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Taking On Redundancy 

Act differently to tackle job loss, salary cuts   

Daring young managers with one bitter truth is better than ensnaring them with a thousand sweet lies. Yes, it needs to be openly admitted that redundancy or job loss and salary cuts are fast becoming a norm in the corporate world as Covid 19 continues to upset economies, companies and livelihoods across the globe. Nepal is no exception.

The country is suffering across sectors. Uncertainly not hope is the reigning sentiment. Tomorrow is another day. In this bleak scenario, young managers are the most traumatised. Many of them have lost jobs. Salary cuts have become common. With consumption drying up, businesses are drying up. Capital expenditure and growth have been reduced to pipe dreams. Survival seems to have become a universal goal.

Though not of this scale, downturns have been a part of corporate life for as long as one remembers. Recessions, market crashes, natural cataclysms, wars and social strife have tested the grit and resilience of the business world time and again. It’s time once again for managers and executives to rise to the occasion and live to fight another day.

First things first, don’t feel guilty about job loss or salary cut. You are just one of the millions hit across continents. And like them, you are out of employment not because you are incompetent or inefficient. The Covid crisis is one of its kind in human history. You are an innocent victim as economies are shrinking, countries are witnessing bleeding cuts in their GDPs, companies are adopting drastic measures to remain alive and the informal sector is falling apart. You can never be and will never be held responsible for your career predicament. So abandon anger, resentment and frustration and keeping your chin up seek new and innovative ways of making a living.

The Covid crisis is one of its kind in human history. You are an innocent victim as economies are shrinking, countries are witnessing bleeding cuts in their GDPs, companies are adopting drastic measures to remain alive and the informal sector is falling apart.

First of all, take a quick stock of your resources. How much money do you have in cash or in bank? Make a reasonably tight budget for the next six months. You will be amazed to find how many expenses you can do without.

Now get ready for job hunting. As I have already stated you have no reason to be ashamed of being jobless. In fact, this is the time to spread the word in your network and outside.
As you will be approaching a diverse set of potential employers be ready to customise your resume as per their requirements. One size does not fit all. Most young managers are good at more than one skill set. Showcase relevant skills to each employer you approach.

You should be mentally prepared to take up work which may not exactly match your previous experience or remuneration. Young managers are at an advantage in this respect as they are exposed to different roles in the initial phase of their work life. Only senior managers get identified with specific specialisations and find it difficult to get equivalent jobs elsewhere. Comparatively, young executives have a vast play field.

Remember that Covid has compelled businesses to create and adopt unique ways of working. Working from home is not exactly new but has now gained currency in view of the infectious pandemic. Work does not always mean a full-fledged job.

Why not offer your skills, say like  accounting, digital marketing or HR functions viz. payroll management, to more than one non-competing companies on part-time basis. In these uncertain times, it seems better to have more than one source of income. Many companies are now desisting from increasing permanent employees on their rolls for obvious reasons. They are preferring consultants for fixed amounts. Medium size enterprises would like to avail the services and skills of managers with big business background, but for reasonable fees.

The Covid-hit executives should try to ensure continuity in work as suggested above. Never sit idle if you have lost your job. There are many online courses for learning contemporary skills. You might as well start offering online advice to medium and small businesses or engage in result-linked projects.

This work style may seem a bit too uncertain and dicey. But the days of unchanging permanence are gone. The sooner the business world learns it the better.

Basant Chaudhary is a Poet, Writer, The Chairman of BLC and Basant Chaudhary Foundation. (feedback@basantchaudhary.com)

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