The year of COVID-19: One to forget or an untapped opportunity?

Categories: Editor's Pick

This is a contributed story by Sam Neo. To have your own voice heard, submit your stories to [email protected]

2020 has been a year to forget, at least to date.

COVID-19 took the world by storm. Global economies got destroyed overnight. Millions of jobs were lost.

No one expected such an impact at such a large scale.

Of course, you could choose to feel defeated and complain about how unfair this is or you could

identify opportunities, adapt, and emerge stronger by the time the world starts recovering.

Over the past few months, my businesses were not spared either.

In 2019, both People Mentality and Stories of Asia (SOA) had a great year with many reputable clients that came on board. We were growing fast and had great plans for 2020. 

One of the key areas that SOA was expanding on involved curated events to bring together Human Resource (HR) and business leaders. We had success in this – with SOA Stories Night. We were building momentum.

Then, the pandemic hit.

Overnight, our grand plan got destroyed. We were unable to organise any physical events. The team got lost for a moment thinking “How can we adjust? What should we do next?” 

It was frustrating to say the least. After all, we had put in so much work to build up the momentum and now we have to rebuild?

That said, as soon as we knew that this situation was not going to change for months to come, we were clear that going 100% digital was the sensible path to take. We needed something that could allow us to continue telling stories in an engaging manner while still bringing like-minded people together. With that, the SOA Community Chats was born.

We have since partnered with various organisations (such as Under Armour SEA) and leaders in the region for this new project. My team and I learned so much through the conversations that we had. 

The best part was, those conversations sparked ideas for the team to develop new plans that could add even more value to the Asian community. That is truly exciting. 

If there is one lesson that I’ve learned during this crisis, it is that opportunities are aplenty, especially in such situations.

What matters is how we look for these opportunities and how ready we are to adjust and capitalise on them to deliver more value. 

Keep an open mind, stay sharp by constantly refining your skills and there will definitely be openings for you, both as an individual and as an organisation.

The year of COVID-19 hasn’t been easy. But will this be your year to forget or your year to emerge stronger by tapping on new opportunities? Your call.


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