How to emerge stronger from crisis

Frances Hedges
·3-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Rupal Patel, Rita Clifton, Maryam Meddin and Eva Lindholm
Photo credit: Courtesy of Rupal Patel, Rita Clifton, Maryam Meddin and Eva Lindholm

From Harper's BAZAAR

In the third of our Bazaar At Work Week events, held in association with UBS and Porsche, four expert panellists – Rita Clifton, Eva Lindholm, Maryam Meddin and Rupal Patel – discussed the complexities of working life in a society transformed by the pandemic. Here, they offer advice on how to bounce back stronger from the professional challenges many of us are confronting in a rocky economic landscape…

Photo credit: Rise Media
Photo credit: Rise Media

Step out of your comfort zone

Rupal Patel, former CIA analyst and the founder of Entreprenora

“If Covid has taught us one thing, it’s the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. In this climate, you can only plan your life or your business in four- or six-week increments, which is really the way most entrepreneurs survive, because you never know the curveballs your investors, suppliers or the economy will throw your way. Being comfortable with chaos isn’t natural to us, but one of the things you can do to stoke that within you is to try doing something a little bit scary once a year, whether that’s signing up to give a talk or making a speech at a birthday party – anything that terrifies you. Another thing that can help build your resilience in uncertain times is to immerse yourself in the worst-case scenario, playing it out to the very end and then thinking, can I handle that and what can I do to mitigate the odds? So many of us get stuck in this cycle of fear and anxiety, and we never stop to think what it is we’re actually afraid of. Whenever I do this exercise with people, they realise that the worst-case scenario isn’t so bad, and perhaps they can do something bold or a little bit different.”

Learn to love your imposter

Rita Clifton, author, former vice chairman and strategy director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and former CEO and chairman at Interbrand

“You know that little voice tapping on your shoulder telling you that you can’t do something or should step aside for someone who really knows what they’re doing? We can all have that feeling, but that’s a normal human thing – 70 per cent of people say they experience imposter syndrome. As women, we tend to have it more than men because we can be more self-critical, and because society contra-indicates us being successful. But there are so many practical things you can do to build your confidence: recognise that imposter, practise your presentation skills, watch yourself back on video… Stay curious about what’s happening in the world, and keep setting yourself stretch-zone targets.”

Become fluent in the language of business

Eva Lindholm, head of wealth management, UK and Jersey, at UBS

“The more confident you are in your own financial affairs and planning, the less stress you will feel. Younger women are increasingly deferring long-term financial decisions to their partners – the pensions, the big capital investments – but taking control will help you gain confidence if you’re thinking about starting a business. You’ll realise that much of it is just vocabulary: there’s no magic, it’s just like learning a foreign language. My number one tip is, don’t quit. You can’t win the game if you quit the game.”

Take care of yourself

Maryam Meddin, founder of the Soke

“Being able to let go a bit is important. Women can do themselves a massive favour by allowing their partners to take on more responsibility – from a mental-health perspective, that’s important. But above all, find meaning in what you’re doing. If you’re getting out of bed every morning motivated only by financial reward, life won’t be a lot of fun and you’ll find you’re forever chasing something that’s never going to be enough – so make sure you enjoy the journey.”

Buy a ticket to watch the full panel discussion, available on-demand until 31 December, here.

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