It’s important to extend connections with your supervisors and colleagues, orient toward the future and focus outward during uncertainty.
There are plenty of positives to working from home, such as flexible scheduling and saving time and effort commuting. At the same time, working from home can feel isolating. To build resiliency during a time of uncertainty and stress, it takes outreach and deliberate practice. Here are ways to foster resiliency in your personal life and career while working remotely.
Reach out for help and coaching
You don’t have to go it alone, even while you are at home and it may feel like you’re on your own. Research shows individual coaching increases resilience at work, so check in with your supervisor frequently for both short-term and future goals. RightCoach is another option for customized and on-demand coaching, with 30- or 60-minute blocks that can address individual coaching needs. Remember that career conversations are essential to development, and that a sense of progress and forward momentum boosts your satisfaction and motivation. If lofty goals seem unrealistic right now, then think about what you want to accomplish in the interim, and enlist your manager or mentor to help you down that path.
Slow down and don’t “panic work”
For high performers, there can be a tendency to put your head down and work your way out of hard times, otherwise known as “panic-working.” This may feel like a good short-term solution, but it’s not sustainable and can lead to burn out. Make sure to slow down, come up for air and focus on meaningful work that will produce long-term accomplishments and motivation.
Take a long-term view
In stressful times, it’s easy to get caught in the moment and difficult to see the long-term possibilities. Resiliency requires taking a long-term perspective and realizing that uncertainty won’t last forever. Now is a good time to re-evaluate long-term goals and dreams. Is the current role something you want to continue doing? What skills are you lacking that you hope to build? Do you want to make a career change in the future? Keeping this long-term view in mind will boost optimism for the future and provide motivation for the present.
Social support is one of the most important factors in creating resiliency. This can mean people have a network they can rely on when workloads and tasks become overwhelming, but it can also mean simple reminders that you have people in your corner. When you get an email that means a lot to you, don’t delete it or let it sit in your inbox. Instead, start a gratitude email folder for compliments and projects you’ve accomplished. Scroll through it on days when you need the extra boost and resiliency will follow.
It’s important to note that resiliency can be conflated with grit or willpower, but it’s more than that. Resiliency in tough times can be cultivated through the help and connection from others, which is especially important when everyone is physically distanced. Reaching out, even virtually, can help you get through the difficulties of today, and help lay the foundations for the next stages in your career.