Having worked in the software industry for over 20 years, I’ve experienced many different “phases" of my career—but the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has clearly been an unforgettable one. While lockdown has been unlike anything we’ve had to deal with before, for me, it has been the great equalizer I never knew I needed.
A new support network
In 2018, I made the decision to join ServiceNow. I wanted to work within an organization that shared my ambition to grow and make an impact. Yet, while I was on gardening leave, my husband became ill and passed away.
This was a very hard time for me and my children. It was vital that we found time together to grieve and adapt to our unexpected situation, but I also had to find a way to balance this with my career. Yet at work, I hadn’t even experienced ‘day one’ yet.
I shouldn’t have worried. ServiceNow was incredibly supportive and the values of the company shone through even as a very new employee. The company’s ethos of making work, work better for people resonated with me from the start and I was given everything I needed to make it work for me and my family.
Within a year, I was promoted to senior sales director, overseeing four teams. I worked hard for this, but the culture of ServiceNow was key to my career progression.
The lockdown revelation
While working from home due to the enforced lockdown in the UK brought yet another big and immediate change, for me it was a revelation.
I realized that I’d been in an almost robotic routine of sorting my kids out and going to work. I hadn’t had a moment to myself for years.
Lockdown has forced everyone to mix their lives, to combine their working priorities and challenges with those of their home lives. The day is no longer set in its usual routine but collides with family routines and home responsibilities.
For me, it’s levelled the playing field. The anxiety I’ve felt about being the one who stands out—the one who has to leave early, who can’t stay for drinks, who can’t join in—has gone.
Suddenly, everyone is worrying about the same things—like how to manage that tricky meeting from home or take a call while navigating the needs of a teenager.
Now, I’m very conscious that I don’t want this to change. I don’t want to lose this new-found feeling.
The next phase
I’ve chosen to embrace the many positives that have emerged from the COVID-19 crisis, just as I have had to in my own life before.
I have a job that challenges and fulfils me. My kids are doing well, and I have a supportive employer and position which allows me to create a balance between my work and my family.
Whatever happens next, I am determined not to allow what I have learned and experienced fizzle away. I really believe we must challenge the status quo on how we work and take the opportunity to make lasting, positive changes.
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