2021 Will Be A Year To Move Forward And Thrive In The Changed Landscape

Some women professionals face additional challenges at work based on their unique circumstances. I am inviting you to look at these challenges from a different lens in 2021.

Manbir Kaur
Dec 24, 2020 12:03 IST
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2020 was a year of survival. COVID-19 has impacted professionals across the world, some more than the others. We were all forced to work from home, and it became the new norm. In some regards, forced work-from-home has been a great leveler but in a few other aspects it has made things more difficult for professionals.


The professionals who are aspiring to grow, should make the best of these times and learn to adapt. 2021 is the year to move forward, it brings us an opportunity to thrive in the changed landscape. Some women professionals face additional challenges at work based on their unique circumstances. They may have alluded to some of statements below as they struggled with these specific challenges which hampered their growth.  If you relate to any of these scenarios, I am inviting you to look at these statements from a different lens in 2021.

2020 Shethepeople roundup

I missed it because I was not at office


Many times, simply being available in office at late hours could be a distinct advantage. For various reasons, it is challenging for women to be in office at late hours, hence it was a slight disadvantage for them.

Also Read: Eight Simple Tips To Make The Best Out Of Work From Home During Lockdown

With COVID-19 and remote working, this disadvantage has reduced if not gone away completely. Everyone working remote is equally far or equally near. Managers may now look for their best alternative rather than the person who is available in office. Go, grab that opportunity, or the task that always interested you. Speak to your manager more often and express interest in knowing and doing things that interest you.


I did not get a chance to speak

The polite speakers or ones who wait for their turn may have missed an opportunity to say their mind. The office meetings, where all the decisions are taken, were ruled by louder voices and opinionated professionals. If you are a woman who is not comfortable sharing your thoughts in a group setting, you might have missed the opportunities to share your thoughts earlier.

Also Read: Here Are 3 Mindsets To Watch Out For While You Work From Home


With the present remote circumstances, a lot of the collaboration happens online through various technology channels. This has opened a chance for each person to share their opinion. By default, leaders have started to give some time window for people to respond. Speak up. Research on the subject before the meeting if possible and share your thoughts.  The thing is, if you share one great idea, next time the manager will remember to seek your thoughts. They do not want to miss a great idea, but earlier they did not know you had one! Go on, share your ideas, speak up.

I could not get time with my mentor

Before COVID-19, the leaders were travelling all the time and finding a mentor and getting their time was tough. But now, because the travel is limited, leaders have more time to spare. Don’t wait, ask for mentorship in the organisation or even outside the organisation. Use LinkedIn to request suitable people to request for mentorship. It has been proven that people with mentors get promoted more often that those without.


I did not get time for development

Well, this is tricky. Travel times are saved, but as work and other parts of life are merging and there are no clear barriers, it is definitely a difficult time for all, especially for women. I suggest you make a slight shift in mindset and start allocating some time for your development, every week. Years down the line, when you remember WFH days, you will also remember your commitment to your development. Also, as remote working is going to continue for longer, so bringing a discipline to life is especially important.

Also Read: Work From Home Comes With Its Own Set Of Rules


How do I build relationships?

We all know that beyond a stage in career, “It does not matter what you know, what matters is, who knows what you know?” To get to the next stage in your career, you need to showcase your work and build a personal brand. But for that you need to build connections. A lot of women say that most of the relationship building happens outside office hours and it becomes really difficult for them. However, having a Zoom meeting with leaders and colleagues from other areas discussing work and sharing ideas is easy. Organisations facilitate various forums for sharing ideas and for allowing people to connect. With COVID-19 all these have now got an on-line version. Write down a few names: people who you would like to create connections with. Make efforts to ask for a virtual meeting.

There is a lot that we can do!

COVID-19 has bought in changes, and some of these changes will become permanent too. Not everything is positive, but somethings most definitely are. To win we must adapt. Let us put our best foot forward and make 2021 a year of success.

Manbir Kaur is  an Executive Coach and a Conversational Intelligence Enhanced Skills Practitioner. The views expressed are the author's own.

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