31 | Aug | 2020

Maintaining focus in unsettled timesLiz Sebag-Montefiore

The fast moving pace of change in the world of work has meant a challenging labour market in recent years. Fundamental change, largely driven by technological advances, has changed the way we work, the way we find work and our relationship with our employers.

New forms of employment contract have changed our concept of work and the psychological contract. Now we have the additional problem of the global pandemic and the shutdown of many enterprises that will mean even more challenges for many of us. Climate change, Brexit and economic uncertainty all add to the anxiety.

Many people are having to make last minute arrangements to look after school age children which is likely to mean cancelled meetings and business trips, delayed projects and lost earnings. Many businesses are asking employees to work remotely as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, but that makes it hard for those who have to be looking for new work on a regular basis, those with freelance careers or portfolio careers.

Play to your strengths

It’s important to maintain focus using creativity and your unique strengths to shape your career path. It’s not always easy but try to ensure you invest time in the things that are within your control: improving your life and skills, making a positive impact on your co-workers, colleagues, friends, family and other stakeholders.

You need to know what gives you energy and what you are good at; they are not necessarily the same. Distinguish between the roles that give meaning to your life and those that are a drain on your energy. Discuss your challenges with family and friends, focus on strengths, and finding meaning and purpose.

A focus on meaningful work in the face of everyday challenges helps to make each difficult situation an opportunity to cultivate resilience, patience, wisdom or other virtues that will make difficulties easier to meet and overcome.

Build for the future

Individuals and businesses will worry about sales, profits, how to maintain jobs and how to look after customers and employees. Whatever your line of business the smart thing to do is to focus on maintaining relationships with team members, customers, prospects, suppliers, vendors, investors, shareholders and all stakeholders. Building strong relationships enhances the viability of future prospects. Networking and keeping in touch with your contacts is something you can do while working from home, when you can’t meet for coffee or lunch it’s still easy to touch base with people by phone or email and Zoom is becoming increasingly popular technology.

Do what you can to help others in your network, trying times are sometimes a catalyst that enables some of the best new ideas and approaches to problems. When times are hard it is time to focus on finding new opportunities that will help you achieve more than ever before.

We all prefer to be in control but sometimes we need to adjust and adapt. In all change there lies the potential for new opportunities; it’s just a question of working out where they are to be found. Be optimistic and proactive, focus on all that you have to be grateful for and be open to new ideas and possibilities. It’s important to keep the situation in perspective and work on being productive in terms of planning for when the situation improves and doing what you can by taking care of your family and making time to relax.

Contact us for further advice on how you can remain positive and focused during challenging times