The mass media is awash with the negative side of the pandemic and the impact on people’s livelihood. You really have to search for stories which promote hope and positivity, particularly when it comes to work. We all have a choice about what messages we listen to and where we focus our time and energy, so why not spend a little time lifting yourself out of that negative fog and taking positive action? If you’re worried about the future of your job, this article lifts the lid on 6 coaching strategies which can bring you some much-needed hope and calm during this uncertain time.
Life is tough for many right now. Maybe you’re worried about your job security and maintaining an income for your family. Maybe you’re confused about whether you even want to stay doing what you’re doing but you don’t know where to start on making a change. Maybe you’re putting in extra time and energy in the hopes that you won’t be the one to be made redundant and it’s impacting your work life balance. Or maybe you hate your job but feel you should just ‘suck it up’ because you’re afraid there may be nothing else out there.
And possibly it’s also now starting to impact your health as the side-effects of stress take their toll on your sleep, your energy levels or maybe something more serious. And your relationships too as the strain and the worry spills out and reduces your patience level.
What if it doesn’t need to be this way? Imagine waking up feeling more hopeful, calm, empowered even. And coming up with self-sustaining solutions which turn your situation around and use it as a catalyst for positive change. I have worked with a lot of clients since the pandemic began who have done just that. And now I will share with you a few of the strategies that have worked for them.
Before any work is done on the practical side of things, I recommend that you spend a little time on your mindset so that you are coming at it from a place of calm and clarity, rather than a heightened emotional state where you are more likely to make a knee-jerk decision.
Here are 3 tips to help change your mindset:
1. Make space for a little calm and quiet
There is so much going on in the world right now, so much information out there and so many negative messages and so much negative energy. Give yourself permission to switch off, even just for a few minutes, following reading this article. Or better still, take yourself off for a walk in nature and sense the space and the calm that surrounds you. Take in the sights and sounds and take in some deep breaths. The answers and the guidance you seek won’t have room to breathe in a cluttered mind. As counter-intuitive as it might feel, sometimes doing nothing (for a little while) is your best bet!
2. Practice acceptance on the things you have no control over
There are many things happening at this time which none of us have any control over. Whilst you may not like certain circumstances, by practising acceptance you can bring in a subtle but powerful change of energy which can make you feel more peaceful. It also means that you will have more energy with which to direct in a creative way towards either keeping your current job or finding something else (which might be even better).
3. Check in on your beliefs
What are your predominant thoughts right now? Grab a notepad and mark out two columns – one entitled ‘Empowering Beliefs’ and the other entitled ‘Limiting Beliefs’. Make a list of everything you believe at the moment, in relation to how you feel about your job and the future. For instance, “I believe there are plenty of opportunities to find other work if was to be made redundant” could be an empowering belief you hold. Or conversely, “I believe I will struggle to find anything new in the current climate if I get made redundant” could be a limiting belief. Looking at your list, where does the balance lie in empowering v limiting beliefs? For each limiting belief how could you make it more empowering?
What I see get results in my coaching practice is a combination of mindset and practical actions. So here are 3 practical strategies for you to compliment the mindset ones:
1. Stay connected
Now more than ever we are valuing the importance of human connection, even if it’s quite limited face-to-face. Your next job might be closer than you think, especially from within your existing network. Straight after I left my last corporate job, I spent days/weeks/months/years going to networking events, trying to establish connections with total strangers (which can bring results) but I totally neglected (shied away from) connecting with people who already knew and trusted me! They were the people who ended up introducing me to the opportunities which eventually became my livelihood. LinkedIn is a great platform for re-connecting with people you already know, or maybe it’s time to drop an old colleague a line and see how they’re fairing during the pandemic.
2. Take a self-inventory
Get ahead of the game by listing out all of your transferable skills, knowledge and personal strengths. It’s a great confidence-building exercise to do without the urgency (or need to adapt) that comes from preparing your CV or for an interview. It can help to brainstorm by thinking about the experiences you’ve been through (in and out of work), the successes you’ve had as well as any positive feedback. When you’ve done your inventory, then sense check your confidence level and also highlight those skills and strengths you enjoy using the most. This can help bring clarity if you are considering a move out of your current role or industry.
3. Give your LinkedIn profile a mini make-over
How well does your LinkedIn profile represent you today and perhaps where you want to go with your career? Doing some housekeeping on your profile will make you think about your career in a structured way and prompt you to really consider what you’re about. It’s like your shop window in the same way that a website is for a business. So make every word count and make sure you’re using keywords that will help you get found if someone is looking for what you do. It’s also a great way to dip your toe in the water with consulting. (If you’re having any doubts about yourself or the idea of promoting yourself, you might want to add this to your list of limiting beliefs!)
So, there it is. I do hope you have found even just one useful strategy from this article that can bring you greater calm and hope during this uncertain time.