From the desk of Stephanie Klein – CEO Experience Factor

Nothing like an international pandemic to force us all to pause. Pause our day-to-day lives, pause how we socialize, how we shop, how our kids are educated. Pause how we interact with family and friends, pause to think about our country, our health, our future, and pause to think about our work.

I have been a recruiter for over 20 years. I have had the pleasure and heartache of working with thousands of candidates and companies as they stumble towards each other. There is nothing like bringing two parties together knowing that the union will have a significant and powerful impact on both. It’s an awesome privilege.

What I know for sure is that the best recruiting outcomes really and truly only work when both parties are honest, transparent, have self-awareness, and are committed to serving each other and their organization’s mission.

So, as you can imagine, it is rare when both employee and employer are on the same page. The processes of being hired and of hiring bring out significant insecurities for both parties. Think about the spectrum of emotions at play during the hiring process: excitement, fear, self-doubt, anticipation, worry, frustration, satisfaction, disappointment, and joy. Mix in some discussions about money and you can understand why it is an emotional and anxiety-fueled dance.

I will be very interested to see how this current pause impacts everyone’s approach to how they define their work, or the work they seek. I am curious to see how this pause will change the world of work after the pandemic is brought under control and we hit the play button again. Why? Because most people will have spent the last 8 weeks, either in the quiet morning or late evening hours, wondering if they are doing work they like, are good at, or even care about. It can be hard to think about these bigger questions when we have work to do, bills to pay, families/pets to care for, and rent/mortgage to be satisfied. Our ‘normal’ busy lives typically give us the excuse of ‘no time’ to think about these bigger questions. Until now.

I invite all who have stuck with this little article to really take advantage of this pause and take note.  

  • What are your gifts, what are you good at, what unique traits really give you the most energy and help you feel like you are doing your best work?
  • How do you treat the people you manage or work with; do you really know how they feel about the jobs they are in?
  • What aspects of your job leave you drained or are no longer satisfying?
  • What have you been ignoring or tolerating?
  • Are you with a company that you align with and that values your work or contribution?
  • Are you only phoning in your work or contribution?
  • What are you going to do about this?
  • Who can you talk with to flush out these answers?

I implore you to take note and take action.

Why? Because those not in honest alignment with themselves or others before this pause will be the first released or asked to move on once we’re back at work. They will be the ones at the office with the least amount of productivity and emotional resilience to help move organizations forward. They will also have the hardest time finding a new job. Honestly, a good recruiting process will sniff out these unanswered and unresolved questions in a minute. Trust me on this.

Everyone’s work, and the way it is done, will forever be changed after this pause. Use this precious gift of time to really explore how your next job, or career pivot, will serve you. The truth is, we all need to be in roles that meet and promote our highest selves and best skills. We won’t have time for anything less, and, honestly, we never really have. Take this time to examine what, where, and how you will define your values and career success, so as not to waste what might be the one true benefit of this surreal situation… The Pause</