Adapting to change during difficult times

Sunday June 28 2020

A young woman in office with laptop smiling to camera. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK


I’ve always struggled with change. Change is unsettling and disconcerting – you have no idea what is around the corner and how you will deal with it when it shows its face.

The familiar, however, is comforting. Even if the familiar is ugly, at least you have learnt how to deal with the ugliness over the years. True, it shouldn’t be this way, but I guess this is why many people stay put in distressful situations – because they can recognise them and know how to handle them.

It has been three months now since I started working from home. Initially it was difficult. I had been used to getting up in the morning and leaving for a place called “work”.

Suddenly, I had nowhere to go when I woke up in the morning. I felt somewhat imprisoned, and noticed that I was becoming easily irritable. I also found it difficult to concentrate on my work – there are so many distractions around the home coupled with the various noises from my neighbours’ homes, which are a mishmash of screaming children, blaring radios, construction noises, clucking chicken and the occasional motorbike making a delivery.


That was then, now it seems as if I have been working from home all my life. The noises that made me lose concentration are now part of the ambience – they barely register as I type away. I have also developed a working rhythm that guides me from when I wake up until I go to bed. The change has been gradual, but I can now say for a fact that I enjoy working from home. It is comfortable, affordable and very convenient


Change, my experience has taught me, is a necessary part of life and that no matter how drastic a prospect it may seem at first, eventually you will adapt to it.

Some changes such as the one brought about by this pandemic offer you no choice, therefore you either adapt to your new situation or you die.

A relative who worked as a sales rep for a manufacturing company was laid off a month ago – the company she worked for could no longer afford to pay her a retainer because they were barely making any sales.

She’s a sole parent of two, therefore she knew that she had to quickly find an alternative source of income otherwise she and her children would find themselves without a roof over their heads. This relative now sells an assortment of foodstuff from the boot of her car.


 She is not making as much money as she made from her job, especially because there are many others selling the same items next to her ‘kibanda’ but she able to pay rent and buy food.

She told me that before she was declared jobless, she never thought that she could do anything else apart from marketing, which she studied for. Losing her job opened her eyes to the many money-making opportunities out there that one can exploit, opportunities far-removed from one’s career.

When things go back to normal, if that will ever happen, and should her employer offer her the job she lost, she will take it, but never will she stay without a side hustle, a business making her money on the side.

What has these three months taught you?

The writer is Editor, Society &Magazines, Daily Nation [email protected]