Aimee Amann is a marketing executive with 25+ years of experience in the pharma industry. Her professional experience includes leading global commercial development and portfolio strategy. Currently Aimee is Senior Director, Head of Acne Marketing from Yardley, Pennsylvania. Here Aimee Amann shares her thoughts on navigating through the unprecedented times of COVID-19.
I am always motivated by the customers and for me, finding ways to help our customers get through COVID-19 is a brand-new question. We’re trying to feel our way through a reality that we’ve never been faced with before, challenges we’ve never had to encounter, and it’s motivating to me to think that maybe in some small way we can make a difference to make things better for doctors, who really are the heroes, as well as all of the first responders, the nurses, and the frontline individuals, even the people that are bringing packages to homebound people. There are a lot of people out there supporting us while we are in quarantine.
Suggestions of good ways others can cope during this time.
It has been helpful for me to stay connected to my personal and professional support networks. Change and uncertainty can be difficult. I imagine both things are creating anxiety and finding ways to relax and practice a little bit of personal care during this time is helpful. But also, as far as coping, what I have been trying to do is look at things within shorter timeframes. What is the goal today? And not look too far down the road.
I try to remain optimistic and hopeful. It has also been helpful to map out and maintain a schedule, taking note of accomplishments against goals along the way. I know one of my friends has been doing a lot of cleaning, and I think that has provided her with a modicum of control. Also, volunteering as much as someone can remotely is another way to make a positive difference. Identifying areas that you can control in this time of uncertainty may help to increase feelings of empowerment and hope.
Cultivating gratitude has also been a real help for me during these challenging times. We are staying at home, but we are healthy, and I’m grateful for that every day. We are staying home, but we could still get food. We can be in our backyard, and it is springtime and the weather is beautiful outside.
What are some things outside of work that you are doing now to stay busy?
I’m spending a lot of time with my family and feel very fortunate to have a strong family connection. I have been checking up on my parents who are a little bit older. They have been checking up on me. I have been contacting my siblings and friends. I am an avid knitter, so there is no shortage of that happening.
I feel grateful for the many blessings in my life and that makes it easier for me to stay focused on trying to figure out how I can be present and be there for people in my life that might be struggling, because I do think it is a struggle for people to change their routine so dramatically.
Do you think a work and life balance is important and how difficult is it in these circumstances?
I do think a work/life balance is important. I believe it makes you stronger on the day to day to be able to refresh yourself with whatever it is that you find reinvigorates you, be it exercise, painting, yoga, or just spending time with family.
Right now, during the times of COVID-19, there is an integration of work and your personal life that I don’t ever recall experiencing. The lack of commute has introduced more time in the day. However, while that dynamic has provided more flexibility, it can also be challenging because there is a little bit less of a separation.
I was on a conference call today, and you can hear people’s families in the background. I know if you’re watching the news, you see people’s personal lives literally walking into their professional life in the background. This dynamic creates a challenge but is accompanied by the positive byproduct of forcing us to look more holistically at the individuals with whom we are doing business. This work/life integration may result in building better business relationships in the long run. Perhaps there will be an increased sense of compassion for others we will carry forward and positive change that comes from this experience.
What is one piece of advice that is getting you through these current times?
If you look outside you can’t help but notice how constant change is. Springtime reminds us of the changing seasons and that if times are difficult, they won’t last forever, so taking things one day at a time is always helpful. COVID-19 has brought with it tragedy and difficulty, but I am incredibly impressed by the way the whole world has come together to fight this terrible virus. I’m particularly proud to be in the Pharma Industry and remain deeply optimistic in the science and our ability to fight COVID-19 together. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to find new ways to help health care workers and patients during these trying times. And while we are getting through this unprecedented situation, I am acutely aware that there are things going on right now that are really quite wonderful, like being able to work from home and step outside on a spring day and take a breath of fresh air. There is a lot of gratitude to be found in that.