I met with another woman in sports the other day to talk about some issues she'd been facing lately as a woman working in sports, and something she said really stuck out to me. She was talking about wanting a new job but, of course, with the COVID pandemic, that really wasn't likely for her at this time. She then said -- and this is what stuck with me -- that she's trying to use this time to bloom where she is planted.
I know this is a cliché; I know it might sound cheesy. But this phrase has been stuck with me for the last week or so since we spoke. And I think other people need to hear it.
The unfortunate reality is that this *IS* a weird time in the world, and not just for people in sports, though we all know it's been tough in this industry. Job loss, furloughs, pay cuts, and the loss of security and stability have taken a toll on all of us. Throw in financial concerns, Zoom fatigue, and whatever else we have going on in our personal lives, and WOW can it be hard to stay positive.
I'm not immune to this stuff either. I struggle (!) and try to be as open and honest about that as possible on social media and in conversations with coworkers and colleagues. However, I do think that a little perspective and acknowledgment of this cliché could go a long way.
Bloom where you are planted.
Things suck right now, there's no denying it. I know more than a handful of people that hoped to find a new role this summer, ask for a raise, or angle for a promotion in their yearly evaluation. Instead, they've been victims of COVID in ways that I'm not sure any of us saw coming.
If you're still employed but deeply (or even only mildly) unhappy, my advice is to tweak your attitude. We're living in unprecedented times but there is ALWAYS opportunity for growth, whether it be personal or professional. Understaffed? Maybe this is an opportunity to take on new responsibilities or learn a new skill. Bad boss? Take notes, my friend. Even a bad boss can teach you something. Overwhelmed? It's time for an open dialogue with your supervisor about how you're feeling, and then how you can prioritize and streamline your responsibilities.
If you're unemployed, there's still hope. In addition to dusting off that resume and cover letter, which I'm sure you've already done, there's ample opportunity for networking in the many many many online forums, panels, industry Slack channels, and Zoom calls. Plus, there are a ton of free resources available online if you want to hone your skills in pretty much any area. And if push comes to shove and you need a non-sports job to get you through this financially until the world is back on its axis, then you have to do what you have to do. The networking magic of Twitter, Zoom, LinkedIn, and Slack will still be here when you're able to rejoin us, and your colleagues will welcome you back with open arms.
I know that none of what I'm saying is easy, especially when we're all emotionally and mentally drained. But I will say that employed or not, having a positive attitude when everything else feels dark really can't hurt you, and -- at the very least -- it'll make you feel better. Isn't that worth it?