Some of us went into the lockdown loving our jobs. During the lockdown, we had so much time to think and now that the lockdown is eased, it is time to return to work. But something seems to be off – you no longer feel the same way you felt about your job, you no longer feel pumped about that ‘good’ job you thought you had. In fact, the uncertainty lurking around the workplace is getting you uninterested about returning to work. You currently feel unmotivated. Don’t worry, you are not alone in this. Understandably, COVID-19 has changed the scheme of things and our lives are not going to be the way it was before.
The fear of being laid-off is also a significant reason why we might not be returning to work in the same high-spirit we left work six weeks ago. While for some, we have done a lot of soul-searching and attended a series of webinars during the lockdown and we are left with the ‘what is my purpose?’ question.
All these emotions are not out of place. However, before you make any final decision, you need to try these:
Put on your entrepreneurial cap
For the most part, whenever people consider their job as not being right, they want to get on to own their businesses and do their thing. While there is nothing wrong with that, it would be nice if you could bring that entrepreneurial mindset to your present job and see if you feel the same. If you were an employer at this time, what would you like your employee to do for you? Hopefully, this would help you look inwards to see how you can solve problems beyond your job description.
Evaluate your current work ethics
Exiting is not always the answer to every crossroad. Sometimes what you need is to evaluate your current disposition. Have you been a shoddy employee? What has your disposition towards your current job role been like? The truth is, if you are shoddy at your current job, you will most likely be shoddy at your next job and even more shoddy if you get to own your company.
For every place you are in, there is a purpose and your purpose is bigger than any job role. It hurts me when some employees complain about their role because they think it is beneath them or their cadre. Embrace the mindset that there is something you are gaining where you are that is relevant to where you are going. This will give you a new and can-do zeal.
Assess your S.W.O.T.
I understand that you want a new and bigger opportunity, but you need to pause and identify your Strengths and Weaknesses, the Opportunities and Threats that surrounds you – SWOT.
Outside there, you either eat or be eaten, so you do not want to exit when you are unprepared or unaware of what your core competencies are. These are your power brokers.
To help you find closure, ask yourself these questions: What is your Unique Value Preposition? What do people come to you for? What transferable skills do you have? How can your current skill-set become strengths in the field you are considering? In the process of doing this, you might catch a new insight on where to serve your employer better, which could get you more pay and visibility.
Create the world you want from where you are
Right where you are, you can create the world you want. This is not an escape from your present reality, instead, it is to get you more excited about the future. And the little things count – like putting a touch of things that excite you around your workspace, creating a personal brand mission – what do I want to be known/remembered for?
This is very important, particularly now that ‘everyone’ is online and how you let yourself be perceived matters. There are a million and one things fighting for the attention of your target audience, you need to remind people about you and the value you offer. With this pandemic, a resume is not likely to be sufficient to ‘land’ you a job anymore . You need to do more, be strategic about the you-brand. Your current employer is online, so is your prospective employer and possible career sponsors. This is the time to maximize your LinkedIn and build a digital professional footprint.
Have you returned to work? How has it been for you?