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January 18, 2021

4 Takeaways from 2020 to Boost Your Career in 2021

2020 was a challenging year for everyone.  

There’s no understating how much it changed our day-to-day lives. But in our personal and work lives, we found ways to carry on.  

We learned how to find comfort in the uncomfortable through open communication with our friends and coworkers. While we couldn’t talk face-to-face, we adapted, and we found new ways to stay close and feel connected with one another. 

We sat down with Sonoco’s Lasa Mohamad, European Marketing & Communications Manager, to talk about what she learned from 2020 and how those lessons will help her through 2021. 

Here are Lasa’s four key takeaways from 2020. 

Embrace the Norm 

My routine completely shifted. I went from living out of a suitcase for business meetings and managing tradeshows across Europe, to being stuck indoors. It was a whole new experience for me, and it wasn’t easy to adapt, but I had to embrace the “new norm” of working from home.  

Even though I was working from home, I wanted to maintain a work-life balance, so I created a workspace that’s separate from my living area at home. Setting up a home office that’s physically separated from the rest of my home helped me stay focused. When I was working in my new office, I didn’t get distracted by dirty laundry, the TV or dishes sitting in the sink. 

More than anything, 2020 taught me how to roll with the punches and make the most of my workday, no matter where I am. 

Make Safety a Priority  

Safety is one of Sonoco’s core values, and in 2020 year, I embraced that principle more than ever. 

Because of the virus, safety was on everyone’s minds, but I think we learned a lot of lessons that will help keep us healthy long after the pandemic. For example, we’re all much more conscious of how often we wash our hands, and social distancing is almost an automatic response now. These are the kinds of good habits that will keep us safe during future flu seasons, protect the welfare of our employees and reduced health-related risks. 

Ask for Help 

Especially during unpredictable times like these, it’s so important to safeguard your wellbeing. The pandemic highlighted mental health issues that have always been there, but they were things that society hasn’t been focused on.  

It’s not always easy to ask for help but remember that help is available. Whether you need time during the day to take care of your physical or mental health, you need suitable equipment for your home office or something else to help you work more efficiently, just talk to your employer. 

Use Your Time Wisely 

In 2020, I realized that it’s important to invest my time in discovering new skills and improving my personal development.  

Chasing my passions and building on them is one of the best ways I can stay motivated. I found free courses online that taught me so much in 2020. Harvard University offers a range of free online learning courses to help you keep learning, and I really took advantage of those. 

For those looking to advance their careers in 2021, it’s important that you think about and focus on long-term possibilities – not just short-term ones. Long-term goals give you a general direction and help you feel more in control of what you want to achieve.   

Change can be scary, but with change comes with so many opportunities.  

Whether you are starting something new or taking a fresh approach at your current career, use the lessons you, or even someone else, learned in 2020 to help you make the most of your 2021!