Wrapping up Back2Businessship 2020: Reflections and “Keeping On, Keeping On”
Today marked the final official gathering of the Back2Businessship 2020 programme. The session covered industry updates, reflections on our B2B journey and “keeping on, keeping on” as we continue our journey back into the workplace. Over 75% of the participants attended the virtual session, a sign of how much we have valued the sharing of expertise and creation of a community by the immensely generous Amanda Fone and Liz Nottingham. Many thanks to them both for everything they have done.
Amanda’s industry update showed that there has been some positive industry change, despite the upheaval brought about by Covid-19. Working from home is now mainstream and recognised as not affecting productivity, and there is greater focus on employee mental health. New roles, often in senior positions, are coming onto the market, however it remains an immensely challenging market for job seekers. There is also more work to be done on shifting industry openness to roles that are less than 5 days per week.
Several themes emerged in our reflections on our individual B2B journey. Many were energised and hopeful that we would find the roles that would deliver on the “reawakened” professional versions of ourselves. Many felt optimistic that the shifts in organisational employment models would now enable returners to contribute their valuable skills and deep experience to UK plc productivity. There was collective joy for those that had already found roles/ contract work and taken opportunities to upskill. We recognised the importance of nurturing our goals, finding balance with parental responsibilities and maintaining the optimistic mojo that we started our B2B journey with.
Liz’s “keeping on, keeping on” activity encouraged us to check in on how we were feeling and the self-talk we were using. She reminded us of the importance of self-compassion and being kind to ourselves. We examined our domains of resilience – what was currently happening, what was missing, and the small steps we could take to improve them. It was a really useful exercise which can be regularly used as we continue this journey.
I left this final session with a renewed sense of optimism and focus. One participant shared a quote from Babe Ruth of “you just can’t beat the person who never gives up”. I’ve no doubt that this cohort won’t be giving up anytime soon, thanks to the support and expertise from Amanda, Liz and the B2B community. Our time will surely come to return to work, on our terms and in line with our values.