For the last year, the goal for many has been a return to normal. A return to the activities we know and love. A return to the routine of work and home. A return to comfort and connection. Now that the time has come to return to what once was, you may be hesitating. You may have realized you aren’t crazy about what you’re returning to.
After a year of new and different, a return to normal is no longer the goal. Instead of a return to normal, this is an opportunity to reinvent and rethink who you want to be in relation to the work you do. If you no longer want the normal you once knew, there are four pathways forward.
What do you do now?
- Go back begrudgingly against your will. While you may not want the normal that once was, you might not know what you want. Perhaps you don’t want to change after a year of so much change. This is an option. You can return to the normal of yesterday and power through. This will be hard. The work environment may feel like it no longer fits and the pace and intensity may no longer be what you want to subscribe to. This pathway is one of convenience and comfort, but is not without stress and anxiety.
- Forge ahead and figure it out. You may not know what you want, but you have the option to move forward and figure it out. Because everything can be figured out. It may not be easy, but trial and error afford the opportunity to get it right in the long run. If you aren’t sure exactly what you want next, in your career or from your company, this is a way to maintain the status quo while actively working towards something new and different… your new normal.
- A new you. Perhaps you have realized you are someone different on the other side of this pandemic. The idea of a return to normal is no longer right, because you are a different person. Your values and career goals have changed. You want new things. Embrace the new you and pursue what works for you. Perhaps that is a new role or a new company. Do you love working remotely? Explore ways you can continue to work from home. The world and work have changed. Now is the time to embrace that change and the new you.
- Not different, but next. During the last year of hardship and change, you might be asking yourself what and who you want to be next. It’s not a desire for different for the sake of different but a pivot point… an opportunity for reinvention. Whether or not you want to change, this is the opportunity to ask the question of what comes next.
A time to re-evaluate and reinvent
Perhaps you’re a busy executive who worked long hours and traveled regularly, or a parent who enjoyed the flexibility of working from home and skipping the daily commute. A return to normal may not feel right because after more than a year of different, normal is new. Normal is no longer what it once was and many have realized that change, while scary, can also be good.
No matter if or when you plan to return to the physical workplace, this is a time of opportunity. Now is your chance to ask yourself who you are, who you want to be and what comes next.