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The unforgettable year of 2020: 3 lessons I learned

29 Mar 2021

Tanaka Nyamande joined Capgemini Invent in August 2020 as part of the first virtual graduate intake. Tanaka shares 3 life lessons she learnt from the unforgettable year that was 2020.

As we hit the year mark since the UK government first went into a national lockdown, the world as we know it has changed in so many ways. 2020 for many of us was a year of change – adapting to uncertainty, innovating in our work practices, and evolving in our ways of thinking. With so much rapid change still going on around us, I took a moment to be still and reflect; in that I’ve learnt 3 lessons I’d like to share.

  1. There’s no place like home.

In 2020 I gained a greater sense of appreciation for family. Let me be honest, being bundled up with them indoors for months on end was not an ideal situation and I won’t pretend it was. However, having the comfort of family during what felt like such a crazy time was reassuring.

As for friends and family I didn’t get to see much throughout the year, the adage that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ couldn’t be truer. We often take for granted the time we spend with people knowing we’ll get many opportunities in the future to be with them, but I’ve learnt to make every single day special in any way I can.

  1. I learnt how to work from home.

This is an area I’m continually improving on as we’re still working remotely. Given that I started my full-time career in a remote position, you might assume I couldn’t have struggled making any adjustments, because this way of working is all I’ve ever known. And I would forgive you for thinking that because the lifestyle change that accompanied working from home was a complete shock to me too. Navigating both my professional and personal life all in the space of my home, where the lines between work and life are so easily blurred was quite the task.

Over time I’ve successfully managed to settle into a good routine and had the support of Capgemini for any issues I faced along the way. And I can’t say it’s been all bad. I’ve delighted in getting to know more about teammates as well as sharing more about myself, from the art on my walls to (pesky!) family members in my video background.

  1. Trying new things!

I’m not going to be one of ‘those’ people that claim to have gained over 20 skills over the lockdown, because that’s unrealistic (well for me anyways). However, because I had a lot more down time at home with frankly nothing better to do, I relished the opportunity and decided to try new things. An inexhaustive list of things I tried in no particular order include: South Asian cuisine, long distance walks, dress making, tik-tok, tabata workouts and so much more.

I think it’s great if you managed to develop a skill or multiple skills to a decent level in 2020, congratulations to you. But if you were brave enough to dare to try something different (even if you didn’t stick with it) I think you deserve an equally commendatory congratulations.

Trying new things isn’t easy for everyone, especially for those that lean towards perfectionism. In 2020 I gave myself the freedom to try activities that interest me without inhibition. From this experience I’ve gained a host of new hobbies along with an open and fearless mindset.

Now with a lockdown easing roadmap established, some semblance a pandemic-free world seems to be in our horizon. As I look forward to a world I can once again recognise as ‘normal’, these are a few of many learnings I’ve taken and will carry forward from the unforgettable year that was 2020.