As the beginning of a new year was approaching, so was the start of my second work term at First Nations Health Authority. I was excited about the projects I would help complete, the new responsibilities I would be taking on, and the opportunity to learn and gain more experience as a Human Resources Co-op student. In this position, my main role was to support the Recruitment team with day to day operations, as well as ongoing projects and initiatives within the team. After two work terms, I had gotten used to my work, my role and my weekly routine in the workplace.
Then, everything changed with the outbreak of the current pandemic we are living in – our idea of normal had been disrupted and had to change for an indefinite amount of time. My office space was no longer at my desk, but rather my room. It now seems that we are all getting used to a new normal with our everyday lives. The things we cannot control scares us, and it keeps us in uncertainty. Certainly, with my co-op term, it was and still is a learning process to manage and overcome the challenges we face in these times of uncertainty.
One of the challenging parts for me was not being able to see my teammates during the workday. This experience helped me to understand how much people can have an impact on your work environment. Working in an office space with people who share those values and work towards a common goal makes you work harder; and without that, it was difficult at times to find focus in my daily tasks. In the office, it was easy to get up and speak to a colleague to talk through certain situations, or even for a small talk to start the day and ask how they were doing. Now, as our methods of communication had been changed to email or phone conversations, I found it harder to check in with the team. Although we were still able to move tasks along quickly through these methods, it just wasn’t the same as a face to face conversation.
There were many things, however, that our team did to keep ourselves accountable and connected during this time. With our shared weekly goals and virtual meetings, we were able to see and speak to one another to share our challenges and find new ways to work together. Having a platform where we could share our goals and tasks for the week kept me on track and accountable for the work, I was responsible for. Individually, physically writing down my to-do list every morning helped me to see how my day will look like.
It was a time where I was grateful for the technology we have, and where it made a huge difference in our new work environment.
I am a person who loves sticking to and continuously improving on my routines and schedules. With this new unpredictable norm, my routine at work and outside of work was something that took a big hit on my daily motivation and goals – I had lost sight of what my week would look like, and what I would be looking forward to in the weeks to come.
In an attempt to make the best out of the situation, I took this time to build new routines to keep me motivated and create new positive moments throughout the day. I created a workplace set-up, and during the evening, this would become my DJ set-up where I would practice and have time to enjoy and even share music with friends (virtually). To keep myself accountable for my fitness and wellness, I found new ways to exercise. I took time during the day to cook and make healthy nutritious food that I didn’t have time to before.
And here’s the secret you’ve all been waiting for…
So how do we control the things that seem impossibly out of our control? The scary truth is that we can’t – and having that awareness is one of the key steps to knowing what we can and cannot control.
One thing we can all do, as humans prove to do time and time, again is to adapt. Recognize that there is only so much we can do about a situation, and learn to adapt to make the most of it.
The best we can do is to work on the things that we can control and know that sometimes, that is the best we can do. Understand that some things are just not in our control and that it is completely okay. Find ways in your day to make improve the things that are in your control, whether that may look like creating new routines in your day, or taking the time to try something new – do what works for you and know that things will all be okay.