Husnara Begum Head & Shoulders ImageHey Husnara

Happy 2020! This year is going to be like no other.

I’m really glad you’re on a massive high, watching the spectacular fireworks display and seeing in the new decade on holiday in glorious Thailand. Long may that feeling continue because never in your wildest dreams (or indeed nightmares) would you have ever thought that shortly after returning from your travels you’d be spending the rest of the year isolated from family, friends and work contacts.

In a dramatic and unexpected turn of events, the world as you know it will get thrown into chaos. Owing to a novel coronavirus, science fiction will rapidly turn into reality as Governments around the world face almost irreconcilable choices between saving lives and livelihoods as they battle to bring the deadly virus under control. At some points during the year your life will feel so surreal that you’ll expect Tom Cruise to make an appearance.

Beach in ThailandAs you live with a compromised immune system and have also openly talked about coping with bouts of loneliness, I appreciate this letter is likely to cause you anxiety. But I genuinely believe that, now you’re taking much better care of your mental well-being, you’re going to come out of this stronger than ever before. Your life goals and priorities will become clearer and, upon finally recognising the only person who has full control of your destiny is you, the relationship you have with yourself will eventually be reset for the better.

And though you won’t be able to see many people in the flesh you’ll form stronger bonds with those who really matter to you. That also includes your husband who will be with you all the way, having your back and helping you to keep Covid at bay.

Every day, you’ll learn to become more resourceful and acquire brand new skills, such as web editing, that will help pass the time. You’ll also sharpen your general knowledge as you entertain your family and friends hosting quizzes on Zoom. Indeed, your love affair for general knowledge will be passed onto your gorgeous 7-year old niece who’ll become your side-kick and play co-host.

In case you’re wondering, Zoom is a game-changing video conference platform that will help you to stay connected and enable you to seamlessly run your business remotely. But it does also mean that most of your conversations throughout 2020 will start with either “Can you hear / see me?” or “I can’t hear / see you.”

Given much of your consultancy work is counter-cyclical, you can feel reassured that your business is well-hedged against the economic crisis that becomes inevitable as a result of the entire country being put into lockdown – not once but twice. But it does mean you’ll have to become super-disciplined and create boundaries so that you don’t become completely swallowed up by work, notwithstanding your passion to support others through their career crises.

Indeed, it is your love for all-things careers, that will open up the next chapter in your professional life. You’ll be teaming up with your brother Sanu to launch CheekyLittleCareers.com, which also enables you to resurrect your hugely successful career as a legal journalist. A few quarrels are to be expected but it’s thanks to Sanu that you develop the confidence to take your business to the next level.

Building a new website from scratch does mean putting your trust in several people who you’re yet to meet. I know this sounds a little bit daunting and indeed has been one of the single biggest reasons why you’ve not scaled up your business in the past. But if you want to make this new venture a success, you’ll definitely need help from others. So, be brave, because finally ‘letting go’ and allowing others to babysit and nurture your burgeoning website will help both of you to flourish.

For most people 2020 will be all about resilience. But since you have that in an abundance, and you always endeavour to be different from others, I recommend you make 2020 all about collaboration and personal growth.

Yours truly,

Husnara x

Husnara Begum, associate coach and contributing editor