The world has changed drastically in the last six months. The Covid-19 has crippled growth and caused severe economic repercussions across the world. To implement social distancing due to Covid-19, the whole world has been put in the lockdown. The sudden disruption has caused businesses and masses to grapple with great uncertainties. An economic crisis of this scale is unprecedented in modern history where no country is left. IMF has predicted that there is going to be the biggest recession since the Great Depression.
The current disruption is likely to change the way people work and live in the modern world. The ripple effect across industries is to the extent that a record large number of people are getting impacted by the economic slump than the virus itself. Following changes are inevitable in the wake of the current crisis:
- The future of work is remote. The “work from home” technologies & solutions will proliferate in the coming future, at least in the tech world.
- The businesses with sole reliance on one country (for instance, China’s manufacturing plants) will have to re-evaluate their business strategy.
- All industries that depend on people going out will grind to a halt: Aviation, Tourism, Leisure & Recreation, Transport.
- Digitization of services across industries besides Banking/IT: Education, Healthcare, Various Service Sectors.
- Tighter border control and controlled immigration.
- Ban on wild animals consumption.
- The revival of Healthcare Systems and mass production of PPE.
- Trade war and a shift of Supply Chains from China.
I vividly remember when I passed out of college in the year 2009, there was an economic recession caused due to the Subprime crisis. The financial markets had crashed at that time. I had studied Computer Science and had the dream of working in the Software industry. My future looked bleak in the face of the global recession in 2008-09. I had to work in a part-time job for 6 months. It took me a year of a great struggle to get a job in my field. Now almost 10 years down the line, I am crossing the path again. The similar economic downturn has emerged once again where companies are going out of business and the recession looms large.
The current economic crisis is unlike the 2008 recession, where the world had not come to a standstill. In the last recession, at least people were moving, employees were going to the office, businesses were running, transportation was on. There is extreme uncertainty around the scale, impact, and duration of the current crisis. A lot depends on how fast the world is able to contain the virus, invent the vaccines, and lockdowns measures are lifted. We can not predict the economic outcome in absolute terms until then.
With such an unprecedented economic crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, it is natural to wonder what is the security of life. The majority of people have lost their livelihood and millions have filed for unemployment. The world economy is at stake and it’s going down the rabbit hole. Echoing the sentiments of millions, it is obvious to reflect and ponder on the security in life. Is pursuing security a complicated idea. Is it a distant reality that we keep running after? How can we survive in these trying times? Is the money that we saved enough for us to survive? People are paranoid more than ever.
This time has taught us not to take anything for granted in life. What used to be normal, has become luxury. The going out for movies, dining out at a restaurant, going for the shopping, and other outdoor activities that you would take for granted has been halted. It may sound cliche to say that “this time shall too pass”. A few life lessons learned in the face of adversity:
- Your plans are fleeting. Life doesn’t go as per your plan.
- Life is short, don’t wait to live your life.
- Your health is the only true wealth. Your immunity is your savior.
- Jobs are temporary. It doesn’t hurt to save money.
- People can survive with a minimalistic lifestyle.
- You are not dependent on domestic help.
A crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic is a test of resilience. Following are some of the measures you can exercise to deal with the current crisis:
- Nobody cares whether you succeed or fail in life. Stop putting external pressure on yourself.
- Your job is not the only identity you have, you are much more than your job.
- Nobody cares how rich or poor you are. Stop associating yourself with your social status.
- Understand how the world economy runs and how it affects the market, business, and industries.
- Many countries don’t have unemployment benefits. Make saving money a habit.
- Evaluate your current skill set and demand for the same in the job market.
- Identify how your industry is faring in the current economy.
- Your self-assessment and understanding of the world economy are helpful.
- You don’t need to keep updated with every news on the outbreak. It causes unnecessary anxiety.
- Stay physically and mentally active. It’s good for the brain and helps you focus.
The post-Covid world is not going to be the same as the pre-Covid world. The world has to adapt to the new normal. Job security is an elusive proposition in the age of the Gig Economy. Accept the fact that the security of life is a mirage. Long term security only lies in the grave.
Despite the challenges and uncertainty, believe that you will survive. You have survived the past challenges of your life, you will survive this time too. Focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Enroll in new courses and build new skills. The overall idea is to keep upskilling and reskilling for the rest of your life. Stay a life-long learner and get comfortable with uncertainty in life !!