This week the world will ring in a new year. As we sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ this season, we might not be reflecting on the passing year with quite the same fondness and sentimentality as we have in prior days. Let’s face it – 2020 was strange and stressful, and most of us are very glad to see it go.
While we are happy to welcome 2021, we can acknowledge that 2020 had it’s positive side. When it comes to doing business, I think we all can say we learned a lot about perseverance, adaptation, and determination.
Here are four important work life lessons we learned from 2020 that we can carry with us into 2021:
1. Don’t let obstacles derail your objectives.
We were not even out of the first quarter of 2020 when the game began to change. COVID-19 changed our ability to do business in so many ways. Those ‘brick and mortar’ businesses out there faced the biggest challenges, with unprecedented regulations and shut downs.
This year we learned how adaptable we can be in the face of obstacles. New ideas and approaches must be taken off the back burner and deployed to keep businesses thriving.
2. Don’t let uncertainty delay your progress.
Adjusting to change is difficult, but it can seem next to impossible when you are not even sure what the change is going to involve. The uncertain nature of the virus meant that the rules were constantly evolving. It is more than tough to plan for a future that cannot be pinned down, yet in order to succeed we had to do so.
This year we learned that we cannot stand still and wait to see what happens in business. We have to anticipate and stay ahead of change and challenges.
3. Don’t get distracted – make a plan and stick with it.
For many of us, this lesson might have been a little more personal. Working from home tempted us with new distractions we were not used to dealing with in the workplace. We may have felt compelled to do chores or take frequent snack breaks from our kitchen table desks. Perhaps we were dragged from our tasks by the needs of children and pets. Those of us working from home had to learn how to carve out physical and mental spaces for focusing on our work.
This year we learned that we cannot expect things to happen or goals to be achieved if we do not have a plan that we are willing to stick with.
4. Prepare for unexpected challenges by looking for new opportunities.
Some of the challenges we faced this year actually brought our regular ways of working to a hard stop. For example, sales people could no longer meet prospective customers face-to-face. While they had the problem of reaching new buyers, those buyers also had the problem of finding suppliers. This challenge presented the opportunity to be the first to solve that problem by finding new ways to connect.
This year we learned that the way we meet our challenges can often lie in the opportunity to help clients meet their challenges.
The team at Upright Communications is grateful for the lessons learned in 2020. We are also excited to meet new challenges and find new opportunities in 2021.
We wish you all the best for a happy and prosperous new year!