Introduction Some eight years ago, when the world was still battling out the horrible global recession, I had attended a wedding on the outskirts of Bangalore. The other guests were snoring as the auspicious time was scheduled for 10 AM. Just outside the wedding hall, I chanced to meet a very young man, around 20 years old. Curious, I inquired his background and I had guessed it right. He was a graduate, employed in a local lodge. He was from Palghat in Kerala. His father died some eighteen months ago. He came here, got interviewed by the lodge owner and accepted the job. Rs.8000 was his salary, and he had to manage everything during the shift. His record of attending to every guest was very good, as his knowledge of Tamil and Malayalam was too good. He had picked up some Hindi and a good amount of Kannada as well.
He supplemented his income by selling newspapers. It was okay for his dinner and breakfast expenses and lunch was free in the restaurant attached to the lodge. He was always smiling and was seen exchanging good words with so many people, who seemed to be regular customers. He did mention his name as Suresh. He had to send at least Rs.5000 home to support his mother and only sister. He had studied BA in Economics. When asked why he did not study further, Suresh explained that empty stomachs had no scope for further studies!! Stumped by his answer, I moved on. Later on, when I was chatting with the manager of the marriage hall, I learned that Suresh was a regular in the marriage hall too. He did odd jobs and was given free breakfast. He did odd jobs late in the evening too and was also given free dinner on most marriage days. He was very sincere and honest. He was very good at doing any odd work.
Suresh is the role model for anyone wanting to know how to cope with the tough times. Unemployment is at an all-time high. The industrialists will seek to continue schemes such as the NEEM scheme, which is atrocious without even the statutory PF and ESI given. The level of automation and emphasis on advanced technology will be much more now. So, what can you do?
The answers are very complex, but these are the Five Most important things that you should compulsorily do to combat these tough times. These are a) Minimize costs, left, right and center b) Move to where the scope is c) Never bother to take up dip in salary if necessary d) Update yourself and e) Be prepared for all sorts of uncertainties.
Minimize costs, left, right and center Look at how Suresh, with just five hours of sleep and continuous night shift operations on 20 days in a month, with just a day's leave in a month, had managed his expenses. Whatever you are doing, you need to cut down cost mercilessly. Non-vegetarian food expenses, when minimized, am told, reduces expenses by Rs. 900 per month. If you consume spinach on three days in a week, you will cut down vegetable expenses by at least Rs. 300. And this is very good for health as well. Costly furniture, clothes and other expenses should be cut down mercilessly. Remember, even small savings in post office recurring deposits, come in very handy when there is a need for cash. The more you save, the safer you are.
Move to where the scope is This has happened to over twenty young graduates and MBAs over a period of three years. I had advised them to pursue courses in Software testing, SAP, Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and fashion design. Each one of them had taken up small jobs and the salary was not great to start with. They were based in Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Only one was in Pune. Today, all the twenty are either in Pune or Mumbai and those in the city of Mumbai, never want to move out at all!! Two are married and have their wives working in the same organization. They have learned the skills of moving on to better jobs in cities like Mumbai, where the regular pay and perks are assured. This is the essence of life. This is the biggest lesson for you too. All you need to do is to pick up skills in whatever small institute you can. For example, even a certificate course in Supply Chain Management can fetch you a job and then you can do the prestigious distance education course from the Indian Institute of Materials Management, Baroda. Today, those in the field largely do such courses and are able to find the best of salaries and jobs. The lesson? Move on to the best courses and the cities where there is maximum scope. Never be carried away by stupid stories like "it is impossible to live in Mumbai, with the major accommodation problem". This is just not true. Today, fast trains carry passengers from distances like one hundred kilometers. People of Mumbai are the most enterprising people in perhaps the whole of Asia. Even a single visit to Dharavi, Mumbai's and Asia's largest slum can teach you so many things about life.
Never bother to take up dip in salary if necessary The elder Lalaji of your company is a very good man. He has already rewarded both merit and loyalty. However, today, the younger son, with a Harvard MBA, is raring to go. He has just started his music. He has just announced a fairly good Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to minimize manpower by 300. Read the signals.
Your job as a Senior Engineer might come under the ax too. If you are based in say, a metro city, and are offered a safe job in a cement company, where you can maximize all your learning in the utility management that has been your specialization for ten years, jump. If the offer comes with free accommodation and other small perks, jump. Never listen to anyone's advises. There are the environs where it is very difficult to find qualified manpower. They will happily retain you. Even if you show some potential, the Lalajis will recognize you. If you take up additional technical courses from the nearest University, that will help you a great deal. Never ever think that it is the end of the road for you. It is not. Life is full of opportunities. We just need to tap the right sources. If you are forced to put your wife and son back in the same metro city you were staying, so be it. Be a married bachelor for some years. Wise men do this. You can easily cope with the toughest of times.
Update yourself A Master's Degree is the bare minimum. For example, you now have the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, and the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, both of which are Government of India approved and AICTE approved institutes for the MBA or the PGDM courses. Pursue them. If you have to take up a loan, do so. Without an MBA, you will be left behind by smart competitors, who will pull all the rugs from under your feet and go ahead in their careers. They will effectively shut the doors on you. Please note, you have to run to stay where you are. You have no choice.
Be prepared for all sorts of uncertainties This is another imperative. You just have no choice. If you are in a similar position as Suresh, do something like what he did. If you are married and have school going children, and if your wife is not employed, explore some self-employment opportunities. For example, in the metros, without even moving out of the house, is she can enroll herself with some local online agency ( google for information in this regard), she can earn money. All that she needs to do is to prepare extra for some ten people, the very same dishes that she would prepare for the family, anyway. There are housewives happily earning even Rs.30,000 per month. Today, such opportunities abound. We just need to look around for all such opportunities.
ConclusionJust don't be dazed by the percentage of people who are unemployed. The threats to even regular employment, today, are very real. What you need to do is to understand all the reality that it exists, make an assessment of your current position and then take quick action. If you can do all the basics right, you are on the right path. Always.
True. We have to be ready for facing any type of situation in this uncertain world. So when you are in service and earning, You should think about the coming days and you should save some money by cutting down your expenses wherever possible. Today you are in a job. Tomorrow what happens we don't know. Getting updated in the line we are working is very important. So we should try to know what are the developments in the field and what areas are in demand and get the skills in that line. That will have two-way benefits. You will be considered as an asset to the organization and management may retain you by even giving a little more. Chances of getting a job outside will also be very high. So getting equipped ourselves with the latest skills is a good way of moving ahead of others.
Also, don't be specific about a place and get ready to move on if you are getting a good job in a good company with higher perks and salary. My relative's son was working in Hyderabad. The whole family is here and they have their property also in Hyderabad. But that boy got a beautiful job in Bangalore in a big MNC and three times the salary what he was getting in Hyderabad. He moved there and in no time he purchased a flat there and settled well.
The article seems to be quite interesting when the author has pointed out several hints about how an aspirant can update himself in a tough situation when there is a remote facility of his engagement. First of all, money earned is not an important consideration, one must know how effective the same is being utilized. By illustrating the example of Suresh - an apt example for entrepreneurship - he has taken pains to highlight his exceptional quality to adjust with the varying circumstances and fits perfect in the adverse situation. Blaming fate is not the solution but identifying the situation and taking remedial steps to come out from such tough situations should be the prime objectives.
Farsightedness is the essential component for the success; if an employer would ask you to shift to another place and it comes with better perks, you should not hesitate and accept the assignment for your faster growth. Your ability and relocation according to the situation is also important.