Apra-IL recognizes and acknowledges the heaviness and anxiety that many are experiencing due to the pandemic, and is starting this new series entitled, The Prospect Development Professional’s Haven, as a calming and reflective safe space. We are providing a space for you to anonymously share questions and reflections during these difficult times, pertaining to your work and role because many can relate. In times like this, you have to know that you are never alone.
Disclaimer: The Apra-IL writer is not a licensed therapist or counselor, therefore, please seek professional guidance beyond this series.
Around mid-March 2020, life changed and so did the planned content for the Apra-Illinois blog.
Everyone has been forced to make a strong and conscious pivot due to what the world is experiencing. And many lessons have been learned along the way thanks to The Prospect Development Professional’s Haven.
Move away from juggling to acceptance, sometimes, juggling two extremes can put unwarranted pressure on someone to be in two mental spaces at once – when you drop one you feel sad for being more engaged in another. Accept that in your new normal, there are people who are still millionaires, you are still a researcher who has great work to do, and your world and community is hurting but it will regain itself slowly. You can do both in this time, and by accepting you are alleviating the pressure of caring about one more than the other.
Practice Transformative listening, this happens when you hear something, reflect, ask corresponding questions, build on the topic, participate in being fully present (mind, body, and soul), and acknowledge the truths (whether you agree with them or not).
In July 2020, Prospect Development Professional, Beth Inman, shared “Think about questions to ask your supervisor if you are furloughed. For example, how will the organization communicate with those who are furloughed? Will you have access to your files/emails/intranet (your org's HR site, for example)? If you're going to file for unemployment, it wouldn't hurt to research what you will need to apply in your state so you have an idea of what to prepare. In some cases, it can take weeks for the benefits to kick in, so filing sooner rather than later is a good idea. Now is also a good time to review your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile and make sure it's up to date. If you decide to start a job search, it's good to have these documents in their best shape. And, if you start applying for positions, reach out to your references to confirm they're still willing to be a reference and give them a heads up if you learn an organization is contacting your references. If you use your work email for Apra and other professional listservs, make sure you update it to your personal email to ensure you continue to get important information. And, finally, practice self-care and utilize the Apra community! Self-care looks different for everyone but it's so important!”
Normalize the betterment of mental health by talking about it, sharing stories of good and bad work experiences, seeking therapy, and ways to better oneself physically, mentally and emotionally.
As working from home has been prolonged for many, there are five ways to find moments of peace while working from home - take technology breaks; make sure you prioritize self-care; try new things and test out ideas; daydream and take time for reflection; and catch up with coworkers.
As many are doing the work to create a more inclusive donor base that is truly reflective of the world, it is important to remember that as you aspire, continuously do the internal work for the external work to flourish. In October 2020, Prospect Development Professional, Marissa Todd, shared “We know we have to do better, and I am reading, learning, and advocating for ways to create inclusivity in the workplace and our donor community.”
Creating this series and space for reflection, discussion, and storytelling during 2020 has been more than enriching, it has been an important and challenging outlet. I hope the Apra community continues to create opportunities that preserve professionals’ expression and experiences even in times of difficulty, for we all can learn and lean on one another.