On the days leading up to the Covid-19 lockdown I honestly had no idea we would be working from home for so long or how much I would miss being in the office. Amidst all of this I have been grateful for the many virtual office events sprinkled throughout the weeks. These events feel familiar and help remind me that we are the same office, the same culture – just virtual for now.
One recent event I was able to attend was a virtual Leadership Lunch with Sarah Lindenfeld organized by the Young Designers Core (YDC), after which I found myself with a lot to think about. In my first year here at Payette I had attended several Leadership Lunches hosted by the YDC and valued the insight and inspiration that came with the intimate, unfiltered conversations with firm leaders about themselves and their careers. While we did not really share a lunch together as we usually do, this virtual session still felt just as impactful. In particular, it stuck with me how Sarah highlighted the formative role mentorship and advocacy has for young designers and encouraged us to reach out and invest in building these relationships. Personally, her advice felt timely and important, now more than ever.
It has been a bizarre adjustment trying to navigate a new work environment as a young designer – for some of us this might as well be the first major challenge in our careers. Working in isolation has not been easy for anyone, which is why any form of mentorship feels so valuable right now. Taking these events virtual continues to foster relationships and creates opportunities to form new ones – even if it is something fun and casual through a zoom screen. Its why we increasingly look to platforms like the YDC, which at its heart is about promoting mentorship and connections within the firm. Until we return to the office to some form of normalcy, I’m glad we are keeping the ball rolling.