Bridge Insights

The Pandemic Killed Ambition and Here is Why

Aug 1, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic was an uncertain time that affected every single aspect of life and was a defining moment in history regarding physical, mental, and emotional health. Another factor that was impacted heavily by the pandemic but not talked about as much is the impact the pandemic had on the workforce –it completely killed ambition.

Many people felt like things were no longer going according to plan, their dreams were no longer realistic, and people didn’t necessarily know where to go moving forward. Although the pandemic is over, for many people, their thinking was completely reshaped in all it’s entirety.

Mental Health and Uncertainty:

The pandemic was something no one was prepared for. Lockdown led to isolation, disconnection, and depression for many. Many people found themselves unable to connect personally with others and many had drastic lifestyle changes, which was a huge adjustment.

Those seeking mental health support and counseling had challenges and changes including virtual visits, shutdowns, or loss of medical benefits due to job cuts. One of the biggest emotional factors that impacted people was that feeling of the unknown. This created an emotional toll on people and it led to declines in ambition, future plans, and future goals.


The economy has been a hot topic over the past 3 years because of the pandemic and how much it impacted our world in ways we didn’t even think could be impacted. Many got laid off, some took pay cuts to stay in business, leaders became stressed, and employees became stressed about everything related to their careers. Most people found themselves in survival mode wondering if they’d be the next one on the chopping block, or how long they could survive on their savings account.

Companies who had always said to employees they were like family, ended up having employees lose that that connection completely and blindsided by the loss of teammates and other staff that were being let go left and right. This culture shock led to many workers wondering if their dedication to their employer was even worth it and mindsets changed where everyone started to instead look out for themselves only.

Professional Growth

Another area that killed ambition, which was impacted the most, was education. Students everywhere were suddenly not going to school, parents were forced to be teachers in their own way, and Zoom learning was the new normal for students of all ages. The new style of teaching and eduction led to students not having that one-on-one interaction, in addition to not being sure how to learn from someone else in a virtual setting.

Many parents found themselves in situations balancing their own careers and the future of their children’s education. College students felt lost and confused, and many of those who were expecting joyous senior years in high school and college were left with empty feelings of loss. Those pursuing professional eductions whether that be obtaining their Master’s or having additional career learning lost motivation.

Dreams and goals quickly started to die and just finishing up and passing was a common mindset shared by many of those in these situations.

Now what?

Ambition is a beautiful quality to have. It creates visions, dreams, and ideas. So many people lost that spark when the pandemic came and reshaped our lives. Although there are some who got it back, many are still struggling to find their inspiration in the world and their careers, because for so many people the aftermath of the pandemic truly shaped and altered their lives moving forward forever. If this sounds like yourself, reshaping your goals and dreams is critical to sparking ambition again. Take a look at our list below to help get your mojo back.

How to reset your own ambition:

  • Make your mental health a priority and seek support
  • Embrace the changes that have happened
  • Set new goals and redefine what your future may look like
  • Find new ways to learn and grow whether that be self-investment tools, upskilling or education
  • Seek support in your community, family, or network. You may not realize how many people feel the same as you until you talk about it