Author headshot“Everyone is acting so weird!”

There’s a through-line from that sentiment in an article published in The Atlantic earlier this year to our Fall Careering magazine on “Recovery, Reflection, Resilience.”

As CERIC’s Content and Learning Advisory Committee convened in the spring to determine a theme for this issue, one member pointed to the article to reflect on the strangeness of the moment. We weren’t in lockdown any more, and normalcy was starting to creep back in. But for a lot of people, something still felt off.

Burnout and stress had led people to behave in ways they didn’t before. Workers were grappling with new feelings about their career plans and the role of work in their lives. Students were struggling to communicate and reintegrate. Managers encountered new leadership challenges, as the desire of staff to hold on to remote work clashed with return-to-work mandates.

“The ‘new normal’ is nothing that we thought it would be,” one committee member said. “The pre-pandemic lens is gone and what’s normal is yet to be discovered.”

“There is no quick recovery from this. That’s overwhelming for people,” another observed, noting that two years of crisis response had robbed individuals and organizations of crucial time to reflect.

Our Careering theme of “Recovery, Reflection, Resilience” aims to hold space for this complex reality. It recognizes that we’re recreating normal as we go – and it may not be what we had imagined.

So, we asked contributors to consider, how can the career development field navigate what’s happening now and prepare for what’s to come?

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom they shared in this issue:

  • We can’t cure burnout with self-care
  • Finding possibility within uncertainty is key to preparing for future challenges
  • We need to get uncomfortable to go beyond surface-level work on workplace racism
  • There is no “one-size-fits-all” work model
  • A golden opportunity can be hiding within a career action crisis

If nothing else, just try to remember: We’ve been through a lot. It’s okay if you’re acting kind of weird.