2020 was a year, unlike any other, to say the least. As with any other year, though, we can take lessons from 2020 to apply to future business practices and career development.
The goals we all set on January 1st evolved along the way. The ability to bob and weave as obstacles were thrown in our face, even while wearing a mask, determined those who would come out of 2020 somewhat unscathed professionally and those who wouldn’t. Adaptability and agility could be considered the two factors that, when exercised appropriately in 2020, allow us to apply what we learned over the year to future career and business decisions.
Rise of Video Calls
After the initial IT adjustment to a new video-first workforce that included operating the mute button properly, not talking over one another, and managing bandwidth, we started to engage and experience a more human side to the business world. We’ve seen colleagues, superiors, and everything in-between balance their distractions at home, making them more relatable. And even as some returned to the workplace, video calls and the humanization continued.
Ability to Trust Team Members
In organizations where the thought of trusting every team member to work from home, and actually work from home, was a foreign concept, welcome to 2020. Companies and managers found out quickly how dependable their team and colleagues really were. To the extent that it probably surprised the C-Suite how well employees did working from home despite the ridiculous amount of distractions that many encountered under stay-at-home orders or restrictions. Those in leadership roles had no other choice but to trust their gut more with the challenges that became separate work locations across an organization.
Creating New Pathways to Solutions
The traditional way we traveled through specific processes went out the window this year, rather abruptly. We had to adjust on the fly and create new methods to reach the solutions our companies or clients needed. Have you ever been working on a laptop when a window freezes, you encounter the dreaded blue screen, or a page times out? More likely than not, you restart the computer as a problem-solving method. Resetting certain processes is just like that. It’s creating a new matrix to find a different way to the solution and is a crucial step to take when the environment changes..It might even get you to a solution more efficiently, setting up a new process for future use.
The Wherewithal to Slow Down
For all the parents who spent most weeknights eating dinner in the car shuttling between after-school events or the single person who spent their spare time at a different social gathering more nights than not, our extracurricular lives were brought to a screeching halt after being put under in-home restrictions for days, weeks, or months at a time. This situation gave us a lot more free time, forcing our creative sides to come out in an effort to stay sane and entertained. It’s worth assuming we all experienced an epiphany or two along the way, showing the importance of slowing down and realizing just how much time we really have.
The Importance of Prioritizing Self-Care
If you didn’t take the time to check in with yourself when the world got turned upside down this year, there’s no way you were able to function in your personal or professional life rationally. On top of that, supporting your family or friends can only be done if you’re in the right mental state and have taken care of yourself first. Learning when you need space or having the ability to say no are two ways to keep yourself prioritized.