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Perspective: The 'new normal' isn't new forever

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We hear a lot about “the great resignation” and scary statistics about the number of people planning to quit their jobs. Forty-one percent of the population is one estimate I’ve heard. Look around your office, that means that about half the folks currently there are wishing they were somewhere else –- and that might include you!

We were warned to prepare for the “new normal,” and while many were able to craft their work schedules to allow some working-from-home time; swap out “business casual” wardrobes for more “casual” and less “business” even in the office, and gain a greater sense of control for how and where they do their job, many now realize that we are still having to “do that job.”

That’s the problem with anything that we build up to be “new and improved.” Nothing stays “new” forever. The pandemic shook up the world as we knew it, and now that the dust is beginning to settle, we may be feeling more lackluster about the grinding routines of our lives as we reflect on the heightened emotions we experienced back when #PandemicLife was still #Fresh.

We still are dealing with spreadsheets and budgets; databases and missing data; documents and revisions; and tracking down signatures by deadlines to keep the cogs in the machine turning.

The pandemic felt akin to suspended animation and as the world started turning again, it’s as if we moved from one liminal space into another. But bear in mind that “creating the future you want” may be as simple as “crafting the now” to better suit your needs. The grass isn’t always greener and the thrill of #NewJob doesn’t last forever.

I’m Suzanne Degges-White and that’s my perspective.

Chair and Professor - NIU counseling and higher education