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'Multi-task, adapt to changing world of work'

By DIVYA NAIR
October 01, 2020 10:39 IST
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'Young professionals should be open for jobs in adjacent industries, pick up a contract job to have an opening balance, develop skills in the job in hand, invest in learning and develop cognitive skills and capacities.'
'Spend as per the need only.'

IMAGE: A tattoo artist waits for customers at an Ahmedabad shopping mall, September 23, 2020. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

As many as 20 million Indians -- young professionals in their 20s -- lost their jobs in April 2020, a month after the nationwide lockdown was announced.

The report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy in May 2020 further revealed that youngsters were at higher risk of losing a job in the pandemic.

With organisations and enterprises either shutting or shifting to newer sectors, young professionals are grappling with unemployment and uncertainty about their careers and future.

"The pandemic has taught us that while one need to be a master in one particular functional department, you need to also have skills to manage other functional and adjacent units work, which will help the organisation," Sudeep Sen, below, business head--industrial manufacturing and engineering and general staffing, TeamLease services tells Divya Nair/Rediff.com.

"Layoffs have been common across industries, especially wherein adjacent working skills were missing -- lack of hands on experience and also cognitive skills.'

"Lack of such skills," according to Sen, "followed by cost consciousness and non renewal of several ongoing projects have lead to massive layoffs."

Sudeep SenWhat does the pandemic trend mean for young graduates? What can they do to to increase their chances of getting a job?

Young graduates need to invest time in terms of developing cognitive skills, fine tune their ability to articulate their thoughts and views and identify growth organisations.

In the new normal, you need to be willing to work on contractual jobs to have an opening balance for a better career path while focussing on learning at the workplace.

The need to develop softer skills in very important.

You need to be ready to work in remote locations and in tech enabled remote way.

The ability to converse in a virtual way of work, discipline and looks for ways and means to develop the skills of getting along and have the work done, finally, it is the outcome which matters for the organisations.

What kind of skills are recruiters looking for in fresh hires?

The ability to multi-task, to adapt to changing and future world of work which is the virtual way, open to work in shift timings, communication skills and cognitive skills is important.

The ability to reason through logic and ability to execute is in demand.

What are some of the sectors and job roles that have seen a spike in recruitment in the last quarter?

E-commerce, packaging, logistics are the industries that have hired in the last quarter -- the increase in demand went up by 12 to 15% and will continue to do so.

There will also be spike on contractual hiring because of the demand for the festive season.

The profiles are primarily -- order management, material handling, order processing, customer care, delivery executives, date entry operators, pickers, packers, sorters.

Obviously, the demand is high in the blue collar segment.

What advice would you like to give to those professionals who are struggling to find a job?

Young professionals should be open for jobs in adjacent industries, pick up a contract job to have an opening balance, develop skills in the job in hand, invest in learning and develop cognitive skills and capacities.

Spend as per the need only.

In your opinion, is this the right time to look for a new job? What are some of the factors to consider before switching to a new company?

If you are looking for a new job, you need to be:

  • Adaptable to the new world of remote work post the pandemic outrage
  • Open to take up assignments in adjacent industries
  • Open to switch to industries which are hiring like e-commerce, logistics, packaging, health-care.
  • Open to join a growth company even if it is a start up and willing to put the 'extra hours' of work to learn and develop adjacent working skills and knowledge.

Going forward, when can we expect salary hikes and appraisals?

There is no predictions on the same, we need to see how Q3 unfolds and focus is on road to recovery.

In these uncertain times, what can professionals do to stay relevant and keep their job?

Keep yourself fit.

The pandemic is not going to go away soon and hence, one needs to keep him/her safe from it.

Physical fitness is important. Invest time to learn and develop cognitive skills.

Attend and learn from the online Webinars, look to implement them at work.

Invest time to develop narrative skills to be able to make a point in the virtual world, develop a consultative approach, develop tactical skills and focus on executing them in ongoing jobs, roles and assignments.

Avoid conflicts at work and look for ways to get along and get the job done.

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DIVYA NAIR / Rediff.com
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