What week of social distancing is it? Week 7? 8? 25? When quarantine first began, it was frightening. Some people will not return to work for awhile. Others were asked to come back a couple of weeks ago. And then there are others that unfortunately lost their positions. As the weeks have gone on, anxiety has increased and staying motivated to work has become challenging for us all. I want to share with you my thoughts on how we can all maintain our personal morale in moments of adversity.


Give Yourself Grace

First and foremost, recognize that this is an unprecedented time for everyone. No one in the world has ever faced the massively-scaled COVID-19 before. We are all doing the best that we can with what we have, and that may look differently from your work prior to the pandemic. With added layers of uncertainty and anxiety, it is normal and okay that concentration and motivation are becoming harder and harder to come by while trying to work as usual. Give yourself grace. Recognize that you, along with your colleagues, are doing the best you can.


Do What You Can

Lastly, do what you can. There may be projects and tasks at work that have been put on hold for the time being. Colleagues may be facing furloughs or layoffs that have logistically or mentally affected your productivity. During this time, do not expect the same past results from these new challenges. If your company uses a goal tracking system, consider having a conversation with your supervisor to adjust those metrics.


Forget Work

At least for a while. Because we are unable to check in with our colleagues each day during coffee breaks and lunch time, conversations with work friends seem to be all work and no play. Plan a 30-minute virtual coffee break, or even a post-work happy hour with colleagues to catch up in an informal setting. Ask about one another’s families, find out what movie you should be watching next, talk about everyone’s favorite quarantine recipes. Just relax, and remember, no work topics.


Remember the Bigger Picture

Lastly, remember the bigger picture. Yes, I am a business coach, but I’m also a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. And as passionate as I am about my career, my family and friends are my absolute world. I want to encourage you to remember those individuals in your life. Remember that while business may be tough right now, you have people in your life, related or not, who love and care for you beyond how successful you may be at work.




About Debi

Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.


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You’ve accomplished the hardest step of the job application process: landing an interview. According to Forbes, only 20% of job applicants receive an offer to interview after they have applied.  The interview is the biggest opportunity a candidate has to stand out and show that they are the best choice for the position.

Here are some simple tips to ensure you are set up for a successful interview with any organization:


Research, Research, Research

When walking into an interview, you should be familiar with what the organization does, its largest competitors, prominent individuals in the company, and the basic responsibilities of the position. While these data points may seem obvious, it’s shocking how many candidates are rejected simply because they didn’t browse the company website or social media to get a base overview.


Dress to Impress

You only get to make a first impression once. When interviewing, your attire should always err on the formal side, but take a moment to check out the company’s social media to determine dress code and culture. Then, dress one level above the standard. If employees dress business casual day-to-day, you should be decked out in full formal business wear. If employees tend to show up in jeans and a t-shirt, polished business casual is appropriate.


Arrive Prepared

It is nearly impossible to over pack for an interview. At minimum, you should arrive with a copy of all materials that you submitted to the company during the application process, including your resume, cover letter, reference letters, and examples of your work if applicable. Bring a pen and notepad as well to keep track of questions, notes, company and contact information, or if nothing else, to simply show the interviewer that you thought ahead.


Slow and Steady

Let’s face it, interviews are one of life’s most anxiety-inducing events. The desire to impress and earn a position at your dream company can often lead individuals to rush through interview answers without taking pause to really think through what they are saying. You may have prepared these answers ahead of time, but this is the first time that the interviewer is hearing them. Take a deep breath and slow down to give the interviewer the chance to hear and take in your responses. Remember, they would not spend the time or resources interviewing you if they did not see you as a potential fit for the organization. Breathe, smile, and communicate with confidence.


Ask Questions

One of the worst mistakes a job candidate can make when asked, “Do you have any questions?” is saying no. Asking questions demonstrates that you did your research, paid attention during the conversation, and want to know more about the company and position. Prior to the interview, prepare a list of intelligent yet practical questions to ask the interviewer. These questions do not have to be in-depth inquiries. A simple, “What is the day-to-day culture of the company like?”, or “You mentioned that the previous individual in this role had been working on X project, could you share a bit more about that?” shows that you are interested and care.


Follow Up

As soon as you exit your interview, you should be thinking through what to write in your follow up message to the interviewer. While a thank you note may seem old-fashion, 57% of resume rejections are from a lack of follow up from the candidate. The message can be handwritten or digital, but must be personalized and show appreciation for the interviewer’s time.


There are times, however, that you can be perfectly prepared, excellently dressed, confidently inquisitive, and still will not receive an offer. Do not be discouraged, and instead take your experience as a learning opportunity and practice for the next interview invitation. If appropriate, contact the interviewer to ask for some pointers. Stay sharp, stay positive, and stay collected. The right opportunity will be heading your way in no time.