5 powerful questions to help you thrive in the ‘new normal’

May 28, 2020

With global restrictions starting to ease, there’s talk about what the ‘new normal’ will look like.

Overnight, we were required to live, work, communicate and educate in new ways. Yet this experience has also given us the opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate.

As we begin to emerge from lockdown, there’s a sense of change in the air. But will these changes be lasting — or fleeting?

Before you rush for things to ‘get back to normal’, it’s important to pause, self-reflect and decide what you want from your career or business and life. NOW is the time to intentionally choose what you do — and don’t — want to go back to.

With one caveat.

We’ve gone through an unexpected global event. One impacting our health, finances, mental and emotional wellbeing. So it’s completely normal to feel anxious, frustrated or uncertain.

You must allow yourself adequate time to process these feelings before thinking about next steps. If this isn’t the right time, come back to it when you’re ready.

However, if you’re ready to start afresh, here are 5 questions to help you reflect on this experience and get clear on your vision, goals and desired results for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Discover what you want your ‘new normal’ to look like and what needs to change in your personal and professional life moving forward.


Recent events have likely led you to question your priorities. And realise who and what are most important in life.

Put aside the time to reflect on the relationships you want to invest in. What are your priorities in work and life? Take this opportunity to get clear on your work motivators and personal values.

Non-negotiables at work you’ve been ignoring (or weren’t even aware of) may have come to light in recent weeks. Craving more travel in your role? The ability to reduce your daily commute to work?

Want the flexibility to work from home more often? Or, has this situation highlighted how unhappy and unfulfilled you are in your current role or business? Whatever it is, make a note of your priorities and what motivates you at work.

Knowing your personal values — or what in life is most important to you — is also critical. Is it freedom, connection or security? Creativity, recognition or challenge?

Prioritising your values leads to greater fulfillment and happiness. Anger or frustration is often an indicator you’re out of alignment with your values.

Getting clear on your values will allow you to take stock now. Are you currently honouring your highest values in your personal and professional life? If not, this will help identify where you need to make changes.

In future, you can also use them as a filter to make the right career or life decisions. Imagine you valued freedom and creativity and were thinking about starting a business or new job. You’d want to ask yourself if this business or role honours these values to determine if it’s the right choice for you.


As you reflect on what you want for your work and life, an important question to consider is: What do you want to let go of?

Think about the long-held limiting beliefs no longer serving you. Old patterns of behaviour, habits or ways of being that are unhelpful or harmful. The fears holding you back from going after what you want.

As you consciously choose what you want for your future, what will you be saying no to? Keep in mind, for everything you say yes to, you’re choosing to say no to something else.

If you agree to take on a new client or project and it’s not the right fit, you’re saying no to the right client or work. If you say yes to a commitment you’re secretly dreading, you’re foregoing precious time spent with loved ones or on the activities which truly light you up.

Remember, you have the power to choose what you say no to. This is within your complete control.


It’s equally vital to consider what you want to say yes to in your life and business going forward.

What relationships are most important to you — who are the people you want to surround yourself with?

Who do you want to be as a person — what qualities do you want to embrace? Which new beliefs or behaviours will you adopt or continue in future?

What do you want to do and achieve? What activities will you prioritise?

As life goes back to ‘normal’, it will be easy to fill your time with the things you think you should do or have to do. Rather than what you want. This is about focusing on what matters to you.

What do you want to prioritise when life gets busy again?


Take some time to consider the biggest lessons you’ve learnt over this time. What’s the learning you’re taking away from this situation? How will you integrate this into your life moving ahead?

Think about how you’ve become more resilient as a result of this experience. What did this time teach you? How will this support you to navigate any future challenges or setbacks in your personal or professional life?


Finally, get crystal clear on your vision, goals and desired results. Picture your ideal day.

How do you want to spend your time? Who are you with? How do you want to feel?

Where do you want to live? What does your home and surroundings look like? Will you travel — if so, to where?

Think about your dream role. What tasks and activities will you focus on each day? What are the professional goals you’re working towards?

Consider your workspace, location and environment. The culture of your organisation and the people (employees, team members) you want to work with. What hours will you work?

Take the time to stop, reflect and intentionally choose what you want and why.

What are the goals and action steps you need to make this vision a reality? Always focus on the one next best step you must take to accomplish your goals.

These questions have helped my clients and I get clear on what we do — and don’t — want moving ahead. Now is the time to reassess and consciously choose what you want from your work and life. All so you can thrive in the ‘new normal’.

Need further support to create the career (and life) you want to thrive in this ‘new normal’?

Hit play on this free guided audio and in 15 minutes, I’ll give you all the strategies you need to get started! Get instant access.

Stacey Back is a Career Strategist, Leadership Coach + Founder of Profile Careers. She helps high-achievers at a career crossroads find the work that lights them up, increase their income, impact and create a career + life on their terms. Stacey works virtually with individuals and organisations based across the globe.