At 12 noon on 16th March 2020, the World stood still for me. This date precedes the nationwide lockdown ordered in my country, India. But at 12 noon on 16th March 2020 when I was asked to stop an ongoing training program, I was like “ What!?” Luckily that was the final day of the 7-days classroom program I was conducting, I had to close it a couple of hours early. The infamous virus had begun its reign then and no one could have possibly imagined that it would last till date as we all look at the #YearGoneBy.

The very first week after this day was of mixed thoughts and casual reactions. Just settling down I thought of it as a much-needed break and time to spend with family. Less did I knew that this would soon turn into a way-too-long home-stay that included the #WFH.

Being in the Training / L&D space, it soon became obvious that I am going to be the one who would be working more during this long haul journey. After all, this was an opportunity to make use of. But after 10 plus years of Training delivery in classroom, field and OJT formats, all of a sudden the requirements took a jog for the technology-enabled blended learning (TeBL). Fortunately, I had a decent experience of most of the online UIs, widgets and tools, I started off smoothly just to realize that the people on the receiving end were not technology-enabled. To make things fall in shape, I had to actually run a couple of capsule sessions on ‘ How to attend an online training program using Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.’ Happy to say now that all went well and my people are now finding it useful and easy to learn stuff via such platforms.

Virtual sessions ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours, keeping the audience engaged (and sometimes awake), online assessments, reassessments and feedbacks, ad hoc requests, early morning meets and late-night catch-ups, multiple dashboards, dozens of calendar invitations, quick lunch grabs and a breezy balcony on Saturday-Sunday nights, all this has become a #NewNormal as I look at the #YearGoneBy. I am pretty sure for all in the Training / L&D space, you might have had similar experiences.

Times like these may not and should not come again (and I pray that such a thing never hits us again ever), but such situations do offer us learnings for life. What did I learn from this one!? Well, I learnt, it is best to invest time with family, friends and near ones. There is a lot of stuff that we do not know and one can learn it to up-skill and up-scale. It may not be possible always to be prepared, but it is possible to accept change, adapt and move ahead. It taught me, a problem comes with a solution (only if one looks for it). With simple strategies, discipline and smart thinking, a work-life balance can be maintained. Help can be offered most of the times, just to receive it back sometime when you genuinely need it. And most importantly to stay focused and aim for well-being.

Thanks to sustained global efforts, the current pandemic has shown us that knowledge sharing and communications keep us together even virtually and that learning from others and our own previous experience is as essential as attending formal education.

Anand Deogoji
Trainer – Centum Learning