Monday, February 2, 2009


Many people have written to me asking how to face job loss and salary cuts during the present turmoil.My answer was to develop patience and re-train yourself in specialized sector. Negotiate with your employer for fare cut in salary that should be restored later when market recovers. Don't leave job in anguish now. Meditation should be practiced to keep cool.

The economic condition of most developed countries have gone from bad to worse during the month of December. It was thought that during 2009 the effect of down turn would be much less severe than before. But suddenly the economic depression has touched Canada also which was surviving so long. During the last week of January the job cuts in most of the developed countries have brought cascading effects in our countries too. The news of delay in the fresh appointment in IT sector has unnerved the fresh graduates in our countries too. How to survive the economic depression?

This is a million dollar question today. During the last week I was approached by many young graduates seeking advice how to survive the job loss, pay cuts .The most graduates asked me when the situation would improve.

Let us face the reality now. Though neither a single bank failed in our country nor any manufacturing units have been closed down due to the effect of slow down of the demand yet economic growth of our country has slowed down. Our apprehension of poorer growth rates was forecast in this column earlier, despite optimism of the then Finance Minister of India. The finance Minister felt the growth rate would be 8% whereas we felt it could not be more than 6.7% to 7%. The RBI has recently declared that economic growth of the country might slow down by one percent i.e. to 7%. We still feel it might further go down.

In case economic growth rate touch 6.5% it would take time to revive the economy. Presently demand for steel has gone down. There is a possibility that demand for automobile would go further down. The retail sector, which remained vibrant, has already started cooling .Due to depressing effect of construction sector the demand of cement, stone, sand and iron have touched a new low. But most effected areas were IT sector for most of the work of this sector came from abroad. Since Multinational companies have started taking precaution in selection of vender's’ lots of national and provincial IT companies have lost orders. This has resulted in recruitment of lower numbers of fresh technologists. Let us face fact that down turn would not suddenly get reversed and employment would not be generated quickly. What fresher should do now?

My earnest suggestion is not to loose cool. This is an extra ordinary situation and more boldly the situation could be faced better would be the result. The survival lies in the action of getting themselves retrained in various specialized stream. Recently a fresh graduate engineer asked me that he has a job offer since June 2007 in a Multinational company. He has received the appointment letter with full pay scales and perks etc. But have not yet received communication for place and date of joining. What should he do now? He has scored 90.7 percentile in CAT examination. Should he wait indefinitely for the job or he needs to join the Management course in Gurgaon? My suggestion to him was that he should join the Management course instead of waiting endlessly for the promised Job. His situation was much better to be answered. But there are IT specialists who have been told by their employers that organization was finding it difficult to continue operation. They expect some of the employees to accept 25% less pay than what they are getting now. What should be done? This question was asked to me by a number of persons. My response was under the present circumstances it would be better to negotiate, with employer, and accept the pay cut. It would be unwise to resign and look for other avenues now. Almost all sectors of the economy have been affected except Government sector. The lucky were those who joined OIL India or ONGC last year refusing higher compensation from Giant IT companies. The government sector is recession proof. Instead of waiting for the jobs young graduates should prepare for All India services. Should Government do something now? Yes, Government should give booster to infrastructure development, computerize government pay rolls and provide booster to surface and river transport facility to generate employment for educated persons. The training and retraining of employees would be imperative either by employers or through self motivation. Educated bright graduates might look for job in defense establishment like that of engineers and Doctors and land record officers also. The fresher needs to break the convention. They should start looking for jobs in new greener pasture.

I have received a suggestion from a friend of mine. It is a fantastic suggestion.All the companies who had taken campus recruitment program and had already issued appointment letters should sponsor the candidates who could not be provided with the job so far. The companies can negotiate with a few technological university in each region to impart one year's technological and business oriented course and train those appointees whom appointment letters were issued but could not offer job so far. This could be equivalent to one years post graduate course in line with the Sloan school of Management's model.

The course content can be similar to the MIT's program and can be called Master of Techno-management. This could be achieved through payments of half the salary which the corporates promised to students in campus interview. This program would save the money for the company, but prepare to accept greater social challenge in future. The boys would have fulfillment of acquiring knowledge instead of frustration and of course a degree, at somebody else expenses.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!
Incidentally there is an interesting website that is specifically dedicated to recession victims.It offers help and discusses all issues related to It’s worth a visit!