“In the past year, what we’ve gone through is a tsunami. Everything changed and it changed all of us. Taking stock is essential,” explained Executive Coach Cloé Caron during the web conference Du doute au courage : comment gérer sa carrière en ces temps incertains.
It’s a fact that is starting to be quite well documented: the pandemic has worn down women’s ambition. Despite all their good intentions and resilience, many have seen their aspirations wither away. A survey of some 600 women from the broad community of The A Effect has allowed us to capture their current frame of mind. Through data analysis using AI by our partner Makila, we learned that 41% of women say they are less ambitious now than before the health crisis, and that one out of two women are reassessing their professional goals. Our survey results corroborate other international studies, including those by Deloitte and McKinsey, that point to the pandemic’s impact on women’s careers. In McKinsey, it was reported that one in four women was considering slowing down on the career front, or even leaving the job market!
Are you one of these women?
To help you reconnect with your ambition and shift from crisis management to self-management, here’s an activity proposed by the Ambition Challenge’s coach Cloé Caron. Through a series of questions, Cloé helps you restate and redefine your ambition by taking a step back from the events of the past year. Because taking stock of what you’ve learned during or after an ordeal can be the catalyst that propels you toward previously unimaginable successes!
3 Questions to Refocus on Your Ambition
Don’t hesitate to slip away with your journal and pen, to jot down your thoughts. It’ll be 20 minutes well spent!
1. Who am I after a year of pandemic?
This situation isn’t easy for anyone, so you might feel inclined to keep quiet about the toll that this year of pandemic has taken on you. However, in the space of a few days, and for much longer than we imagined, everything had to adapt: how we looked after our children, our parents, our careers… And it’s been anything but trivial!
This is why coach Cloé Caron suggests that you ask yourself honestly: How do I feel? How has this year changed me? Who am I after a year of pandemic?
According to the coach, taking stock of what you’re currently going through will help you see what is going well or not so well, and understand what is easy and what is less so. These realizations will lead you naturally to the second big question.
2. What have I learned?
This step helps you uncover what you have gained – yes, gained! – during the pandemic. What strengths have you brought forward to navigate through all this uncertainty? What skills have you acquired? For instance, have you become more resilient or able to express yourself differently?
To realize how much you’ve learned in these circumstances, it’s important to make a generous list of these new strengths. There could be 10 of them, or even 20. “This will let you explore these profound changes and gains that will have a real impact on the future.”
3. What do I want to put my energy into?
What matters to you? What are you passionate about? Taking your strengths and values into consideration, what do you want to expend energy on, for personal growth and professional contribution?
This valuable activity takes a forgiving look at the current situation, before projecting you into the future. It will also help you decide where to put your energy! As Sophie Brochu said so well during the web conference, “the time management trap is the one to avoid falling into most of all. […] We have to decide into which aspects of our work we want to put our energy!”