In this week’s Coronavirus Chronicles guest blog, Nicola Roodt, former business development manager at Pure Communications Group, gives us an honest account of her thoughts and emotions about being in-between two jobs, especially when there is so much uncertainty…
I am sure a few of you are questioning my timing to move agencies during such an uncertain time. However, this process mentally started for me pre Covid-19 in 2019, when I was thinking about my future. I secured a new exciting role at the start of the year and handed in my notice in February before Covid-19 hit the UK. Today, right now, my new job role is still set to go ahead!
From the outset it is a vulnerable place to be, however, stepping back and looking at the situation as a whole, it is not just me in this position feeling this, nor is it just the events and hospitality industry. I’m also incredibly lucky that my new employer is still willing to take me on in these uncertain times. Many people in different sectors are being affected around whole world losing jobs or having roles retracted.
I am trying not to feel anxious, or worry about the things I cannot change, instead I’m focusing on being grateful for the experiences I’ve had and hopeful for the opportunities still to come. My sister-in-law is on the front line treating Covid-19 patients and helping to save lives, so any uncertainty I am feeling does not compare to the scary and courageous job she, along with all other frontline workers are doing.
Mentally I was prepped for a new, fresh start so I was already going through the handover, saying goodbye to my clients and transitioning into my new role as account director at Green and Pleasant, where I am due to start at the end of April.
It has been an exhausting few months for me, not only working for an event agency and continuing to grow my presence in the events industry, but also planning my wedding, looking for a new job, along with my hectic social life… so I am using this time between jobs to recharge, relax, recover and have some “me” time. My new role, is also a career progression for me. So, I’m using this time to also think out of the box, put my creative brain in gear and work through different plans for different scenarios and challenges that could arise in the coming days, weeks and months. I’m focusing on being as successful as I can.
I am lucky to have a feeling of security and comfort at this time. This definitely stems from the calming influence from my Managing Director to be, Frances Green. At this time, Frances has given me a sense of composure and security due to having proactive open, honest weekly communications and it’s comforting to know where I stand at all times and building trust at this early stage, that is very important to me.
Things could change tomorrow, or even in the next hour, but so could anyone’s position, not only in our events industry but in any sector. I also recognise that even if I had stayed at my previous company, my job may not have been safe. We do not know what state the industry will be in a few months, so for now all I can do is hope, pray, and thank my lucky stars my new job currently is set to go ahead. I truly hope my journey at Green and Pleasant and working with Frances and her incredible team and clients will prevail.
For me personally, this industry can be exhausting mentally and physically, so I am enjoying this time to relax, exercise and have some me time. My London life, as it is for many in the industry, is a constant go go go! Being the extrovert I am, I need to be around people. I love connecting with people and need to be in the know! Being in lockdown is a new experience, I am learning my sense of purpose and I know it will help me come out stronger and more mentally focused to smash my new role!
If, for some reason the industry doesn’t move forward in the way we need it to in order to get back to normal, I also know I can utilise the skills, knowledge and experience I have gained over the years to do something else, but I remain positive that it will not come to that.
The supportive messages I’ve received from my previous team, clients and suppliers has been very overwhelming, and has also kept me going. I am so grateful to have so many fabulous people around me and this is why I love our industry and miss it terribly, it is all about people. I cannot wait until we are out on the other side!
Some tips that are keeping me sane in lockdown:
- Helping the elderly family members by doing their shopping – feels like I am on an episode of supermarket sweep!
- Started to write a journal – my achievements to help boost positivity and also daily gratitude
- Jason Vale’s 5-Day Juice Cleanse, helps to reduce sugar and caffeine addictions, lose a couple of pounds, and it helps to retain your brain and think about what you are feeding your body. It is the best sensation and ‘juice high’ after completing this!
- Download LesMills on Demand, they have a range of exercises and I feel like I’m in a gym work out class (I really don’t like working out on my own)
- Colouring in! I have become obsessed with colouring, I have set myself a task to complete one page for each day that we have been in isolation. I choose to do this at night when my sugar cravings tend to creep in!