5 Career Lessons 2020 Taught Us
2020 was that year, phew! It felt like a decade rolled into one. It was the year we all adjusted to the pandemic and the many challenges that came with it. Virtual meetings became the next big thing after sliced bread – we became very familiar with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. We saw offices close their doors; businesses – whether small, medium, or large scale took a hit, and the usual office routine gave room to remote work.
For some folks, the year wasn’t a great one. For others, it was. One fact we can’t deny is that 2020 was pack-full of valuable lessons to take into the new year, whether it was a great year or not.
Here are some lessons from 2020:
Technology is everything
No way is technology overrated!
From board meetings to conferences, seminars – scratch that – webinars, technology was (and is) the engine that kept the workforce going. Working remotely during the pandemic would have been extremely difficult if not for technology. What can we learn from 2020?
- Be tech-savvy: You have to stay informed on the latest tech tools, software, apps, devices that will make your work easier and faster, and make you a better professional.
- Pick up skills: During the pandemic, we saw a rise in demand for all kinds of technical skills in the job market. Technical skills such as web design, UX design, web development, digital marketing, and visual design are skills that can help you fit into the latest job opportunities. Don’t dull yourself, ensure you learn, and hone a skill today.
Adaptability is key
Everything changed swiftly. There was no time to prepare to adjust to the new normal, and adaptability became the top essential skill needed to cope with the unforeseen changes the pandemic brought. Whether you’re trying to start a new business, transitioning to a new career, or moving to a new country, adaptability is a life skill that will help you reintegrate into a new system.
- Be positive: Times are changing, and nothing is certain anymore. It is essential to have the right mindset to help you see possibilities in unexpected changes. When difficult times come, lean on to the bright side
- Embrace change: What happens when things don’t go as you planned? Do you cancel the whole plan, or try to assess the situation and make new decisions? With the change in the routine of work, there is a need to let go of attachments and fixed goals, and get ready to move with the wave of change.
There is no denying that 2020 was a difficult year that took its toll on a lot of people. At a crucial time when it felt the world was falling apart, it was empathy that kept the world together.
- Practice mindfulness: Have a healthy mindset. Start by forgiving yourself by recognising your humanity and showing kindness to yourself – those bad words you wouldn’t say to your besties, don’t say them to yourself. Evaluating your thoughts, emotions, and feelings in a non-judgemental manner is the key to a healthy career.
- Be kind to others: Be it your boss, your co-workers, or your customers, the world needs empathy. Put yourself into the shoes of others around you and try to understand their realities. It will help you communicate better and also help you make better decisions.
You can do much more when you have a network of people compared to when you work alone. Build relationships that have a positive impact on your career and can steer you towards achieving your goals.
- Network virtually: Stay connected to people on social media platforms and be up to date on recent happenings in the world. Don’t be the workaholic who is oblivious about trending matters.
- Cultivate relationships: Deliberately build relationships that are necessary for your career and relevant to your industry niche.
2020 proved to us that being available isn’t just enough, you have to be seen. The career world is facing a lot of barriers in communication due to the pandemic and one can easily feel left out due to the lack of visibility the office environment gives.
- Speak up more: Make it your thing to let your voice and opinions be heard during virtual meetings, conferences, and webinars. You’ve got ideas that can help in the next project? Share them in the next meeting.
- Go above and beyond: Become a resource person your boss and colleagues can depend on. Be the person that brings in the businesses, closes the deals, and prepares for the next project.
What essential lessons did you learn in 2020?
Please share with us.