The perception of a safe and well-paying job has undergone a holistic change. So, how does a professional brace for this onslaught?
Ever felt shortchanged by the fact that you started your career during a slump in your sector? Or do you think about bad karma when your career suddenly hits a speed-bump after riding a crest?
In India, many people working in the aviation, banking and telecom sectors in the last three years have faced the wrath of global economic factors as well as consolidation in the domestic market at different points in their careers.
For instance, in the IT sector, nobody would have thought 10 years ago that technology will become a double-edged sword and realign organisational structures in a negative way for human intervention at workplaces.
The perception of a safe and well-paying job has undergone a holistic change. So, how does a professional brace for such an untoward event?
“Mid-level managers are often in a confused state due to their inability to keep pace with the changing scope of their clients’ needs, particularly in IT services, where technology or scope of work is constantly changing," said Alka Dhingra, General Manager, Teamlease Services Ltd. "They need to find alternative employment if they upgrade their skills and become aware of new technologies in the space of user experience, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence."
“However, the new skills are becoming important in the telecom sector too as the sector is looking at moving towards software-defined networks and infrastructure as a service, and most importantly in the user experience,” Dhingra added.
But then, how should a fresh graduate plan his career if the sector he/she enters is enduring a tough cycle?
Dhingra said freshers should never, ever stop learning and during early stages of the career, they should be to actively seek out learning opportunities. “Freshers need to understand the industry and leading organisations in that sector and what kind of skills they are hiring for and prepare accordingly by undergoing training and projects in that domain.
When job losses take place, the employee’s morale takes a hit and management and HR jargon does not provide any solace. The question arises that how can an industry prepare itself or its workers to cope up with challenges like job cuts/no increments?
“The company should keep the employees abreast of what has been happening at management level. Appropriate staff inclusion in decision making and planning and acknowledgement to staff during difficult times eases the pain. Also, if increments are not given then career advancement options can be given to employees by enhancing their career growth," Dhingra said.
In the IT sector alone, India has about 1.4 million mid-rung employees, who typically have eight to 12 years of experience and earn Rs 12-18 lakh a year, and the number of such employees is likely to grow with each passing year.
However, with this career advancement, some may lose touch with core technical skills. With new processes and technologies flooding the market constantly, there is a need for mid-level managers to keep themselves abreast of the changes.Those who have entered the workforce post-recession, may have wryly wished if they would have been born a few years earlier. But you can’t change destiny. So, in order to stay afloat, not only do you need to learn to swim against the tide, but also learn to steer clear of sharks.