Have you lost job – Time to get one

The Lost Jobs

The outbreak of the Corona Pandemic has been a setback worldwide causing a huge loss to human lives, public health, and the world of work. An estimated 12.2 crore people have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost 75% of the 12.2 crore people were small traders and wage-laborers. As per ILO (International Labour Organization), the world lost nearly 400 million jobs in the second quarter of the year 2020. The job losses in Asia and Africa increased by over 400 million as per estimates. India’s workforce also reported a massive hit by coronavirus with almost 21 million salaried job loss between April to August -20, as per a report by CMIE(Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy). The job losses are not only confined to only the support staff among salaried employees but also includes industrial workers and white-collar workers, it said. About 4.8 million salaried jobs were lost in July and then in August, another 3.3 million jobs were gone,” the CMIE said. The monthly CMIE data reported an increase in the country’s unemployment rate from 7.40% in July-20 to 8.35% in Aug-20. Amongst all the lost jobs salaried jobs were the most impacted ones as per CMIE. This widespread unemployment is a great cause of huge earnings losses, family disruption, a decline in physical and mental well-being, and social withdrawal.

Unemployment and rising Stress Level

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had a substantial impact on global economies. The majority of people are either affected directly or indirectly through economic fallout.  It has negatively impacted individual employment at a global level. The lockdown included the closure of many businesses forcing the workforce to complete their work, from home. The companies having non-essential businesses where WFH was not possible to have either shut down their operations or reduced the workforce. The insecurity created because of income loss has impacted society affecting the health and mind of many. Losing employment is one of life’s most stressful experiences. Employment brings not just financial stability but also a sense of purpose and self-esteem. It can badly affect our mood, relationships, mental and emotional health. Apart from monetary and financial reasons job is also a way to feel connected to others. Losing a job can be one of life’s most stressful experiences as it results in fear and anxiety. For many people, job loss not only triggers feelings of sadness and depression but also the loss of one’s identity. This brings a lot of stress to all as it can leave us hurt, angry and depressed.  As per a WHO study, 89% of India’s population suffers from stress and as per another survey, 82% suffers from stress on account of work and finance-related concerns. These numbers have multiplied by the sudden pandemic break which badly affected the working professionals in the form of pay cuts, lack of opportunities, and economic downtown.

Job loss not only takes a toll on mental health but also the physical well-being of people. Apart from stress and depression people losing jobs are more prone to sleep problems, ulcers, headaches, and even heart ailments.

Handling stress with a silver lining

The pandemic has made the words anxiety and fears common for people when it comes to jobs and related well-being. Finding oneself out of work had made people feel hurt, angry, or depressed. It is true that losing a job and getting a new one is difficult in a pandemic situation, but not impossible. A feeling of failure and loss of self-esteem is normal but should be temporary, according to health experts, as it could lead to physical and psychological unease. It is important to consider your existence as foremost rather than your career.  People should not feel alone as millions of others are facing the same issue and insecurity at this time. It is prudent to maintain a balance between body, mind, and soul by thinking positively, staying calm and composed. Additionally, below steps can be taken to deal with uncontrollable circumstances of a job loss –

  • Accept the reality by giving time to yourself and adjust to the circumstances
  • Involve with family and friend by revealing the job status and spend time to relax
  • Redefine yourself by pursuing meaningful hobbies, activities, and relationships
  • Stick to a daily routine, physical exercise, and balanced diet
  • Take a sound sleep and stay positive.
  • Create a plan of action for the next job search
  • Think about the things which are under your control
  • List down the things you want to achieve and plan actions to achieve them
  • Have complete faith in Almighty and never give up
  • Spend time in nature

Returning to previous normal

The COVID -19 pandemic disrupted the job markets globally during 2020. Millions of people were furloughed or lost jobs while others adjusted to pay cuts and the WFH environment. But the year 2021 has marked hope for new jobs and hiring trends, allowing people to recover from the loss incurred due to the pandemic. The Indian job market is also improving slowly and steadily with an almost 50% increase in job openings in January-21 as compared to December -20.  The Covid-19 vaccination drive and improving economic indicators have induced employers to hire for vacant and new positions. As per the Employment Outlook Survey, conducted by Manpower Group an increase in hiring activity is expected in the next quarter of the year 2021. About 12% of 2,375 companies who participated in the survey plan to hire more people in the April- June-21 quarter. The survey also estimated a workforce gain for all companies including small, medium, and large businesses with the latter leading the show with 10% of Net Employment Outlook. The Job market continues to improve across India with an increase in job postings as per the Monster Employment Index report which compares the job listing data with specific time intervals. The report highlights maximum growth in job postings as compared to last year in industries like FMCD, Agro-based, IT-Hardware, Software, Banking, and financial services, Insurance to name a few. With all these, we see hiring bouncing back to pre-COVID levels and the market gearing up for new and vacant jobs within the next coming months.

