Economies across the world are facing a tough time with threats on multiple fronts. Inflation continues to rise and the Russia-Ukraine war sees no sign of slowing down. Recent data from major economies like US, UK & Europe indicate that they’re at the cusp of an unprecedented recession, resulting in a sluggish job market amid global uncertainty.
On the heels of several global tech majors announcing lay-offs, Indian companies – especially startups – too have had to bite the bullet. More than 15,000 employees have been laid off by Indian start-ups since the start of 2022. And this seems to be just the beginning of a long winter.
The days of unbridled and reckless growth of start-ups powered by deep pocketed venture capitalists are gone. By the looks of it, it’s no longer prudent to expect vast jumps in your salary while switching.
What should job seekers keep in mind in a market like this?
First of all, candidates need to take a hard look at their priorities. Even if the Indian economy doesn’t go into recession, inflation is still high and in such an environment, candidates need to prioritise financial stability and organisational culture. The fate of Enron and Lehman Bros has taught us that “too big to fail” is no longer true.
Believe it or not, there are still many companies out there who didn’t lay off a single employee during the worst of the Covid-19 crisis. A company cannot be built to last without good people, and there are companies out there who recognise this. Before you make a switch, make sure to do your research and check out the company’s track record in this regard.
This is not to put a dampener on India’s phenomenal growth story, but in tough times, it also pays to look at how long a company has existed in the market, and the kind of reputation it has among customers.
The second thing that job-seekers should look out for is the opportunity for learning. Yes, it’s true that the job market is going through some difficult times, but remember – this too shall pass. When the dust has settled, what will matter at the end of the day are your skills.
Prioritise joining a company which gives you the opportunity to learn and grow. This can happen in several different ways. The kind of work that you do at the company you choose to join is of course the most critical element of your learning.
If you are not doing work that is challenging and cutting-edge, what will you end up learning?
Consider this – are you content working on bug fixing and maintenance roles or do you want to be a part of a software product company? Are you getting an opportunity to work with global best practices? Is the tech being deployed by the company futuristic? Are you getting a well rounded exposure to all the areas of product development including DevOps, UI / UX, QA etc?
This doesn’t just apply to software engineers. These days, every single function demands the use and knowledge of technology, be it sales, HR or marketing.
Here's another important question to ask your future employer – does the company give you the opportunity to make decisions with autonomy and trust? The value you bring to a team is not just about technical or industry specific skills. It's also about your ability to lead a team of talented and passionate people.
Unless you have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, you will not grow. Make sure that your future workplace gives you the freedom to do so.
Remember, whether or not the job market is recessionary, good talent is always in demand. And if you count yourselves among the ranks of the best, it’s your right to demand the best from your workplace too.
Authored By: Anant Ramachandran, Managing Director, ParentPay