By Sue Brandon, Business Development, Crown Workforce Management
And there we have it, one day I’m in the office doing my normal job as event organiser at Crown and boom, the next my whole work world has taken a U-turn - thank you COVID!
Literally overnight my role as an event organiser disappeared in the blink of an eye. I didn’t go into melt-down and I didn’t panic, but I did think ‘what am I going to do now’? It even crossed my mind that maybe I would be deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ and become a government statistic.
Thankfully I work at Crown and they do things differently. During the whole of lockdown and with us all asked to work from home, the company took the decision not to make anyone redundant and furlough was not an option. Instead, they have been very clever and re-engineered the roles of those individuals that were seriously affected, and I fell into that category.
So, my days organising events has come to an abrupt halt and now was to become part of the Business Development team, helping to build our brand awareness and generate new business for the company.
I can’t deny, it’s not been without its challenges and some of the tasks that I took on were completely out of my comfort zone, but with patience and determination, gradually I settled into working on new things. It’s strange, but being the wrong side of 50, I did think that I was too old to learn new stuff, but I’m proving myself wrong. My boss has described me as a swan, calm on the surface, but pedalling like mad underneath – I’ll take that.
There have been lessons to learn since COVID and some of the key factors have been to look for new ways of working, be open to learn new skills and face the challenges head on. It has been important to remain positive, ask questions and accept guidance while embracing the changing way of working. Most importantly though, never be afraid to fail, learn from mistakes and build confidence in the new skills that develop.
And now of course, we have Lockdown 2. It sounds more like a movie title than a second wave of a global pandemic, but the message is still the same. If you have found yourself in a similar situation to me, try to work through those challenges. Evaluate your skill set, workout what is transferable and apply them to new opportunities. It might be a bit scary, but believe me, employers want to have good people on their teams, and you will have a wealth of knowledge that they will want to tap into.
It is without question, this year has been very strange, and no-one can predict how things will work out, but keep plugging away, there is hope and you can do more than you may realise!