Thought leaders have recently predicted a "Great Resignation" in the wake of Covid-19 as people reevaluate their careers and think about moving on and trying something new. Indeed, as I look around, there is movement, lots of movement! And it feels different. People are looking for different work experiences. It’s not just about work anymore.
Our journey through the Covid -19 pandemic has been, to many of us, a wake-up call. People have reconnected with their humanity, with what is truly important, with how fragile life can be — and many have come too close to loss of life.
What lessons can we take away from such a deeply transformational journey, as many people look to move on and try something new?
These are my five non-negotiable must-haves.
1. Be clear on what you like. Doing what we like doesn’t have to be a privilege reserved to a few. It should be top-of-list for everyone. If we do what we like, we get up in the morning full of energy, we look forward to the day and we are far more creative when facing the challenges we all have. So, stop and reflect on what it is that moves you and makes you vibrate. What puts a smile on your face? What gets you to the end of a day physically tired and emotionally rewarded?
2. Be clear on what you bring to the table. We don’t just bring skills and knowledge to a new role. We are and we do. Being means that we bring our particular values, behaviors and rituals to the table as well. We are so much more than what we do. And when we bring the fullness of who we are into a role, the results turn out to be much richer. Being a full human being in our work environment adds tremendous value to those around us, and it invites them to act in the same way. Work environments built by full human beings are truly different in the way they generate sustainable value and bright and energized workspaces.
3. Gravitate toward the light and away from the darkness. There are so many toxic people out there who fill the world with darkness... why bring them into your life? Surround yourself with people who are full of light, full of possibilities, full of energy, full of opportunity. Gravitate to the light — be a Jedi! Surround yourself with people who energize you and make you smile.
4. Listen first; talk second. This new reality we’re embracing also gives us an opportunity to rewrite how we build relationships and interact with others. Trust, collaboration and open communication are at the core of this new reality. In fact, we are being given an opportunity to revisit our identity as people and teams. And it all starts with listening and understanding the other. Be open to new perspectives and points of view. So much is being said about building a new reality; however, we build it as a community listening to words, to intentions, to energy, to emotions, to ideas and new perspectives — putting aside egos and self-interests in order to build a better way forward.
5. Have fun. If we’ve learned anything throughout this Covid-19 journey it's how fragile life can be. We already knew it, but human beings seem to have short and selective memories. So, in whatever you do, have fun! Make sure a significant part of your legacy says: They were human and made others laugh and enjoy the finer things in life, even in the darkest moments. Life and work seen through the lenses of fun seem different, lighter, more colorful, with sounds and smells, and certainly full of new possibilities and opportunities.
Life is simple! We tend to complicate it. Transformative journeys such as the one we are coming out of reconnect us with our humanity. The secret is to learn the simple lessons — those lessons we already know — and to incorporate them into our daily lives and into our legacy and to make them a part of who we are and what we do, simply and effortlessly.
These five lessons must be at the core of transition decisions into new roles if we are to fulfill this human aspiration of trying new things and being happier.