Many of the women at Energy Resourcing have faced the immense challenge of balancing their home and work lives since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Life got turned upside down, and we all adapted to our new normal as best we could.
For International Women’s Day 2021, as continue to focus on empowering women, four women of Energy Resourcing share their stories of how they made it work for them and their families and the unexpected benefits and lessons they discovered along the way.
Hyuna You, Senior Operational Administrator, Geoje, South Korea
In January, there was news about the Corona virus, but it’s just the news. Then large confirmed cases hit South Korea, and many people were scared. It felt like chaos. My husband had to stop working for a while, and I started working from home. We didn’t realise this would change our lives in such a big way, even up to today.
Thankfully, my family and friends have stayed safe and healthy, but it took an emotional toll on us. We were a bit depressed in the beginning when my husband’s business had to take a break from operations for about 3 months. Everything in the future felt cloudy as we couldn’t see what would happen the next day, week or even month.
We never realised how much the pandemic impact us. Not only physically and financially, but emotionally too. Looking back and knowing what I know now, we could have taken it lighter.
To not stay miserable and try to cheer ourselves up, we started hiking all the mountains in our region with our dogs away from crowds. I found myself beginning to look forward to the weekends. When you start climbing at first, it’s challenging. Once you get to the top, you feel successful and refreshed. You forget everything hard during the hikes.
On the way down, we always talk about fun memories and how great it was. You leave the hard things behind, and in the end, all you remember is the accomplishment and great talks.
The biggest lesson for me has been learning to realise that what’s happened has happened. When you think of things as they are, you don’t have to take them too personally. They will pass eventually. What’s important is how you deal with them. I try to look on the bright side now, even when it is hard.
Now my husband is back to work, and I am still working from home. We try to balance our work and relaxation time in our new normal – hiking on weekends and focusing on work during weekdays. Health and family are the top priority in our lives. Never make light of those you love and those that love you.
I thank everyone on the team who made it possible for me to work from home. Without their help, working from home wouldn’t have been a success for me.
Janet Mallory, Business Development Lead, Calgary, Canada
I started with Energy Resourcing the week Canada went into lockdown. That meant I had 4 days in the office before switching to working from home. On top of that, schools were closing, and we were given less than 12 hours to prepare our 4 children.
The support I received from my team was incredible. They made transitioning into my new normal in my home office seamless. Adapting to new technology and relying on resources that weren’t on-site was challenging at the start, but we made it work.
Homeschooling 4 kids (Grade 1, Grade 5 twins & Grade 7) while working from home was by far the most challenging thing about COVID-19. We had teachers providing learning plans for each of our kids, and we had to adapt to each one differently. It was difficult enough to move our work environments virtual but we also had to help our kids do the same thing with technology they’d never used before.
Homeschooling our kids allowed us to understand each of our child’s abilities first hand. We got to learn more about their learning styles, weaknesses, interests and motivators. I am so proud of my husband for becoming the main driver for our kid’s home school experience. He was stern but funny, patient, and engaged at all times, which reminded me of how fortunate I am to have chosen him as my partner.
Looking back, I really don’t know how we pulled it off. I am astounded by the resiliency and strength of our 4 kids who have come through this last year with healthy minds, bodies and attitudes. The silver lining is how we came together as a family with full confidence and belief in each other. We supported each other with love, strength, understanding, empathy and grace.
I work with organisations to build workforce strategies that help find critical talent. And this work shift has made me passionate about being part of the digital transformation that has accelerated due to the pandemic. I cannot wait to help guide talented people into emerging industries by transitioning their existing skills and experience.
I am so proud to represent this business and fortunate to work with the most incredible team.
Nancy Yang, Senior Accounting Associate, Houston, USA
Working from home has had its obvious challenges. While trying to coordinate online schooling for my children at busy times during the workday, it can be quite frustrating. However, we have found a way to work through it and our team has done a great job of staying connected and aligned virtually.
As a mother, the uncertainty about the effects of the virus has been something that I worry about daily. When I was younger and lived in Taiwan, I witnessed the SARS epidemic, and it was tragic. The COVID-19 crisis is the first significant pandemic that the USA has experienced in a century. I see how Taiwan has proactively handled COVID-19 due to their recent experience with SARS. It is hard to watch a county having to navigate the severity of a pandemic for the first time. There will be so many lessons learned as we navigate our new normal.
The positive of this pandemic is that we live in an era in which technology allows us to work remotely. Our collaboration software at Energy Resourcing has allowed us to be just as efficient. I often commuted hours to and from the office, and using my time more proactively than commuting has been fantastic.
I read that Betty White commented that the pandemic is Mother Nature’s way of reminding humanity to slow down and enjoy our lives. Many of my pre-pandemic days’ involved full itineraries of travelling to and from the office, followed by ushering my children to different activities in the evening. Being quarantined has helped my family live a simpler lifestyle, and we have more quality time to share together.
The freedom of getting together with family, socialising with friends, and participating in group events was something I never thought would take extra efforts to happen. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health in our culture. I’ve tried to take time to focus on the positive each day. It is so essential for us all to maintain our mental health in challenging times.
I had to cancel multiple trips last year. I enjoy travel very much as I like learning about new cultures. When life goes back to normal, I look forward to planning trips to cities in countries that I haven’t previously visited.
Uma Maregouni, Recruitment Specialist, Perth, Australia
During the lockdown, I have worked from home for over four months and am still working from home 2 days a week. I am used to doing something similar in my previous workplaces. However, doing all 5 days with a young family was definitely challenging. But at the same time interesting and fun.
I cannot say that this change to a new normal was the hardest thing I have experienced, as I come from a cultural background where women are taught to play a majority of roles in the household. I feel like I could have been better mentally prepared for the added responsibility that came my way.
Having to do multiple roles simultaneously of a mother, caretaker, educator and recruiter was challenging, and at the same time, fun too. Thankfully it didn’t make me too stressed or worried.
On the bright side I work with the best work colleagues who were supporting each other during the pandemic. In life, some people and situations either make you or break you. I am lucky to have that “make you” support in the form of my colleagues.
I had my ups and downs. For me, there was a great realisation that my family will always support me no matter what. They have my best interest at heart. I also realised that your best motivation and inspiration resource is you. In the long run, your self-motivation can become your best friend.
Once we return to something of a normal life, I will do my best to no longer take simple things in life for granted and appreciate what we do have.