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It’s time we all acknowledge something that we’ve long denied this year: Nothing will really change at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day – except for the one’s place in the year.

But look: We get why so many have clung to that hope. In life, we all need something to look forward to. We need hope, a finish line.

2020 has fallen miserably short in that capacity.

And in the absence of hope or a concrete finish line, we’ve placed all of our hope on faulty logic – that somehow, someway, everything changes when the minute hand of the clock changes the year from this to the next.

If only.

Sadly, the space-time continuum dredges ever forward, despite our loftiest hopes and desperation, with no regard to what midnight signifies to so many of us after a year like 2020.

Because the fact remains that while New Year’s rings in a new year, it brings with it every last bit of baggage from 2020 – and just as much of the trauma-informed, fast-twitch muscle fiber reactions and pivots we were forced to make.

But, having survived 2020 – an accomplishment in itself – we can also bring everything that fire-by-trial taught us.

And this time, we won’t be caught (as) off-guard if – or when – things go awry. We have a blueprint this time so now, we can take stock in what worked, go back to the drawing board for what didn’t, and even – this is for all you goal-getters – plan to go above and beyond what you accomplished in 2020.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for everything – and in her latest LinkedIn article, our CEO Tricia Sciortino hopes to arm you with some of the essential future-proofing considerations here.

1. Working From Home – Again or Still.

We’ve compiled a tactical checklist here – now, likely a refresher for you – on how you can work from home, whether temporarily or indefinitely, to ensure ‘business as usual’ even when things are decidedly unusual.

2. Working From Home With Kids – Again or Still.

As one of its only silver linings, the ‘uncertain’ and ‘unprecedented’ times of 2020 have helped us all draft the blueprint necessary to navigate uncharted waters with some semblance of confidence – all with kids. Near you. Maybe too near you. Wandering aimlessly as they, too, tried to make sense of it all. No small feat – but we did it. And here’s how.

3. Preparing Your Team

One crucial factor is non-negotiable: No amount of technology or autonomy can replace the impact of having an effective, emotionally intelligent manager. Here are eight ways your leadership can successfully adapt to the virtual workforce model.

4. Picking Up Where You Left Off

Waste not, want not. Those plans you so carefully crafted at the start of 2020? They may still be worthwhile pursuits in 2021. So dust them off and determine how many you can retry in the new year. Review, revise as necessary, and get to work. Better late than never, right? 

5. Crisis Communication Plans

This is for when you need to communicate about how to communicate when you can’t communicate. Still with me? And no, we don’t get paid every time we type ‘communicate’ – though we totally should.

The ultimate goal of having a communication plan is to tell your entire organization, ‘If something were to ever happen, this is how we’re going to make sure that everybody continues to provide the same awesome service that we always have, that everybody continues to get paid, and that we will continue to be the top in our market and space.’

6. Subscriptions

Review and carefully evaluate your specific needs periodically – especially as times and headlines dictate – to lean into the best tools and maximize their capabilities. It’s about choosing – and paying for – only the right tools for the job, and not all the tools. 

7. Backup Org Changes

Review your crisis contingency organizational chart so everyone knows who will keep the business up and running when business isn’t ‘as usual.’ These are difficult conversations. It’s kind of like making a living will for your business and should be accessible to everyone at any time.

8. Hedge Your Finances 

What do you do when the current year has been like no other? And, what do you do when the upcoming year is already riddled with uncertainty? We got you. By executing these few steps from my fearless partner and BELAY CFO and COO Lisa Zeeveld, you can take some of the guesswork out of 2021 planning.

Those Who Don’t Learn From The Past

Unpopular opinion: 2020 wasn’t all bad. Sure, it was hard. Like, bring-you-to-your-knees hard at times.

But – and we stand firmly by this – some of our greatest defining moments and lessons are forged by fire.

And for those opportunities, we’re eternally grateful.

And to make sure you’re never caught off guard by whatever the next year brings ever again, be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay informed and ready!