Who would have thought that life as we’ve known it would be sideswiped like this and all sense of normality and certainty – go? We are all asking whether life as it was, will ever return. We ask, ‘Will I have a job – a business – a career’?

This is a crisis on a large scale and if anyone tells you it is not, to put a smile on your face and get on with it – they are unrealistic. Let’s be real here, we are in for a ride requiring grit, resilience, kindness, and good self-regulation.

Right now we are all trying to understand what is happening and many people I’ve been talking with are experiencing mixed and confusing emotions, including both bliss and pain.

The bliss

While the strategies for social and economic survival are being worked out, like everyone, I’m working from home, seeing clients on Zoom and loving this glorious autumnal weather, amidst the birdsong and peacefulness. This time of lockdown has enabled me to reach into the depths of what I’m grateful for; to feel blissfully in balance and inspired again. It’s the spaciousness that does it.

And the pain

I have also been feeling the deep grief and anxiety in our communities for the loss of jobs and an uncertain future. Who would have known that for so many their career plans and aspirations would disappear in a matter of a few weeks?  Who would have known that the precarious structures of life’s commitments would become so weak that they could risk losing everything?  The pain of so many concerned about their jobs, their well-being and even about being able to afford the things they once did is palpable amid this peace.

Who would have known that a simple virus could change our world like this?

As the situation unfolds I’m hoping that this current ‘grand pause’ will give ours and governments around the world the insight and motivation to change some of the ways we do business. And I dare to pose the idea that we need to be prepared for a long detangling process. I know I am ambitious for the world; I feel this could be the shift we have been waiting for. We need to build life-sustaining global agreements so that all life is supported to thrive.

In January I wrote an article about The Future of Work and now, 2 months down the track, my projections need a re-write.  A new world is presenting itself to us in a way we could never have imagined. Whilst much of our activity will be lost or changed radically there will also be opportunities. Doorways will open, clouds will lift and new ways of seeing how things can be done will arise. We will watch as this global theatre plays out.

How can we advise you now?  I’ve been wondering how our work will change in order to support clients now. More than ever before our work as career specialists will need to help people find the open doorways, remain true to their core values and be calm, open and ready for new possibilities.

Kaye Avery

Principal Consultant