“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
Self-transformation has been a goal for many of us, but there is no time like the present to do so. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives and is compelling us to transform ourselves at work and at home too. While picking up new skills or trying to find new opportunities is a reliable approach to reboot, it helps if your reinvention can fulfill something people are looking for right now.
Colleagues are looking for a connection
Studies show that Americans tend to have fewer friends at work, partly because of a work ethic that promotes less socialization. However, during this period, our teams and the organization at large have become a social network that we rely on for information and support. Whether you are an extrovert who loves talking to people or an introvert who likes to get to know people slowly, reach out, connect, and develop a positive social structure at work. If you have an interest like yoga or cooking or photography, offer to teach it through virtual classes. Start a club or join one. Reconnect with a former project-mate over a text message. These little things will also help you become more deeply connected within the organization, learn more, and get more opportunities.
Clients are looking for empathetic creativity
In times like this, clients might halt some of their activities, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to new work. What they probably need are solutions to the unique and unprecedented problems that they might be facing now. Truly creative client solutions are usually driven by empathy. For instance, companies like Lululemon and Apple prioritized customer safety and closed their stores, but they also understood that the same customers should be able to get the products they need. That’s why they educated customers about the other channels available to shop or to connect. On the same note, if your client is downsizing a project because of fewer sales, you could accept it and lie low. Or you could dig deeper to understand exactly why it’s difficult for them to sell their products or serve their customers during this time. Does the product need rejigging to suit the new normal, or do the sales teams need digital skills to pitch while practicing social distancing? Understanding your client’s problems can help you find creative solutions for them and revive your working relationship, while learning new skills at the same time.
Your skills are looking for avenues to improve
According to the Telegraph, one in four Britons is learning a new skill while under lockdown. Across the world, people are using this time for upskilling or reskilling themselves to enjoy a better level of competence at their work. If you are trying to improve your knowledge and skillsets during this time, consider author Bernard Marr’s advice and pick up skills that will help you thrive in a post-pandemic world. These include data literacy, critical thinking, and leadership. Most important, he says, is to build a lifelong habit of learning, so that you can constantly reinvent yourself.
Above all, the biggest reason to embark on a journey of reinvention should be personal resilience. Stay strong, healthy, and ready to navigate anything new at work and home, and you’ll be mentally and physically prepared for your reinvention goals.