Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The “2020” is finally coming to an end, and almost for the last nine months (or more), we have been living with the new normals of the Covid-19 pandemic. These times for all of us, as well as for our families and friends, were highly stressful, challenging, fearsome, and unpredictable.
Indisputably, the world has certainly changed because of Covid-19, but how much have we as people changed? Well, pretty much everything we do is different versus one year now. Billions of people lived under lockdown for several weeks, couldn’t travel, unable to go to work, unable to attend school, and unable to meet one another even in public places. The question is how the lessons learned from these experiences will influence the larger picture moving forward.
I would like to share some of my lessons learned and how I deal with these “new normal” conditions personally and professionally. Hopefully, I would offer some insights into how I kept my physical and mental balance upon this condition, which altered the lives beyond recognition.
Living in a pandemic world, without a doubt, was disruptive, tragic, and at times overwhelming to even the most grounded of individuals. That said, this period gave me sufficient opportunity to gain mindfulness and perspective on what positives can develop when the world is given a mandatory timeout or reset.
If there has ever been some doubt about priorities before the deadly pandemic, I think they should be pretty obvious now.
The family, loved ones, friends, and health are all that matter in this life . Regardless of what else is happening globally, almost everything else is bearable if this circle is intact.
Similarly, this pandemic showed the importance of recognizing the real purpose as an individual. It’s apparent that if you’re not excited about what you are doing with your career or the individuals you work with, then you should definitely fix the issue and move on. For example, I can’t imagine myself doing something different from working on new business development projects, looking for best options, screening all alternative sources for the targets, etc… So we need to be passionate about our careers at a company we believe in and surround ourselves with people we respect. Thus, I would like to thank my company; Sandoz, and my team for their direct and indirect supports. Although this was an unexpected event and caught all of us unprepared, instantaneously integrated activities and virtual resources and the implications of the ‘choice with responsibility’ concept helped me preserve my sanity and build a strong cultural bond with my team and others, as a newbie. Overall, working in an Inspired, Curious, and Unbossed Organization helped me improve myself, make me stronger and better function.
Today, I better recognized that we should acknowledge our privileged positions and be more kind and grateful for everyday human heroes.
Many people work so hard every day to make our lives more pleasant, manageable, safe, and comfortable. These front-line soldiers include delivery people, healthcare providers, waiters, waitresses, busboys, teachers, police and firefighters, the people sitting at the checkout counters in supermarkets, the delivery personnel, transportation workers, and the list goes on and on. The kindness needs to be supplemented with fairness in sharing the wealth. The magnitude doesn’t matter, but the intent and result can restoring the belief and appreciation in humanity.
It is also essential to have the courage and self-confidence to speak up, furthermore be ready to offer our unconditional support. Increased resilience is crucial; even those with the best physical resilience and strongest mental toughness can get drained after a prolonged stress period. So, being aware of others in need of a break and intervening to help can make all the difference in the world.
The Covid-19 has changed not only how we spend the time but with whom we spend it. I am not taking things for granted anymore. I now try to be more appreciative even of the small things I have never acknowledged earlier; have a good cup of coffee with a friend on the corner shop, have a friendly chat in the cafeteria during lunch break, able to go to a gym, able to make summer vacation plans…
Working from home is an entirely new phenomenon for me, which I never want to pursue under normal conditions. Since no one is sure when and to what extent old routines will come back, it was critical to adopt the new requirements as quickly as possible.
Finally, it is not a secret that the real character always shines in crisis and stressful times. That’s when it is easy to look around and see the people who are helping to bring along and support those who are having a more challenging time and maybe truly in emotional, monetary, or physical distress.
The year-end is very soon. Some people will be fortunate to have a warm place and family members to celebrate the new year. Still, some would be finalizing a terrible year with mourning stories and unforgettable tragedies. So, it’s the time to be thankful, be kind, and pay it forward.
Seyda CASKURLU, BPharm, MBA – November 2020