Finding the Positive Takeaways from 2020

2020 Positives - L&D Mastermind

I love the programme “The Last Leg”, so: #Isitok to have had a good year and say so? Yes? Yes! I’ve been practicing saying it out loud as I have been feeling guilty with so much hardship and grief the Coronavirus has caused many people. But while I have been practicing this on people, they have in turn shared their positive experiences. So here goes: Overall, I had a good year 2020.

Not without its challenges of course. When the Covid-19 wave came our way and started to hit the UK, I was just grateful every morning I woke up feeling healthy and the internet was working. Due to a lack of work, the first positive thing was having the time to go for long walks or cycle rides, especially when it was sunny. Watching Spring unfold, rediscovering my love for taking my SLR out, having the time to find beauty in nature and attempting to capture it.

Then I realised I had time to do more than just ask people fleetingly “How are you?” but finding out how they had been going through the challenges, keeping safe, work (too much / too little). Suddenly some people who before didn’t “do social media or video calls” turned up online and embraced the advantages of technology. This of course often came from the fact that work may have forced them into it, or they just realised that it was better than not being able to keep in touch “oldskool”.

Learning & Development had their challenges getting people working from home, transferring training online at short notice. It’s been a long time coming, much of it was (and is still) done delivering the same content, just online. But the virtual opportunities to get your remote delivery shaped up to stand the test of time will hopefully be increasingly taken up when we realise that, even when we get vaccinated and life can have some normality, the next pandemic could be around the corner. I’m not being gloomy, but our modern lifestyles put much pressure on the environment and animals’ habitats. If you watched Sir David’s recent programmes you understand, and it’s not going to be fixed in a hurry.

If we can learn from all of this and put less demand on the planet, reduce our waste, continue to jump on our bicycles or walk when we don’t really need to drive, this could be remembered as the time we turned the trend around. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Speaking of learning, do you sign up for webinars but never get round to watching them too? Suddenly I found the time to do more CPD, get better informed on important matters, improve skills.

Much of this was enabled by so many L&D and professionals from other industries sharing resources. They made their material, expertise, and time available, not for any gain but to help where they could. The community spirit that became apparent in our neighbourhoods crossed over into our professional lives.

I also looked at my skills and what else I could do if people were less inclined to pay for marketing. The solution was staring me in the face and I have since started to offer Virtual Assistant services, which will of course always include marketing. I have seen so many businesses and people diversify to do something they never thought they would. It is fascinating and inspiring.

At the end of last year, I decided to leave the UK and make 2020 the year to choose a new place to live in the EU. Of course, I couldn’t travel to find said new home but in July I realised the answer was so obvious and I’ve been feeling rather smug planning my next move. But that’s another story…

The days are now shorter and the lack of hugs sometimes really gets to me (if you’ve met me, you probably know just how important they are for me), but overall it’s been a great year of taking the time to refocus and reconnect. Never underestimate your own strength and resilience. Pat yourself on the back for getting to today and look for everything that has made you happy this year. Look beyond the challenges (which I am by no means trying to downplay). And don’t be embarrassed to admit your successes, achievements and everything that puts a smile on your face!

Find me on LinkedIn, tweet me @eva_mccann and share your positive take aways on the L&D Mastermind App, Facebook or LinkedIn group!

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