The Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to lives and livelihoods in every corner of the world. The pandemic has a far worse economic impact and related consequences beyond the spread of coronavirus itself. The US economy is virtually brought to a standstill, with officially report 30 million job losses.
As per the United Nations report, nearly half of the global workforce could see their livelihood destroyed. We are still uncertain about the full magnitude of the economic impact as there is less certainty about the spread and timeframe of finding a cure/vaccine.
There were reports from world economic forums and other international bodies that Asian countries, India and China relatively do better without major economic impact.
In India, as per the CMIE report, we are staring at 150 million jobless including 34 million unemployed before lockdown. This will impact about 250 million livelihoods. These figures are worrisome.
As per a recent report by the International Labour Organisation, India has close to 80% of all employed workers in the informal sector and only 6.5% in the formal sector. Unless, there is an urgent stimulus and well-laid plan to handle the situation, about one-third of the livelihood in India would be severe distress.
How to manage the impact as an individual?
The economic impact of the pandemic will have consequences for every individual in their career and businesses. The level of impact will, of course, vary based on your socioeconomic status, industry, and job role. These are a few things you should consider doing during this turmoil.
1. Be proactive, don’t wait for the decision from your employer
The level of impact of the pandemic on industries and individual businesses is becoming more clear. You should be proactive in analyzing the situation by getting inputs from your management, talking to your colleagues and industry updates to collect as much as information that could help you to better understand your job continuity. This will help you to make an informed decision to survive this crisis.
2. Cut down your monthly expenses
Usually, more than 50% of the expenses come aren’t essential. This is the time to cut down all non-essential expenses so that your savings can last for a longer period. This couldn’t be canceling your non-essential service subscription, reducing your eating out bills, less vacation trips, reduce on non-essential groceries.
The reduction in expenses doesn’t directly mean that your living standard fall in that proportion. You would be amazed to see that you can smartly reduce the expenses without visible differences in lifestyle. Start from analyzing monthly expenses items and items and figure out smart ways to reduce the cost.
If your savings and borrows can’t sustain for the next 6 months, then you should have to look into long term cost reduction, in terms of moving to less expensive housing, changing kid’s schools, etc., I advise not to worry about social status and other consequences as surviving without significant stress is more important. Also, as you resume a normal lifestyle after this crisis situation, all rest will be restored as well.
3. Don’t procrastinate, upskill and explore jobs
I see a lot of advice on social media from celebrities and influencers such as spending time with family, clean house, play with your kids, and help your spouse in his/her daily chores. Well, I do respect all those advice but this situation demands more focus on career than ever.
Don’t procrastinate start analyzing your career path, work out a plan to learn skills relevant to your career, start professional networking – Linkedin is a good place for that, attend webinars online, and explore jobs. Time is the most valuable thing, don’t waste your precious lockdown time. Make every minute count.
4. Be open and flexible to new opportunities
This is definitely not the time to be picky about career options. You should be flexible in terms of choosing new opportunities that might not be your favorite job role but more stable and provide salary levels to your expectation
Most of the people stay in their comfort zones and won’t venture out to achieve their career ambitions. Take this as an opportunity to switch careers, industries, even start your own venture that you long dreamed about. The pandemic has already disrupted the business around the world and creating a new order. You may be fortunate enough to realize your ambitions in the new order.
5. Stay away from Negative
Stay away from negative news, negative discussions, doomsday predictions, negative people, and all sorts of negative things. Worrying about things that you can’t control is just a waste of time, also significant mental stress. Stay away from negative and focus on managing the crisis in the best way possible.
It is beyond any doubt that the world, post-coronavirus, will not be the same. Job losses across the industries are inevitable as companies restructure the businesses to serve the post-coronavirus world.
Take a two-fold approach, one cut down expenses, keep your environment positive, family happy and the other, focus on upskilling, networking, and exploring jobs.
As quoted by Leon C. Megginson interpreting Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution ” It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change “. This quote is relevant now than ever.