• Cheyene Marling

Looking Forward into 2021

2020 was definitely a year to say good-bye to. Many of you were put to the test beyond belief. You were tasked with shifting to a virtual workforce in just days, communicating critical messages internally to employees, executives, customers, and critical suppliers, shifting business operations to accommodate the changing mandates and ensuring the safety of employees and customers. All of this while also being a teacher to your children, caring for your loved ones and remaining in good spirits. This article might be a bit late for those New Year’s Resolutions, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts anyway… So here it goes…


Typically, I like to post messages/ articles focused on career growth - stepping outside of your comfort zone, challenging yourself and being a leader within the community; however, I’m sure many of you just need some time to breath and reflect. So, when it came to reviewing my own annual career aspirations and looking forward with my New Year’s resolutions, I decided (privately) to not beat myself up. This last year was a lot to take in. So perhaps 2021 might be best suited to managing mental health and creating a positive, balanced home/ work environment. Below are a few of my resolutions I wanted to share.


Make time for yourself:

This may seem like an easy one, but it’s surprising how quickly days can pass by (yes… days…) and you haven’t even left your house! It’s so important in this virtual world to leave your computer and take a technology break. Yes, technology break. That includes your phone and TV. Get outside. Take a walk, run or bike ride. You’ll be surprised at how just a little break can clear your thoughts and make you more efficient. Schedule your mental break in your calendar. Be flexible to move it around, if needed, but absolutely commit to it each and every day!


Strive for progress, not perfection:

Striving for perfection can actually derail your efforts in the long run. Career growth should really be defined as the knowledge you gain and the people you meet while on the journey to your goal. If you want to be promoted, don’t just focus on the end game. Focus on building relationships internally, volunteering to take on more tasks and being more active across your organization. Changing your mentality on your goals will essentially change your focus on what really matters – learning new skills and building relationships, versus just the promotion.


Stay organized:

You’re likely managing not only your own calendar, but your kids, family members and potentially other work associates. It’s critical to create a system to manage your email, projects, tasks, etc. Formulate a system to track your team’s workload and progress on projects so you can get a better handle on their workload and guide them. The key should not only be to get organized, but to stay organized. At the end of each day update your projects, list your tasks for tomorrow and clean your workspace.


Accept those virtual networking events:

We’re all business continuity/ crisis management professionals, thus, I’m willing to bet there is never enough time in the day during a pandemic. Being social is still important to your mental health, though. Accept those social networking events and get to know your co-workers. Come ready to socialize. If the event calls for a costume – dress to impress and have some fun with the backgrounds.


Do the small things – every little thing adds up:

We all have a list of small tasks that need to get done. Follow-up on an email, send an update, etc. All those small tasks can add up quickly! Be sure to tackle these small tasks each day so they don’t carry over to the next day. You’ll feel so accomplished and be ready for tomorrow. Celebrate crossing things off your list. I like using a different color highlighter or pen.


Manage your mental game:

Some days are busier then others. Pay attention to your stress levels. Be sure to make time for yourself each day and don’t overlook the importance of nutrition, sleep, exercise and socializing with others. There are tools available to such as Spire that can help manage and track your breathing patterns in real time and alert you to any stress or tension before it impacts your health.


Increase your social on-line presence:

With work conferences/ events being cancelled we haven’t seen each other’s smiling faces for 12+ months. Be social on your work networking platforms to help fill the gaps and stay connected with others. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to not only showcase your own credentials and highlight your personal brand, but you can also use it to stay socially connected with others, increase your social network and celebrate other’s achievements.


Spread the positivity:

Are you someone who others want to work with? Creating a positive environment goes beyond just eliminating the complaining, but complimenting others too. Do you thank others for their contribution? Are you offering a helping hand? Be grateful for where you are and the job you have. Positivity can be contagious. Try complimenting and celebrating others on a weekly basis. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make within your work community and home.


These last 12 months have been a lot to take in. 2020 has changed the Business Continuity profession in unprecedented ways. Many of you have given so much of yourself this last year and, with our careers being so tied to our identities, it can be easy to lose sight of balancing home and work life. This should never be an excuse to forget about yourself, though. I hope you take the time to reflect, celebrate your accomplishments and continue to focus on what makes you happy.


And as always, we’re here to help you in meeting your career aspirations in any way that we can. Sign up for our BCM Career Alert notifications at https://www.bcmanagement.com/business-continuity-jobs to ensure you receive timely new career notifications matching your search preferences. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at info@bcmanagement.com.

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