A thoughtful plan of action

Maybe you were not able to land a job in the year 2020 but the new year has positive hopes with the availability of vaccines and improvement in business activities. It is very important to be ready by doing related searches and collecting information about positions and companies. It’s time to build your job search strategy for 2021. Figure out first the type of job and the company you want to work, identify some rough timelines, and build on your application to get the desired one. Identify the suitable job boards and visit the career page of targeted companies. Work on building targeted resumes, update your social media profiles, and strengthen your network. Explore for best career websites, resume review sites, and join interview preparation platforms. At last, never give up, remember you have skill, knowledge, experience, and willing to contribute, something good will happen. 

Feel free to connect in case you are seeking some related support and guidance

Promoting a new normal – what is positive about corona pandemic

Over the last few months, we have been witnessing the lock-down period because of this pandemic, COVID -19. This new normal of quarantined lives and social distancing has kept people sealed indoors to avoid chances of contamination. While people are rarely leaving their homes they feel bored and frustrated, which affects their well-being and drifts them into negativity. When the majority of people are negative about the pandemic, I believe that not everything about the corona virus pandemic is dreadful. We indeed experienced negative emotions because of this outbreak and the subsequent lock-down but it has also left some positive impacts on our lives. I would like to focus on the below aspects –

  1. The clean and green environment – Curtailments on movements, traffic and, business activities have considerably reduced pollution at a global level. NASA Satellites have documented significant reductions of around 20-30% in air pollution. We can now witness cleaner air, green environment and, bluer skies. There has been a significant dip in the Air Quality Index (AQI) across the country because of less greenhouse gas emissions. Delhi and other metropolitan cities of India are also enjoying the lowest levels of air pollution as recorded in the last decades.
  2. Improved Social Life – As the pandemic becomes a bigger part of our daily life, it has changed the way we think, behave, and relate to one another. The struggle to survive the pandemic has developed a high degree of cooperation amongst people by promoting a sense of togetherness and concern for each other’s well-being. Now people are more concerned about strengthening family relationships, inquiring about neighbors’ health, caring for needy, and serving the poor ones. Indeed the poverty and suffering levels have also increased but we can also see a sense of harmony amongst people to extend their help, wherever required, in their best possible manner. We notice a lot of individuals and philanthropic organizations taking effective steps to support the victims and help them in sustenance, thus encouraging and strengthening humanity in fighting the situation.
  3. Health Consciousness – The initial phase of the pandemic witnessed behaviors of anxiety, depression, and anger amongst people.  But later on, people started identifying ways to relieve stress and improve both physical and mental health. As a result, people reported working on their diets, eating fresh and rich ingredients food, cutting on snacks intake, and practicing a balanced lifestyle. The increasing concern of physical well-being inspired many people to start a home workout, yoga, and meditation. With the support of many online health and yoga gurus, people around the world are now more creative with their home workouts. This has helped many in reducing the dependency on local gyms and clubs.
  4. Cordial Family atmosphere – The changing home dynamics of people remaining indoors has increased the household work especially for women. The never-ending task of cooking, cleaning, washing has increased manifold with no domestic help into the picture because of lock-down.  The situation becomes more of a nightmare for working women transforming them into a multitasking superwoman overnight. But a good thing to notice during the lock-down is, male actively taking part in the household. I see men and young boys posting pictures of themselves sweeping floor, doing the dishes on social media platforms with an attitude to help their wives, sisters, or mother. This attitude helps break the stereotype and created a cordial home atmosphere during the lock-down period.  I appreciate the progressive and intellectual attitude of the male counterparts in developing a supportive household culture. It can be viewed as a welcome change and a successful step towards the fight against gender inequality as it helps build a civilized society with no gender biases.
  5. Up-skilling – This unprecedented COVID crisis has proven beneficial because of numerous learning opportunities easily accessible from home through online platforms. Many of us have utilized this time to enhance skills for better career opportunities considering long term growth. A recent survey conducted by Naukri.com revealed, close to 50% of job seekers devoted their lock-down time on self-development. Most companies have also offered an online interactive training and development program for its employees. This has helped people to come up with new skill sets adding value to the current and future talent pool.

I accept that we are going through a challenging time, but this situation has also given new normality to our lives by positively impacting our health, relationship, and social lives. Despite difficult external conditions people all over the world people have understood the importance of a meaningful life which focuses on the betterment and harmony of self, humanity, and nature as well.