Dealing with uncertainty in 2020 and beyond

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros

Uncertainty: we’re all feeling it! Any of us on this particular roller coaster has had all kinds of reactions—including but not limited to anxiety, denial, and overconfidence—as we live through the collective uncertainty of 2020.

Uncertainty is a given if you’re willing to risk anything, yet, this time, it has taken us all by surprise. When I, a Type A planner, started throwing out my post-college plans to pivot towards then-unrealized dreams, I started developing some theories to deal with uncertainty. This has led me to making a career constantly dealing with uncertainty, and now, specifically working in marketing at an early stage startup trying to tackle that problem for other marketers.

So, how can we deal with uncertainty?

We look at the past

What happened when we were in a similar situation previously? This information can be helpful, but looking back doesn’t provide an exact map for the future. We might be missing out on important data if we copy-paste our approach based on another.

We look for hints or trends of the future

Is there anything that we can use to decipher a direction? It’s much more than reading the tea leaves. Be willing to look at the subtleties and understand when precision is needed or when a directional approximation will work.

We trust our abilities to deal with the outcomes

Does this mean the outcome doesn’t matter or that there are no consequences? Of course not. But we believe in our ability to work through whatever happens with our community. If it ends in failure, we’ll make sure that failure means something, and if we happen to have another chance, we’ll be ready for it.

Sign post in the shadow with arrows pointing in different directions in front of a sunset sky.
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Samantha Cibelli

Samantha Cibelli is responsible for Marketing Strategy & Operations at Klearly. Also known as Sam, she has a background in marketing roles at startups, so she's knows how to get things done and likes being a part of a team of innovators. Sam came to Klearly with the hopes of bringing humanity into software that can truly help make people's lives easier. Outside of work, Sam stays busy learning new things including most recently languages, quilting, and indoor gardening.