Struggles of young graduates entering the workforce during the pandemic
By Isha Chincholkar and Manu Kaushal
“The pandemic has forced district courts to stop operations. Lawyers aren’t willing to hire students as they have comparatively lesser work now.” said Devashish Pancholi, a graduate from National Law University, Guwahati, who struggled for six months amidst the pandemic to find a job. Even after that, he could not find one. He’s started preparing for the competitive exams now.
It is not only the legal sector that has taken a hit, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global economic recession. There are shrinking job opportunities, accelerating unemployment rates. In India, 27 million people in the age group of 20-30 are unemployed as of April 2020 — says a weekly report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. The situation is worse for those who are graduating this year because the job market would prefer experienced personnel. Even if the situation gets better, the companies will try to retain their old staff instead of welcoming newcomers.
Rashi Rajesh, a graduate from the Jindal School of Journalism and Communications said, “I wanted to work in the event management industry, but due to the unavailability of jobs, she resorted to working in a BPO company.” Rajesh added, “I was not satisfied with my job. So, I resigned from the company after working for a month. Currently, I’m applying for jobs in other sectors like digital marketing and content writing.”
Students who had gotten campus placements before the pandemic have been put on hold or in some cases, firms have withdrawn their offers. Tanvi Bhatt, a graduate from Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Chennai said, "My campus placement offer was declined because of the pandemic woes." She feels bleak about her career and prospects. Bhatt says, “No one is willing to hire us as the hospitality industry has been hard hit because of the pandemic.”
Many companies are facing financial distress and the risk of bankruptcy. To attain stability in the long run, they are trying to recover their losses by laying off staff. Dr Prageetha G Raju, a scholar in Human Resource Management, said, “Even though companies always do contingency planning. But this pandemic was not anticipated by anyone.” She added, “Companies have slowed down the process of recruitment. Especially for freshers because they do not have enough resources to train and pay them.”
The pandemic has forced everyone to work online, completely changing one’s perception of a traditional workspace. It is important to review one’s career goals. People need to be more flexible, keeping in mind the unprecedented times the world is facing. “The traditional recruiters are not hiring so we should look for new age profiles and companies who offer jobs on a full time or extended internship basis,” said VN Mohan, Joint Director of Office for Career Services in Jindal Global University. He added, “Students need to improve their domain knowledge which includes a few additional certifications based on their career aspirations.”
Edited by Vedangshi Roy Choudhuri and Shaardhool Shreenath