This year brought us a public health crisis, economic woes, social upheaval and enough change to take us through the next decade.
Hello, 2020. What a sucker punch you’ve been. And now that we’re nearly halfway through, now what? Do we brace ourselves for more turmoil, more change?
Or do we triumphantly march forward, ready to restart?
This is a checkpoint
This is a good time to check in with yourself, personally and professionally, says Annette Walter, coach and founder of iEvolve Consulting.
Right now, we need to ask ourselves if the things that were important to us before the pandemic still important to us, she says. Do we still want to buy a house? Retire in five years? Go back to graduate school?
“Ask yourself what to do you want to take with you,” she says. “And what do you want to leave behind.”
Walter is a bit of a pivoting badass herself; in 2007, she was one of eight partners—the youngest and the only woman—who founded a large real estate firm they eventually sold off five years later, “the first kind of a pandemic I survived,” she says. In addition to iEvolve, she also runs Timber Industries, a national materials supplier that made the Inc. 5000 last year.
I asked her if she had heard the maxim that’s been floating around social media these days, “Don’t waste a good crisis.” Does that even apply in a disaster as massive as this?
A good crisis?
It’s not bad advice, she admitted. But first we have to “position our mindset,” she says.
“Pretend it’s three years from now and you are looking back on this time from your future self,” she says. “What is the best thing you did for yourself and for your career right now?”
Set personal boundaries around the things that are important to you, Walter says. Put aside the flower pots or the sour dough starter, if you’re not really into them.
Don’t try to be a master business re-inventor or summer school tutor extraordinaire if that’s not what you want to do.
“People are getting exhausted already of the cliché stuff out there,” she says. “Yes, this [pandemic] could be some sort of gift, but we may not know what it is right now.”
What do you want to take with you from this time? What do you want to leave behind?
We may not know what the gift is for a long time, as a matter of fact. And that’s OK, she says.
Focus on what you want and those two questions: What to do you want to take with you from this time? What do you want to leave behind?
It’s good advice.