08 Sep 2020

Living in a Liminal Space: Taking Advantage of this Extra Time

Elizabeth Foley
Living in a Liminal Space: Taking Advantage of this Extra Time

As our old world of booking an overseas ticket and being on a flight the very next day is gone, we all know we are living through extraordinary times.

We are living through a period of transition, where we are yet to know when we will enter the new world and what exactly it will look like. What you might not be aware of is this COVID-19 period can actually be classified as living in a “liminal space”?


According to the Centre for Transformational Presence “liminal” comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.” As explained on its website “the liminal space is the “crossing over” space - a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not yet fully in something else. It’s a transition space.”

There are many times throughout your life when you probably have already lived in a liminal space. These include when you become engaged and the period of planning and preparing before your wedding day or when you lose a job and the period of time before you find a new role.

While we are living in this transitional period for many of us our only option is to continue business as usual until the events outside our control unfold, however there is opportunity to take advantage of this extra time to invest in your professional life.



As the world slows down around us, now could be a good period to use this extra time to your advantage and consider how you can both develop your personal and professional life - consider your career to date, your skills set and areas you can grow and learn.

  • Project management courses: Are there any courses that you can undertake to increase your current knowledge of project management principles and methodologies?
  • Mentoring programs: Is there an opportunity for you to learn from an expert by taking part in a mentorship program or are you a senior professional who can give back by becoming a mentor?
  • Events and webinars: Can you become more engaged with the project management industry by attending online events and webinars, to ensure your knowledge is up to date?


It can be difficult to understand why one of your stakeholders is suddenly irritable or a team member isn’t turning out the quality of work they used to. However, while we are living in a liminal space now is the time to be empathetic to those you work with, as you don’t know what is going on in their personal life.

It’s important if you’re in a position where you’re managing others to have the qualities of a leader and build your emotional intelligence to ensure you can effectively communicate with those around you. This could include scheduling in time for one on ones, checking in on how they are going and finding out whether they need any support with their projects.

There will come a time when we transition out of this liminal space into the new world. Only time will tell what that new world will look like, however what we do have control over is how we use our time now. Using this period to develop your skills as a project manager will help you through this period and set you in good stead to be one of the professionals at the forefront of our recovery efforts.