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Jenny Garrett is Award Winning Executive Coach, Leadership Development Specialist, Keynote Speaker & Board Advisor on Gender Balance, Diversity & Inclusion and we’re delighted to catch up with her again.

All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
9 Oct 2020

How can female leaders navigate their careers during lockdown?

You can be forgiven for feeling like they have less choice during lockdown, asking for a promotion or making a job change may feel like risky options.

However, I have been coaching women who found time for reflection during lockdown, learned new skills and made bold moves. Here’s how:-

  • Choose your perspective; we all want COVID19 to disappear, but we don’t have any control over the situation and the more that focus on it the more disempowered , anxious and frustrated we feel. Instead shift your focus to what you can control, the quality of your work, interactions with others, and how you treat yourself. You’ll find that this shift in perspective is empowering.

  • Nurture your relationships; We need a wide network of friends and colleagues to draw on, both to get things done and to provide support. You may have challenges being as visible as a leader if you are working from home, so do turn that camera on during video meetings, prepare to speak and contribute effectively and arrange coffee costs with colleagues, where you’re not only talking about work but how your colleagues are.

  • Self-management: Ask yourself ‘how are my energy levels?’. Look at physical wellbeing, your work / life harmony and boundaries you set in your relationships; are they right for you or do you need to make some changes? Remember you are role modelling what good leadership looks like. It starts with you!

Is this a good time for women to shift careers?

You can shift your career during lockdown, but you need to think carefully about the sector you are going into.

Is the sector thriving or contracting at the moment? If it is growing, can you see it sustaining that growth or is it just a blip?

You should consider how flexible you are willing to be. Many roles advertised may be part-time, contracts, or freelance. Is this they way you want to work?

Lastly, what are your transferable skills, rather than thinking about the job role or title you’re looking for, try instead to think about the skills you have gained from previous roles. You can then match these opportunities.

If you decide it’s not right for you, make a plan to equip yourself with the skills and experience you need to make the shift when the time is right for you.

Image by Josephine Bredehoft
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What’s next for 2021?

In 2021, I’ll be embracing life an an empty nester.

My daughter has just flown the nest to attend University, so it’s time for me to rediscover myself and embark on some adventures.

I am hoping to be on a plane again soon, plus I want to engage in further study or write another book, maybe take on a Non-Exec Board Role.

I will showcasing diverse coaches through my newly-launched directory.

I am working with a leading supermarket and high street bank to provide leadership programmes for their staff from BAME background and I will make a difference doing more of this work and hope to see the face of leadership diversify in the UK.

My Bounce Forward Personal Resilience retreats and my work coaching women leaders to navigate their career will continue to bring my joy.

I will give back through my social enterprise Rocking UR Teens, we’ve been hit hard by lockdown, as our events and interventions were previously face-to-face. Wow! 2021 will be busy!

You can keep visit Jenny’s website over at
You can keep up-to-date with her on Twitter, where she’s @JenniferGarrett
If this is the first you’ve heard of her, you can also read her first Spotlight interview on this site!
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