The world has changed pretty drastically for most of us since March 2020. The way we live, the way we work, and the way we operate on a day-to-day basis. Part of that change for many of us has been switching to a virtual learning or working environment in some capacity. For some of us, it’s all we know now. For others, it’s been a hybrid opportunity, and for others, it’s been on and off again in some capacity.
Professional development has also moved to a virtual world in many cases. And that’s not been easy. We know…the last thing you want to do on a lunch break or after work is to get on another virtual meeting with eyes glued to a screen. As we’ve adjusted to our new reality, we must also adjust to how we advance ourselves in our careers or take steps to accomplish and build new opportunities through community, networking and virtual environments.
Go into a training or development course with a sense of what you want to get out of it. If you are texting, writing work emails, and only half listening or paying attention, then expect to only get half of what you want out of it. But maybe reset by going for a walk away from your desk/computer beforehand, go in with a positive attitude, and perhaps a little jolt as you anticipate interaction with new folks, and learn new things outside of your day-to-day world.
What to expect in a virtual world? Interruptions — they are going to happen. It’s better to just go in with that mindset than to be surprised. Almost all of us have experienced it ourselves or seen it happen to others at this point. The dog barking when FedEx drops off a package and rings the doorbell, a family member yelling not realizing you are in a training or meeting, or the Wi-Fi goes down mid presentation and kicks you offline. Annoying? Yes. Unprofessional? No. We are human beings…these things happen! Roll with it.
Have to give a presentation virtually and feeling a bit nervous? It can seem daunting, but remember that nerves happen. It’s what makes you prepared and ready. Given you can’t shake hands or maintain eye contact like you would in person – it’s important to be engaging through a virtual setting. Have a fun ice breaker planned, utilize the chat option to engage everyone on the call, ask folks if they have any questions while presenting, make sure everyone can see your presentation and can hear you clearly, take breaks, talk about the latest Netflix series buzz and ask for any good recommendations. These are all ways to calm any nerves, boost the energy and gain success presenting virtually all while taking pressure off yourself in the process.
The reality is…THIS is the new reality. Will we have trainings, meetings and other things in person again? Of course. But it’s pretty unlikely we will go back to the way it was pre-pandemic. Why? Because the naysayers and doubters who thought you couldn’t succeed working or doing training virtually took a pretty hard dose of reality when we didn’t have a choice. And it’s here to stay. There’s a lot of good that comes from a virtual learning environment – such as flexibility in your schedule, no commute time in the car or via public transportation and best of all, meeting people you may have never otherwise met. So, embrace the virtual opportunities we have ahead. Tinker with it and find out what type of learning, engagement and course or workshop opportunities will allow you to thrive in whatever your next endeavor might be!
CEO and Founder
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