Helpful advice for these difficult times.
A college soccer player, Lauren Whitt was sidelined by two knee injuries that took her off the field during her sophomore and junior year. This was incredibly frustrating — she’d played soccer most of her life and had even won a Pan-American gold medal with the U.S. Youth National Soccer team. She realized she was going to need to find a way to cope.
“I began to study the idea of resilience more,” Lauren says. “How it changes your body and your life. It sort of became my personal mission.” A few years later, it became the subject for her doctoral dissertation — today, it’s the focus of her work.
Lauren is the head of global resilience at Google, a job that’s been crucial this last year. Even as vaccines become available, so many stressors remain: Searches for the term “pandemic fatigue” increased more than 300% during the past month in the U.S., and “job burnout quiz” was a breakout search over the past three months. These things are exactly what Lauren hopes to alleviate through her programs that help Googlers build resilience, deal with stress and develop skills to tackle new challenges.
But resilience isn’t only about helping people cope with the negative; it’s also about giving them more room to experience the positive. Lauren wants to help Googlers feel creative and productive so they can thrive at work. “I’m so passionate about this work because I think that while I’m not personally making something that launches us all into the future, I can help the people at Google who are doing that be their best.”