Although a few technology companies, such as WIPRO, Tech Mahindra and Accenture, have reassured that they will honour the pre-placement offers they have made, there are many other companies and sectors from where no such assurance has come.
Adding to the hopelessness, many companies have deferred the joining date or revoked the previous offer. Some have even offered a month’s salary as compensation.
The fact remains that times are uncertain and job pursuers need to be prepared for this uncertainty. Many management and engineering graduates could be left out at the campus, feeling helpless.
Having said that, we are all aware that this phase is temporary, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. The students who pass out this year should all find jobs, albeit with a slight delay in the process.
This interim time is apt for students to to brush up and fine-tune their skills. It is the best time to do it
The question is, ‘How should students keep themselves engaged and motivated during this interim period till the time they land a job.”
HRKatha spoke to a few senior HR practitioners, and here is what they suggest.
First and foremost, they should continue with the job search and not give up even for a moment. In the quest for employment, students should leverage the alumni pool to get referred and find a job.
Candidates can join institutes, which require research scholars and earn a stipend in the process
They shouldn’t be rigid with regard to the sector or role. If the sector they desired to join, doesn’t have jobs to offer, students should be ready to switch over and be prepared to shift sectors as well.
In addition to the ongoing task of hunting for a job, students should look at ways to spend time productively, while waiting on the fence.
“This interim time is apt for students to to brush up and fine-tune their skills. It is the best time to do it,” says Anil Mishra, CHRO, Magicbricks.
But what should they learn?
They can either go deep or go wide. Going deep would entail becoming more specialised in their own field so that when the market starts to bloom again, they can be the first to be considered for positions. Going wide means to expand one’s horizons and embrace T-shaped learning. The apprehension at the moment is that companies will be in need of critical professionals who can attend to a range of responsibilities, or professionals who are super-specialists in their field.
Candidates should not be picky with their choices at this time
Learning is not limited to signing up for online courses. Students who are equipped enough to weather out the storm can prepare for further studies as well.
Explore the start-up space
It is advisable for students to begin working for a startup. “During this time there are a lot of start-ups who would require help. Individuals can explore the startup space,” says Sriharsha Achar, CHRO, HDFC Ergo General Life Insurance.
This will not only brush up their knowledge and skills, but will also provide hands-on experience to manage products or operations. Besides, they can also earn some money, which will help them survive till the storm calms down and also experience a sense of accomplishment, if the startup does well in the future.
“During this period, survival is tough for startups as well, and they may be in need of professionals and critical talent who can help them stay afloat. Students can explore this start-up space,” suggests, Ramesh Shankar Swaminathan, HR specialist.
This is a fantastic opportunity for the gig economy to bloom. Leaders across industries, such as IT and consultancy services agree on this point. With work from home becoming a reality, companies will be willing to hire for one-time projects where employees can work remotely. This will turn out to be feasible for the employees as well. Moreover, companies looking to shed overhead costs will be more than willing to hire temporary workers. For those candidates who have no other choice than to wait it out, this could be one way to earn.
During this time there are a lot of start-ups who would require help. Individuals can explore the startup space
Again, there are challenges that come with limited options. In the current scenario of digital transformation, few roles are going to be in demand. For instance, in this day and age, content is king and digital marketing is the key. Those with the related skillsets can explore these opportunities, even if they are a notch or two below their level of expectation or outside their career path. Students should take up any role that helps them stay afloat. “Candidates should not be picky with their choices at this time,” advises Mukherjee.
Graduates can also explore the academic field if it suits their interest. “Candidates can join institutes, which require research scholars and earn a stipend in the process,” says Swaminathan.
Students should remember that this is all a short-term engagement, while they continue to search for jobs.