Wow, have things been tough lately! Significant sections of our industry came to a screaming halt in a matter of days, if not hours. All of it out of our hands, as we wait for the day we are allowed to gather in large groups again. Sadly, at this point, we just have to sit back waiting to see what happens, though we all know it will come back one day. Our industry is about community between concerts, lectures, outdoor movies, festivals, and more. We bring communities together and when this virus has passed, communities will be stronger than ever. For now, we must wait out the storm, which is easier said than done for most of us since we all have concerns regarding paying bills, staying engaged and employed, being able to buy basic life needs, remaining mentally healthy, physically strong, and so much more.
Barring a global pandemic as individuals we encounter different issues and problems throughout our careers and life. How we choose to deal with this rollercoaster is extremely important. We must be resilient. We must be able to bounce back from the lowest of lows the industry has seen, but we must also be able to bounce back as individuals when faced with hard times.
When setbacks happen it’s ok to get upset. Be upset and work through the feelings you are having. It is healthy to work through your emotions and know many of us are feeling the same. Believe it or not, we are working through the seven stages of grief which are shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. Now I am not going to go in-depth with the concept, but if you are struggling, look into this model and see if you can work through the process because it is important to process your emotions so you can move forward.
To move forward we need to work through our options. Some more favorable than others, but for each individual, it will be different. Options could be finding a new career path, finally opening your new business as you have desired for the last 10 years, and/or learn new skills and expand your horizons. Anything to move forward. Get out of the rut that has occurred and pick yourself up because things will return to a new normal and we all will be a part of it in some way or another. This could look like a day of planning for your future, taking new classes, processing your long-term plans and taking steps to achieve them, reaching out to folks regarding new opportunities, and/or all of the above.
Most of us are between the phases of being upset and moving forward. We will likely stay this way until the government and society reset after this pandemic. Once we do it is very important to continue to process everything that is happening and to dive into the new.
Shut the door on the negative emotions and put everything into practice that you have done to be resilient and move forward. Start putting your new plans into place. Open a storefront, teach the next generation about our industry, work that show you’ve always wanted to, eat at your favorite restaurant, be within 6 feet of someone that’s not your family and so much more! (Ok maybe extended personal space is good) Take steps for yourself to gain back your momentum so you begin to reach your new goals. Before we know it, everything will feel right again. It is important to not get stuck in anger and grief. We all have setbacks and although right now it is a global setback, there is still your individual impact and how you react. That is what will set you apart from everyone else. So be resilient, by processing the emotions you are experiencing, plan, learn, and change for what is to come and dive in headfirst when this pandemic has passed.
Heather Holm: Based in Saint Paul, MN; Heather has held many positions in the sound, production, and events business. Most recently as a Production Manager serving the Twin Cities area. She holds a BA in Broadcasting and Digital Media Communication and an MS in Organizational Change Leadership. Prior to taking a position with a private production firm, Heather has over seven years of working in higher education dealing with event logistics and production technology and had also been freelancing in the field for several years.