In 2020, there’s no longer a line between professional and personal. That line has been erased by collective national trauma and the systemic unraveling of the idea that we can separate our pain, suffering, unlearning, and healing, from the majority of waking hours we spend at work. Thanks to Dr. Brene Brown, vulnerability is now courage, and a leadership quality. Empathy and authenticity are also top leadership qualities. Contrast this to the 1960s toxic workplace reality so well-depicted by Mad Men. The workplace has undergone tremendous change in the last 70 years, accelerated over the course of this year in particular. Taboo topics that were never supposed to be in the workplace – politics, gender, race – are now critical conversations for building a culture of belonging. We now choose to do business with those with shared values; to buy from brands that reflect our values, ethos.
Our new remote reality comes with its fair share of blurring of personal & professional lines. Our families crash our zoom meetings. We take the time to check-in on each other’s well-being. We strive to find ways to connect meaningfully virtually, especially as we’re physically so far apart.
A new workplace is emerging. A place where we can really belong. Where we can be truly ourselves. Where we help others thrive. Where we understand that to be good at work, your heart needs to be good, your kids need to be good, you need to be understood, heard, seen as human. Where we learn, grow, elevate each other.
A redefining of the “professional network” is coming. Something less transactional than Linkedin, something that is so much more human and inclusive of our whole selves. Something more enduring than internal company networks, because we don’t work at one place for 20 years anymore – our relationships, so thoughtfully nurtured while at a job, must travel with us.
A redefining of what the “professional relationship”, what “networking” means. Because hiring, collaboration, work, opportunities – move at the speed of trust. And trust is built faster when we show up as our full selves.