Life has thrown each of us some unexpected turns over the last 18 months which has introduced a new normal no one could have anticipated. Employers are struggling to attract and retain talent; well-being for women has suffered as well as progress we’ve seen in years past to promote women and experience positive traction relevant to pay equity. The compound effect of COVID-19 required us to shift and that’s exactly what you’ll need to do if the goal is to experience career success in this “new normal.”
Speaking of shift, I suggested a client take a different approach several weeks ago as she set out to tackle her to-do list. She’s a top performing, high-achieving team player with a HUGE heart who is relied upon by her leader + her direct reports. She gets the job done but unfortunately didn’t realize the cost of self-sacrifice. I saw it coming so I advised her to make some adjustments.
Because she convinced herself she could handle the weight of work and everything else, she didn’t adjust as I recommended. The result? A trip to Cancun, telling those closest to her that she’s on “do not disturb” only to return home still depleted!
During our latest coaching session, she said “I don’t want to feel like this ever again so I know I need to make some changes. I don’t feel like myself.” While burnout is a problem for women at this point during the pandemic, it doesn’t have to be your new normal.
According to Time.com, 42% of women stated they have consistently felt burned out at work this year. CNBC reported 53% of women said their mental health suffers because of burnout. I know this to be true because I’ve coached women through the pandemic for the last 18 months; many of them exhausted which led to me dedicating the first session of my new series to helping you and so many others win the burnout battle.
In order to beat burnout, you have stop working in reverse. If doing everything is how you get things done, please understand that burnout is inevitable. Your performance may not have slipped prior to the pandemic as you were:
- being all things to all people
- saying yes too often
- not incorporating boundaries and neglecting your self-care.
Those things aren’t healthy nor sustainable when it comes to your well-being and your workplace success. If you’re the woman:
- who attends every meeting (even though you’re not facilitating or speaking) and the work awaits you afterwards resulting in extended work hours
- who says “It’s easier or faster to just do it myself”
- who says “If I don’t get it all done, ___ will think I can’t do my job;”
then your first step to no longer working in reverse and winning the burnout battle is to stop. Stop, meaning take a minute to breathe so you can figure out how you arrived here and what’s the root cause, meaning driving your decisions that ultimately result in burnout. Your second step is to stop. Once you pause to understand what led to your current reality, make a list of what you should stop doing; those things that you have 100% control over so you can experience a different, better outcome. We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that working harder when we’re running on empty is advantageous. It isn’t; doing more of what’s currently not working will never change your situation for the better long-term.
Career success during this new normal means you’ll have to stop so you can shift strategically in the direction that allows you to achieve that which you say you want to experience.
Next, let’s be honest about this hybrid working situation. Less than 24 hours ago, I created a LinkedIn poll asking women if they prefer to be fully remote, if they prefer a hybrid arrangement, if they are returning to the office at all or if they prefer the old-normal – meaning back in the office full-time. 75 votes in with 6 days remaining – the results are:
- 53% prefer to be fully remote
- 37% prefer a hybrid arrangement
- 4% said “I’m not going back”
- 5% prefer to be in the office full-time.
If you’re going to experience career success in this new normal, whatever your preference is – you have to start with defining what success looks like for you. You have to set some goals, you have to determine what winning looks like, you have to understand what your weaknesses are, and you have to be intentional regarding your wellness. Said another way: what do I want, how can I prioritize my well-being as I balance the work and what is it that I need to start doing?
Career success during this new normal means you’ll have to start otherwise you’ll find yourself stuck. Your step 1 was to stop; your step 2 is to start.
Last but certainly not least – I encourage you to show up. When I say show up, I mean shine. Ask yourself “How can I create career currency and communicate my needs during this new normal?” Career currency by definition is the professional value an employee represents to their employer. It can “rise” or “fall” just as any other form of currency does.
When you consider professional value to your employer, remember the 4 P’s:
- personality (how it can serve as your competitive advantage)
- people (individuals who should be on your success team as you navigate the new normal)
The 4 P’s provide the foundation for your career strategy, for your career success and will impact how you show up as well as whether or not you shine.
To recap, your step 1 was to stop; your step 2 is to start and your third step is to shine. That’s what you’ll need to achieve success in this new normal. Each of these will require a shift on your part.
If you’re ready to shift and need additional support, I’ve cancelled my time out the office between Nov and January. Instead, I’m offering part one of my virtual program to help you: (1) achieve career success in this new normal and (2) have a game plan heading into 2022.
Early registration ends 10/31: click here to learn more and attend!