Aug 18, 2020

2020 is a year to forget - the worst pandemic for a century is accompanied by an unprecedented self-imposed global economic downturn aimed at reducing virus transmission and preserving life.

2020 is a year to forget; the worst pandemic for a century accompanied by an unprecedented self-imposed global economic downturn aimed at reducing virus transmission and preserving life. Even for those fortunate enough to escape health implications, many may have experienced a sudden change in circumstances. For those impacted by the latter, as long as you don’t give up, it will be okay.

I have tremendous respect for competitive athletes. When most of us see them, we are actually witnessing years of dedication, discipline and most likely sacrifices, for preparation and to hone their craft. In addition to the physical training, they would have had to develop mental resilience to withstand pressure, particularly during crucial moments. These years of ‘unseen’ dedication and perseverance in the pursuit of their goals are ultimately what’s allowed them to shine. This can be within their chosen field, or another arena when their time in competitive athletics comes to a natural end. It is clearly a strategy that works.

Focus on the things you can control, is a trusted piece of advice that has been relayed to me by a number of mentors over the years. This is especially true in these uncertain times where we may also need to pivot. My eclectic professional journey taught me that experiences from different fields are surprisingly helpful and can be called upon in other careers. Many, if not most of us, would have non-linear career paths. In a technology-enabled world, our environments can change quickly, being adaptable is a useful trait.

We have recovered from economic and healthcare crises in the past, and we will do again. The current economic downturn is a direct result of the pandemic, and on that, we are making good progress towards vaccines and more therapeutics.

Whilst we await the scientists and medics to do their magic, perhaps the following could help us bide the time

  1. Be kind to yourself, with good health, anything is possible.
  2. Play the long game, work on your craft and toward your goals, even when there are no immediate opportunities.
  3. Stay positive and confident, you will need these to showcase the skills you’ve been honing from point 2.

2020 will not last forever, nor will the pandemic. Use the time to prepare and persevere, your time will come.

Dr. Wendy Ng is a DevSecOps Security Managing Advisor, who’s honed her technical consulting skills through a number of industries: aerospace, healthcare, fintech, telco, transport logistics, and critical national infrastructure. Wendy completed her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford and has contributed to the scientific community through peer-reviewed publications. She has been sharing her experience and expertise, addressing key challenges, in her blogs since 2016.