and uncertain. So much so that for many, it’s been difficult to make critical decisions; to sell or buy a house, plan a career, change jobs, or to do any serious strategic planning for a business.
The old ways of doing business or being in a career have changed and we are stepping into unknown territory where the future is unclear. Once upon a time, we could imagine a future because there was some predictability; one thing led to another and we could predict what comes next.
That paradigm has gone – but do we really want to go back there?
Some may think the COVID 19 pandemic is a temporary glitch and things will get back to normal but evidence everywhere is saying that things cannot remain the same. The economic and social fallout from the pandemic, together with the devastation wrought on the environment over the last 50 years of unchecked growth means we have to stop and think about what will work as a sustainable way forward.
Just over a month ago, Dame Anne Salmond wrote ‘If our leaders fail to tackle [the] challenges head-on, they will put the lives of their own children and grandchildren at risk.’ In my view, we need to create a future together (not just wait for our leaders) where economics serves life – not the other way around.
A simple ‘pivot’ to survive might suffice for now – but it may take time before we experience some certainty again.
Over the last few months, CareerEQ consultants have been supporting a number of organisations through unexpected change and working with employees affected by redundancy. For many it has been shocking; as if the rug has been pulled out from under them. Having support and guidance now is an essential service for people and the organisations they work for.
Whatever the experience is for you, it seems that things are not going to be the same again – even for us at CareerEQ. The way we work with employees affected by change and redundancy now needs to be different. No longer can we coach people into ‘the perfect role’ or a safe destination. Identifying the perfect work scenario and also recognising the need to compromise makes going into a new role a more tenuous process. Our role now is to prepare people for a career journey requiring composure, flexibility, and grit – where values matter.
I love this quote by Charles Eisenstein; ‘We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human.’ The quote suggests that there could be a huge task ahead to make the change we want and the question is ‘how do we cross that bridge to a future we desire for ourselves and our world?’
We are all learning about this new environment as it emerges. Being aware of what is happening around us, understanding where the opportunities are, and responding as consciously as we can is important. This is unfamiliar territory, so like any precarious journey, we need to align ourselves with what matters, stay present, and support each other.