Charlotte Moore expected to spend her 20s questioning her passions and career goals. A period she thought would be characterized by both growth and existential dread. That’s largely been true, up until a global pandemic was thrown into the mix. Now, after a year of stagnation, Charlotte is wondering how she can ensure that her career has value and meaning in her life. And she is just one of many other Gen Z women who are re-evaluating their careers post Covid-19. […]
NOTES: Gen Z Women Are Re-evaluating Their Careers Post Covid-19
For many young women, the country’s reopening is imbued with hope and optimism, but also a tremendous amount of anxiety surrounding their careers.
Charlotte, 25, is a UX researcher at a financial tech company in New York.
“I feel like it’s hard for me to fully detach from work since it all takes place at home,” she explained. “Sometimes work bleeds into my life more than I would like.”
“This period feels like an opportunity for a rebirth, and I don’t want to be somehow be left out of that.”
She’s watching many friends opt for major life changes: going to graduate school, moving cities, or pursuing a new career path.
Charlotte’s fear that she, too, should embark on a fresh start — reopening FOMO, if you will — has proven difficult to tune out. “It makes me wonder if I should be thinking about what I want more long-term and what changes I can make now to accomplish those,” she said. “This period feels like an opportunity for a rebirth, and I don’t want to be somehow be left out of that.”
Megan Belden, 25, old freelancer who as an account executive at a wine PR agency.
She knew her role hadn’t been the best fit for a while, but she stayed because she enjoyed spending time with her coworkers. Then the pandemic moved her office space online; she was left with her own thoughts and the reality of her job by herself all day, every day.
Her sense of fatigue was overwhelming. “I ended up going to a couple of doctors because I was wondering, ‘Is something wrong with me?’” she said.
Megan made the decision to leave her job in March and dedicated five weeks to not thinking about work or the future. It was a necessary pause, she explained, after which she transitioned to work as a freelance marketer — a period of experimentation away from a typical nine to five job, as she refers to it.
“I feel like a different human. Honestly, I feel much more like myself; I feel energized and focused. I feel like the resting period is very much over and I’m ready to do things and take action.”
Kohsheen Sharma, 25, an analyst at a private equity firm.
“I don’t know if I would have moved if it weren’t for the pandemic. I saw the world in a different way and my worries about what looks good on my resume flew out the window,” she explained.
For the past two months, she’s worked in strategy and operations at a health care tech company. “I thought, I don’t want to look back 10 years later and say that I was just working a finance job after this huge event changed the way the world worked.”
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The word “flexible” is broad, and could mean a flexible location, flexible hours, an ethos of flexibility, and many other things that is peculiar to each organization and employee.
Consider these tips to determine what flexibility means to your workforce so you can make sure that policy changes are relevant. But first, take a step back and look at what workplace flexibility could mean.
What Flexibility Means In 2021
Flextime. This can be remote working and ability to set hours outside of the traditional 9-to-5 timeslot. Or, allowing compressed work schedules, which let employees complete the usual 40 hours in fewer than five workdays.
Location. Ability to work outside of the office, like during the pandemic. Or in a hybrid work environment where employees have control over how many days a week they show up in person.
Reduced schedule. Programs such as job sharing and phased retirement give employees a chance to step back from full-time employment while still working at your organization.
Paid Time Off (PTO). A generous—or even unlimited—amount of paid for time, when employees have the freedom to take (and use) the time they need to be productive (doing work or non work related activity).
Finding Out What Flexibility Means To Your Staff
1. Gather information. Start by conducting a survey to get a sense for what your staff wants out of a flexible workplace. Ask specifically about the above workplace policies, what they’ve liked or haven’t liked about remote work, and how their productivity has been affected since having the freedom that remote work provides.
You can continue the conversation by setting up company town hall meetings, focus groups, or one-on-one discussions to dig deeper into what your staff wants.
2. Consider industry trends. On top of employee preferences, there might be certain flexible work policies that are more relevant to your organization than others. For example, if onsite work is required, you can’t offer remote work but could still opt for flextime.
You can also ask other organizations if they’ve taken steps to make work more flexible for their employees and consider how those policies would apply to your own workforce.
3. Shadow employees and reassess. Once you implement your own brand of workplace flexibility, see how your workforce responds. How has productivity been affected? What is the feeling around the office? Have you noticed any roadblocks that you didn’t consider during your knowledge-gathering stage?
Go to Associations Now to check the following related articles;
- How to do flextime the right way
- Five tactics that will make your workspace more collaborative
- Reentry anxiety may affect return to the office
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Many people have an inaccurate beliefs about their workload. Here are a few pointers to address this.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Get more done in the same amount of time by learning to work more efficiently. Better manage distractions and attention seeking activities. Learning a comprehensive workflow management system is another way to get more done in less time.
Ultimately your own work-life balance is completely up to you. No one can “give you” better balance. You have to take it.
Stop thinking that other people expect you to be available all the time. Also, trying to conform to the expectations that other people have for you is exhausting and ultimately futile.
You Have a Habit of Distraction
Your most important resources are not your time or your money or even your attention. Your most important resources are your body and your mind.
Manage checking your communication channels during workday every 1-3 minutes. Else, you get conditioned and wont be able to “shut it off,” workday, work week or at your personal time.
You Have Control
Studies show that a boss’s work-life balance is an important factor in the work-life balance of their employees, and that if all better utilize downtimes, everyone will likely to be physically and emotionally healthier.
Recommended: The Third Space according to Adam Fraser is the transitional gap in between what we do. It’s not what we do, it’s what we do in between what we do that is most important.