How can we use this transformative time to show up in the world?
This is a transformative time in our culture around the world. Whilst the fear many of us are feeling can be overwhelming, in many ways what we’re experiencing now is what we have always tried to prepare our community for.
This includes – navigating uncertainty, choosing resilience in the face of adversity, being creative in your endeavours and derisking yourself so that you’re always in a position to be adaptable and agile.
One of our heroes, Seth Godin, went live on Instagram to discuss the feelings that people may be experiencing in this period of uncertainty. We tuned in to learn and share all the best lessons and advice from Seth in the hope that it will help people in the Escape community that are currently engaged in a battle of fear and dislocation.
It’s natural to be afraid when we want the world to go back to the way it was. Although we know that eventually it will, there is the uncertainty of what is coming next. In this time, it’s important to use your emotional energy to overcome any feelings of fear.
Many of us may also be feeling guilty, but it’s important to recognise that guilt is a choice… if we want it to be. The antidote to guilt is generosity, which is the action of:
- finding someone that needs to hear from you
- finding someone that needs something that you can offer them
- finding someone that needs to be seen
We have access to a device that would have been a miracle fifty years ago. Technology connects us to a billion people around the world. Be mindful that there is someone, somewhere, that needs you:
- to say “follow me”
- to make a connection for them to get to the next place
We have an obligation right now to weave together possibilities and make things better – even if we feel like curling up in a ball under the table. Hiding is not going to help. What will help right now is to use this time to become a better version of ourselves.
When we think forward 9 months from now, or years from now – what kind of person were we at this time? You get to decide that with the actions you take.
How can I be seen as exceptional whilst working from home remotely?
People will look at the old world, where we commuted an hour, put on fancy clothes and sat in an office to go to meetings that we didn’t want to go to as bizarrely antiquated.
You can go faster, make a bigger impact, speak more truths, connect to more people and make a bigger difference without sitting in the same room as other people.
If you have a boss insisting on an industrial regime that forces people to comply like you’re in fifth grade, then it’s going to be harder.
Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t still lead. Leadership almost always comes from the grassroots. People that are closer to the customer, closer to the work itself.
If there are ten of your team working from home, what’s there to stop you from organising a lunchtime Zoom chat to keep people in sync?
What’s there to stop you from using your commuting time to write up that scary document that everyone else has been afraid of?
Leadership in a digitally connected world isn’t about management. It’s about being brave enough to be a lynchpin and acting that way. It might be that this is an opportunity to become that kind of person at work.
What are best practices for remote working?
Working at 70% level for 30% more time is a really good way to burn out.
No one is going to win a prize for being online all the time. You will win a prize for being extraordinary. It is possible to get an enormous amount of work done when you’re not getting distracted.
- Carve out specific working hours – and keep to them.
- Realise that you can get your soul filled by doing things other than talking to the people from work
That may mean going for a walk around the block by yourself at lunchtime or having a 1-1 call with a colleague about something that isn’t necessarily about work.
Ways to reach out to people in a generous way in this time of social distancing?
What you shouldn’t do is think ‘this is a great time to make money’. Be generous, but don’t give everything away. Being generous means:
- Treat people like you would like to be treated
- Do work that scares you on behalf of other people
Do the work because someone needs something from you.
How can we future proof our career in times of uncertainty?
My answer has none of the words you expect: You cannot future proof anything. If we’ve learnt anything in the past four weeks, this is what we have learnt.
What you can do is figure out resilience. Resilience means the world is going to change and that’s okay.
If you can wake up every morning and say ‘the world is going to change and that’s okay’, you’re probably going to be right.
So you’ve got to figure out how to have the skills, resources, reputation, assets and flexibility – so when the world changes, you can say ‘that’s okay’.
… and guess what? The world doesn’t care whether you think it’s okay or not, it’s still going to change.
How can I get over the feelings of guilt?
Guilt is a hobby. Guilt is a choice. Guilt gets in the way of confronting your possibility of doing things differently. Either decide you like doing what you do and keep doing it. Or stop and do something different or better.
Now that the world is scrambled, we have an opportunity to dig in and go beyond just doing our job. Put your name on it. Start a podcast. Start a blog post. No one is stopping you. Go do it.
For example – from writing a blog, you will keep noticing what’s new in the world, what is helpful and your own point of view.
Each day this practice causes you to get good at noticing things. Causing you to become the person who is a little bit more helpful because you have a way to talk about it. After you’ve blogged ten days in a row, you might be comfortable enough with it that you could put your real name on it.
My main advice: Just keep doing it.
If we exert our efforts for the right reasons, the guilt goes away.
How do you work on resilience on a daily level?
Every single day, something doesn’t go the way you expect it to. Traffic jams, meetings having unexpected outcomes, etc. That is when you practice resilience.
- Say to yourself: That’s interesting.
- Ask yourself: I wonder why that happened?
If you can be an external observer, you can look at the event differently. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a point of view or that you accept injustice.
Practice acknowledging that the world didn’t do it to you, but simply note that it happened and action what to do about it. This brings on a cycle of resilience.
Am I going to get bored working from home?
Seth has been working from home on-off since 1986 – a long time. The number of times he has experienced boredom is very low because he replaced boredom with appropriate panic.
Appropriate panic of ‘I’m not going to be earning enough’ or ‘I’m not going to be contributing enough to what matters to me’.
What every one of us needs, whether it’s in a side-hustle or a day job, is a contribution to a cause or a connection. The more you put into the cause, the more you get out. Then you don’t get bored.
Watch the video in full here:
Navigating your life and career is hard at the best of times, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you need help in this time of uncertainty:
- Sign up to receive our fortnightly newsletter for the latest career change tools, support and advice.
- Joining our online Facebook group for peer-support with likeminded people and experts.
- Sign-up for our online events to help you future-proof your career