When the paradigm explodes

Many people are having a moment of reckoning right now. In the uncomfortably bright light of pandemic life, we see more clearly – what has and has not been working at work.

About a year ago I wrote a series called “what is work” and the third installment was about how your work is changing you. Because anything you do for one third of your waking life is changing you.

YOU are a born adapter

You get a new set of circumstances, and you process them.

You figure out how to make it work. You’re doing it now.

Even if you’ve cried a bunch, and many have, just look at you. Reading and everything!

I hear about this adaptation to work from clients all the time. They hate the politics, but they navigate them. They align with the culture, to varying degrees. They listen closely and adopt the language (oh, the language).

We adapt and we settle into a form of autopilot.

Autopilot is the lifestyle equivalent of stretchy pants

Which is a timely metaphor, because many of you reading this are probably at home, wearing your stretchy pants (self-isolation being a thing at the time of writing).

At work, autopilot is comfortable like stretchy pants. It requires zero thought, it’s familiar and it feels good.

Losing access to autopilot means we’re having to drive this thing all by ourselves – AKA making a lot more decisions. In place of our regular routine, all decisions are open for consideration. And that can be exhausting.

However. It’s also an opportunity to make new pants – ones that are just as comfortable, but that honour and express who we are now, instead of who we were when we first adapted to our current circumstances at work – whether that was 2, 5 or 15 years ago.

So what happens after the explosion?

The paradigm exploded, you guys. We have no idea what happens next.

Did you know though, that after a volcano erupts, and everything finally settles, the soil around it becomes the most fertile soil?

That sounds promising.

So, the only question that really matters after the paradigm explodes is very simple:

What do you want to grow now?

In the uncomfortably bright light of pandemic life, we see more clearly – what has and has not been working at work.

This is an ending and a beginning.

An opportunity for new comfy pants. Try. them. on.


PS! Are you looking to rise through change at work? I created a free 3 part audio guide to share simple strategies and tools to weather chaos and create a more fulfilling future state. Get access here.

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