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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Qucik Note on Economic Downturn

If you are in the IT Services industry in India and your clients are international, you may be familiar with the downturn and impending job cuts. Many of you may be facing a recession for the first time. I have a few suggestions from my experience. Think about them:
1. Your company maybe churning and you may be assigned to different projects. You may be asked to take paycuts. Your location preferences may not be respected. Companies usually crack the whip during a downturn. You may be outside your comfort zone - working with managers unknown to you, and you may have to re-establish your credentials.
All this causes much anxiety and sometimes prompts irrational decisions such as lashing out at the work place; taking a break from work; going on long leave; or even trying to switch jobs.
My advice is do not make emotional decisions based on fear or anger - particularly at this juncture. It is hard to think rationally and it is possible that you may feel ill-used or neglected. It is also possible that these feelings are purely psychological. You will not be able to judge this by yourself. Therefore do NOT make life-changing decisions, such as leaving your job; taking a break; plan a career switch; plan an academic sojourn; or anything like that. Think carefully about your decisions for a few days. Discuss with friends and family. As far as possible do not plan a change.
2. Save, save and save money. Do not take long vacations; defer decisions to buy costly items.
3. If you are laid off - remember, whatever society or your former employer tells you, you know your true value. These are bad times and people may lose their jobs for being in the wrong department at the wrong time. There are forces much beyond our control at work - do NOT blame yourself or fall into self-pity.
4. Have a strong support structure at work and at home. In tough times, friends need to support each other. Have atleast a few friends with whom you can share your fears and inner-most thoughts. That will be more helpful than sitting and brooding.
5. Do not antagonize anybody at work for perceived insults. This is not the time to be touchy about not responding to emails etc. Everybody has their own problems and you never know when a contact will be useful.

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