Every now and then, something so far out of left field comes into your space and thrusts you into personal growth. A series of moments like these started coming my way back in May of 2019 when I found out I was pregnant. This would be my first—a perfect baby boy. In June, I faced an unexpected lay-off. I job searched for 3 months, my belly growing everyday. In September, I accepted a contract position at a software company. In December, my son was born—three weeks early. And in March, I ended my maternity leave and started working full time here at MJ ❤. Nothing about this retelling of events should seem that out of the ordinary. Granted, a lay-off smack dab in the middle of your pregnancy is an inconvenience—but hindsight being 20/20, the challenges were just beginning to surface.
It was a Sunday afternoon when my manager sent me a text asking about my ability to work from home. I was thrilled! I love working from home—well, I did before I had a baby that I wanted to spend every waking moment with. Anyway, I responded with urgency that it could be done. She informed me that there was a possibility our agency would need to make a fast transition.
Five days into joining my new team, the National Government announced that the entire country is hereby advised to distance themselves socially to groups no larger than 10—enter the gravity of the latest pandemic, known officially as Covid-19.
this can be about more than survival
What women face when returning to the workplace is a story many can tell, but few can truly understand. I remember asking every working mama I knew, "how do you do this?". "You just figure it out" they'd say. So, when reality set in that my back-to-work journey would be marked by how I weathered this storm, I wanted to make sure I gave it my all; bat-out-of-hell virus or not.
I quickly learned that my team still meant business. I also learned that they were willing to rally to accommodate my unique responsibilities. It didn't take us long to realize that in order to come out on top of this situation, we needed to get out in front of it. We needed to act like owners, each and every one of us. As businesses, we need to own our service, lift up our industry, and stay connected along the way. The question that Covid-19 brought up for me—is it better to isolate or, find new ways to stick together? I'm choosing the latter.
Now more than ever, our businesses are facing the same core task—keep moving forward. The temptation to slow down, drop back or flat out quit is hunting us all down. What will we do? As I look at my son sleeping in my lap, the thoughts that continue to return are increasingly positive. This too shall pass. Big and scary doesn't mean unstoppable.
a united front
The success of one person is never theirs alone to claim. The success of a team can't be attributed to just one, either. Let's embrace the challenge that Covid-19 has brought to our front door with fresh perspective, wisdom and hope.
To get a boulder up a hill, you need the man (and woman) power of your village. Your tribe. Your people. Your team. If I've learned anything in this first week of social distancing, and my first week back to work, it's that we're all in this together—working from laptops with babies on our hips and all.