A look back at 2020

Ashleigh Joyce, December 21, 2020

Most of us are sprinting to 2020’s finish line after enduring a pandemic, an intense United States presidential election, civil unrest, and other extreme challenges whose ends may not even be on the horizon yet. Make no mistake about it, this year was one of the toughest many of us have had to face during our lifetimes.

However, it’s important—perhaps more so this year than most—to take a moment to reflect on what our trials and tribulations have taught us.

I asked Calendlians how they experienced the past year and was blown away to read their responses full of grace, humility, and wisdom. I’d like to share these lessons with you this holiday season as we come together and look towards the new year. 

Lesson #1: Show more compassion and empathy towards one another. 

“Experiences shape who we are, and in many ways, how and what we think. Be open to new experiences and new ways of thinking. At the end of the day we are all human and have more in common than we imagine. We don’t have to agree with each other’s opinions or ways of life, but we have a responsibility to be kind and respectful to one another. Choose kindness first, and you may be surprised with what you get back in return.”

- Ashleigh Joyce, Talent Brand Manager


“Now more than ever, we have to face each day one step at a time with courage and perseverance. And though we might individually falter, we owe it to ourselves and others to pick each other up and keep taking the next step forward.” 

- Hunter Harris, Full Stack Engineer

Hunter Harris

Lesson #2: Find the things you’re thankful for.

“As with any year, we’ve seen our fair share of challenges (well, maybe a few more than average in 2020...) but some of them have been very positive for me and my family. We realized that homeschooling was a better choice for our children. Shifting to remote work meant I got to see my family more. Breaks now include KidzBopKidz Dance parties and hugs so big they literally squeeze the breath out of me.

“2020 has taken a lot from us for sure. But looking back on the year, I'm going to focus hard on what 2020 gave me so that I can cherish and cultivate that going into 2021.”

- Erika Chestnut, Head of QA

Erika Chestnut

“The first thing that comes to mind is that I really, really appreciate my bosses. I didn’t adjust to remote life well, and Rachel and Erika were amazing, supporting me to adapt, learn, and find a way to be just as potent and valuable out of an office as I am in an office. Calendly has leaders, not managers, and it shows in how they tackle problems.”

- Tanner Cummings, QA Engineer

Tanner Cumming

Lesson #3: Take comfort in your faith and those around you. 

“2020 has been a year of ‘who would have thought?’ I started at Calendly in March this year and never imagined the journey ahead for myself, my coworkers and ultimately the entire world. Through many trials, tribulations, twists and turns, I’ve had the opportunity to do much more reflection and introspection than normal. In light of that, I look back on 2020 with a new perspective on many things.

“Who would have thought that in looking back on 2020, I would also see how much I have to be thankful for? For health, for a job at a thriving and growing company, for faith and the stability it brings in troubled times, and for the cherished times I’ve had with those I love. 2020 has provided a year that has shed new light—on the things that matter most, and those things that I thought mattered much but actually matter very little.” 

- Russell Lester, CFO

Russell Lester

“At the end of the day, all that remains is my faith in God and knowing that His love for me is more than enough.”

- Dia Phillips, Procurement and Vendor Specialist

Dia Phillips

“This year has shown me the power of the ‘shared human experience.’ I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own problems that you sometimes forget others have their own unique life challenges as well. But this year, we collectively had to experience something really impactful to the human race. It’s given me the opportunity to connect with people in ways I never thought I would. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one struggling through these difficult times gave me sanity. I really hope we can continue this feeling of connection moving forward.”

- Malik Pinckney, Product Specialist

Malik Pinckney

Ashleigh Joyce biography
Ashleigh Joyce

Ashleigh Joyce is Calendly's Manager of Employer Brand. She's thankful for her two little ones, local West Midtown restaurants, and fermented grapes.

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