Managers are more than just a job
Though the repeated warnings of a global recession have yet to be experienced in full force, layoffs in the technology sector are growing at an alarming rate. The bigger a tech or tech-propelled company higher are its layoffs.
Amazon and Meta have shown the door to thousands of employees in 2022. Among others who have been issuing pink slips to their staff are the likes of Dell, Yahoo, Zoom, Qualtrics, Carta, Verily, Alibaba, Cineplex, Tencent, Twitter, Better.com, Peloton, Byju’s, Blinkit, Unilever, Snap, Doordash, Microsoft, Lido Learning, Vedantu, Unacademy, Chargebee, Wayfair, Clarna, Meesho, Oyo, Cars24, Mfine, Udaan, Ola, Noom, Netflix, Wipro, Plaid, FarEye, Tesla, Walmart, Boeing, Adobe, etc. This is anything but a complete list. We can see employees being thrown out across geographies, business domains and companies.
Remember how over two years ago, Covid19 pandemic and the consequential choking of supply chains had resulted in worldwide inflation. The geopolitical and economic situation worsened with the breakout of military hostilities between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022. Central banks of many countries resorted to their old age technique of raising interest rates to control rising prices. With the desired results not forthcoming early and easy, several central banks are still pushing ahead with the same formula. This time period was marked by the Great Resignation or Big Quit phenomenon wherein employees began resigning in protest against rise in cost of living even as wages remained stagnant. However, this development was largely confined to the Western world where the jobless are entitled to unemployment benefits.
But even before inflation could be tamed last year, economic experts had started prophesying that the year 2023 will witness a recession that could cripple the world’s economy. The doomsayers were proved right even before 2023 could set its foot in. We are facing massive layoffs in the IT and technology sectors. Those who have escaped the axe are forced to accept wage cuts.
Though it is technology companies and tech start-ups which are facing the most grievous blows caused by the recession, it would be naïve to imagine that other sectors of the global economy will remain unaffected. Globalisation is both economic and technological in nature. It has linked every activity and development in today’s world. Downturn in any given domain is bound to affect other sectors even if sooner than later or in any less or higher degree.
There is a pall of gloom, fear, uncertainty and apprehension over the managerial world. The fear of the pink slip is sapping the physical and mental energy of even the most battle-hardened executives.
Even the currently raging war between Russia and Ukraine, which cannot be described as a business conflict by any stretch of the imagination, has shaken the world’s economy and commerce, leaving aside a heart-rending humanitarian crisis.
Intensive interlinking of countries and their entities dotting the planet has its own pros and cons. Of utmost concern is the impact which estimated and sudden upheavals have on the rank and file running private enterprises? There is a pall of gloom, fear, uncertainty and apprehension over the managerial world. The fear of the pink slip is sapping the physical and mental energy of even the most battle-hardened executives. This is a sad situation. But how can we cope with the Great Apprehension?
Marshal your mental, emotional and spiritual faculties and seek to know whether you are merely a job. You will quickly understand that a job is only a part of your whole self. Do not underestimate or demean yourself by equating yourself with your employment. Were you worthless before getting employed? Or have your elders been rendered worthless after retiring from their offices or companies? Does a senior businessman become useless after withdrawing from day-to-day business activities? Is his guidance and mentorship of no use? The end of a job, dear managers, is not the end of a career and certainly not the end of life. The moment and period of job loss cannot last forever. Recessions are short-lived. Haven’t you overcome downturns, big and small, during your career? Haven’t you emerged wiser and stronger from personal crises? The fear of a disaster is often more damaging than the real calamity.
Also don’t ever think that you have lost your job in recessionary times because you are inefficient. Merit and dedication are vital but they often take a back seat in times of extreme crises when companies are compelled to reduce headcount for sheer survival. Your abilities are not in question. Do not get caught in the victimhood trap.
Still, creating contingency plans against potential job loss scenarios is always beneficial. This is your personal risk management. Even if you sniff an impending danger, check the following: have sudden cost-saving steps been ordered in your department, are sales falling regularly, has the company stopped filling even the most needed vacancies, is their suddenly not enough work to do, are even essential business tours being curtailed, are non-core business activities being put on the back burner, have high Capex projects been abandoned or postponed unexpectedly, are you no longer being invited to regular meetings and brainstorming sessions, etc.? To get the correct response to these doubts create a small group of people thinking alike. If the collective answer is a ‘No’, then you are overthinking and tormenting yourself unnecessarily. Stop doing that.
There are better things to do in life than to remain in a state of constant fear.