2020 in Perspective (and Merry Christmas!)

As a lot of our candidates and clients will be logging off today (it’s been a long year!), I just wanted to pass on a message to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This year has been difficult for everyone in many different ways. However, if a crisis does one thing – it puts things into perspective.

Without adding too much to your reading for the day I have listed some important lessons I have learned and positive trends that I have seen emerging in 2020:

  1. Work-life balance has improved drastically for many: I am lucky to be able to work from home comfortably and simple things like collecting my daughters from school has been something I was previously unable to do and has had a really positive impact on us.
  2. Focus has improved: Working alone has its benefits. Batch-working can be done without too many distractions (before school collections) and increased levels of productivity are evident.
  3. Control your controllables: When things seem out of control like they did earlier in the year, I found that focusing on what I can control was the most positive and productive thing I could do.
  4. Importance of a strong team (and Partner!): Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive and genuine people provides a strong backbone for getting through challenging situations. Niall O’Kelly, Aonghus Cody, Ronan McCrohan and all the Darwin Hawkins support team are a perfect example of this.
  5. Relationships are key: Genuine relationships built on trust will always last. However, it’s important to note that this can’t be done retrospectively during a crisis – so there is no quick fix or hack for this. Start as you mean to go on.
  6. Human beings are incredibly adaptable: It didn’t take long for all sorts of solutions to emerge problems in 2020. Personally, Microsoft Teams is second nature to me now and one of the many tech programs I use daily. But admittedly nothing can replace the impact of sitting down with someone over a coffee (or pint!).
  7. Less wasted hours: The daily commute has cut 2 hours off my working day. I now have them back to spend on more value-add exercises (so I tell myself anyway!).
  8. Decentralisation of the workforce is a positive thing: I have already witnessed so many examples of people relocating away from the city, now working in a job they enjoy, and living in a town they love. Long may this continue.

Events in 2020 have taken a lot from many, but due to everybody’s hard work and resilience, thankfully the difficult year of 2020 hasn’t managed to steal Christmas from us. Here’s to a well-deserved and enjoyable holiday break for everyone and a great 2021!


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