There is no escaping the fact that in the days following the lockdown, employment and the job market can expect to see a brand new normal. With many people already facing job uncertainty, fear and panic will abound, for obvious reasons. This panic is already keeping most of the employees and aspiring candidates up at night, wondering how the post pandemic situation will affect their job search.
HRKatha is here to provide some key tips on why you should not panic, but keep your calm and continue your job search in the evolving workplaces.
Loss of jobs and re-employment are the new normal today. Unlike in the past, there is no longer a stigma attached to somebody looking for a job or getting fired. As the reasons can be multiple, nobody need carry any baggage while looking for that perfect role in the new normal.
Nihar Ghosh, CHRO, Emami Group, says, “Panic leads to desperation and you may end up exercising suboptimal charge rather than picking the best choice for yourself.”
lockdown or not, skill sets such as courage, conviction, grace, balance, adaptability and flexibility are in much demand today
“No one is entirely sure what will happen and for how long this outbreak will last. But, you can at least put your best foot forward rather than try to be defensive, when you go for an interview,” adds Ghosh.
It is important to acknowledge that COVID -19 has created a very unusual scenario. Different industries will respond differently to the present situation.
Shharad Dhakkate, CHRO, SBI General Insurance, suggests being more optimistic about opportunities in the market post lifting of lockdown. “People have started talking of adapting to the ‘new normal’ which essentially refers to the ways of doing things, differently, that fit into the context. Candidates should accept the manner in which things are taking shape in the present scenario.”
Having said that, Dhakkate also believes that some of the job streams may become redundant in the future. “This is the time for candidates to introspect and re-invent. It is important that prospective job seekers align with this new reality and re-skill themselves accordingly,” advises Dhakkate.
It is certain that post lifting of lockdown things will be different. However, there will always be demand for great talent. The pandemic has not yet touched upon this criterion, when it comes to hiring the right fit for any organisation. Therefore, candidates can set themselves apart and work on their skills to make their chances of grabbing a job even brighter.
Prabir Jha, founder and CEO, Prabir Jha People Advisory, says, “It is important for candidates to keep their nerve through these times. Learn to smile, breathe easy and let stress not overwhelm you.”
Jha also believes that candidates should allow themselves time to reflect on their aspirations and dreams. “You may just stop chasing a mere job and start leading your life,” reveals Jha.
Influencing, collaboration, resilience, energy and drive, empathy and ability to deal with grey is considered very critical to future success
Whatever is happening in the current scenario is momentary and Ghosh seems to believe in this aspect.
“Disruption in the market is not permanent, it’s a temporary phenomenon. There will be structural reforms in the companies and they will be testing various models of working. While companies are focusing on redefining their processes, it is important for you to shift focus and have a little patience,” explains Ghosh.
“Wait for the right opportunity and don’t jump into the first thing that comes your way. Play your cards the way you would have played under normal market conditions,” he adds.
What are organisations actually looking for?
Candidates should accept the fact that the current situation is likely to change some of the competencies that companies will look at while hiring.
According to Jha, even today, organisations are looking for differentiated skill sets and how a candidate brings that edge to the job. Soft skills such as resilience, empathy and comfort with ambiguity will matter even more today.
But if he had to look beyond the threshold of functional and leadership skills, “Influencing, collaboration, resilience, energy and drive, empathy and ability to deal with grey is considered very critical to future success,” asserts Jha.
Currently we are going through a pandemic and in times to come, disruption is going to be a way of life. Companies will be looking for talent possessing the ability to adapt and the resilience to deal with such critical situations.
This is the time for candidates to introspect and re-invent. It is important that prospective job seekers align with this new reality and re-skill themselves accordingly
Likewise, Ghosh believes that in such distressed situations, organisations look for a very mature and balanced response. “You will have to think through the wide range of variables that you have at your disposal, and take a call on what is immediate and what is important,” he adds.
It is often believed that employees, from their past experiences, carry the ability to demonstrate a balance in thinking orientation, and that is when they know how to act gracefully under pressure.
Dhakkate opines, “We have witnessed varied kinds of responses to the present situation from the industries that were largely a function of relevance of the service or product to the society.”
With several new competencies in demand, it really doesn’t matter which domain a candidate belongs to.
“So, lockdown or not, skill sets such as courage, conviction, grace, balance, adaptability and flexibility are in much demand today. And if you have these experiences and these skills, you must highlight them to make your candidature stronger while looking for a job,” Ghosh concludes.