Preparing for Post-Covid Opportunities
By Contributor Marlene Cameron, MBA, CFA, CPC
Emerging from the She-Cession
Five Ways to Prepare for the Post-Covid Expansion
There is no doubt that women have experienced a greater negative impact from the consequences of Covid 19 protocols for social distancing and restrictions on businesses. A survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) discovered that while almost 80% of respondents stated they were the same or better off since the beginning of the pandemic, 14% were worse off and 7% were much worse off. While BPW Canada appears to represent a more privileged group job-wise, many more women were working from home and spending substantially more hours on family care.
You may have experienced job loss or are working below your earning power. Perhaps you are homeschooling children, or spending more time with aging parents. You might be trying to juggle work and child care with a spouse or partner who is working from home also and trying to sort out devices, WIFI bandwidth, household duties and personal downtime.
Regardless, our current situation will not last and things will inevitably begin to ease and open up. Now would be a good time to evaluate certain aspects of your life in preparation for new freedom and opportunities. Here are five things to consider.
Women, who in the past have work that requires extensive travel, excessive overtime or limited opportunities to advance might want to reconsider what might be possible going forward. One busy executive who was travelling extensively with her globally positioned organization found after her travel ended that she really did prefer to spend more time at home with her family. Consider using this time to brush up your resume and start exploring what else might be available that would better suit your career and lifestyle needs.
Women with busy careers and work schedules often have closets full of clothes because there is no time to comb through their clothing to assess which items no longer fit, are appropriate or even wanted. This could be a good time to consider sub-par clothing items and either alter, update or donate them. Invite a friend who knows your style and is honest about how you look in your clothing (a socially distanced fashion show with wine is fun) or hire an image consultant to help you decide what to keep or release. You can even do this over Zoom.
If you have been lucky enough to have retained a well-paying job, you may find that your savings are adding up due to restrictions to places to spend it – like restaurants, travel, entertainment and clothes for work. When you are able to do all those things again, you might want to choose with more discernment. Studies have shown that many of the things that bring happiness are low cost or free – meeting for coffee with friends (rather than expensive meal), making cookies with your children rather than packaged foods or day trips to local parks for picnics rather than movies and pricy junk food. If you are looking forward to working again, consider these options to enhance your quality of life on a budget.
In her book – Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives – best-selling author Gretchen Rubin writes: “Any beginning is a time of special power for habit creation, and at certain times we experience a clean slate, in which circumstances change in a way that makes a fresh start possible – if we’re alert for the opportunity.” These ‘clean slate’ opportunities can take many forms through both happy and unhappy changes. Sometimes a major change leads to a clean slate but even a minor change can be sufficient. Consider if the pandemic has created a “clean slate” opportunity for you. What will you stop and start doing, or do more or less of? Consider your sleep habits, nutrition, exercise and what you feed your mind.
Your Pace of Life
Women especially, appear to have retained more of the responsibility for taking care of the needs of her immediate and extended family, typically spending more time caring for the home and children than their male colleagues. If you have been forced to slow down due to restrictions on travel, activities for you and your children and closure of facilities, consider maintaining that slower pace when things start to speed up again when restrictions lift. A wise person said that we age at the speed we live our lives.
About the Author
An award-winning executive coach and emotional intelligence expert, Marlene brings her business savvy, financial smarts and intuitive wisdom to help women in business thrive. Her Decision Clarity Optimizer system shows owners and leaders how to have UNSHAKEABLE belief, trust and confidence in making critical decisions that impact their wellbeing, success and freedom. Visit Marlene on her website and learn more about her services.
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