Now, as there is some certainty over the lifting of lockdowns, there are many unanswered questions. When will my college resume? How will placements be affected? Should I stick to my career trajectory? And what not? I would like to briefly (Word Limits) touch upon a few points that will help you build on and ease your hunt for these answers.
So first things first, a lot of these answers are hidden in the road to recovery. The types of trajectory the economy will take to come back to normal. As of now for India, the projections are U-shaped (Delayed Revival) or L-shaped(Sustained economic recession till the end of 2021) recovery.
P.S.- I have ignored V-shaped recovery as it is too optimistic.
And I personally feel it can take any curve depending on reforms adopted and resiliency of Indian businesses (Quite Generic). Regarding placements, my concerns are two:
a) There should not be a wage war across premier institutions to attract companies by lowering salaries continuously. However, there is a minimum cap, but companies would like to push it down on account of a struggling economy and ailing balance sheets. We should be able to identify our batch potential and try to keep salaries intact as the amount of work done to get out of recession will be higher and more challenging.
b) When to begin the placements process: It is dependent on the stage of the economy and road to recovery. Starting early can give a head start, but companies may not be willing to participate, and those willing will benefit from eager students. I think that starting late may be useful for companies and students because it will bring clarity, and some of the effects would be visible. Also, the path to recovery would be clear by Jan 2021, with macroeconomic data flowing of Q3, and improving global scenario.
Whatever it may be, the signals are that the digital age is going to be more pronounce and ubiquitous. And surviving it is of utmost importance to all working, and those waiting in lines. Some of the challenges of working from home are maintaining your work ethos, dealing with infrastructure constraints, and developing trust and psychological factors like loss of motivation and mental health. With placements season, a lot of us can be giving our interviews in front of laptops and using microphones, which can be emotionally tiring. Body language may take a back seat, and your voice may become the most critical asset. Also, it can be challenging to project your skills, and CV becomes a crucial piece of paper to judge your skills. Apart from doing anything and everything to fill CV.s, the focus should be on making LinkedIn and digital media profiles more interactive and engaging. Another important aspect is to remain connected with high-speed internet because it can be frustrating to witness call drops between essential meetings and also signifies credibility and trustworthiness.
Lastly, Psychologically we should be prepared, and with articles projecting Dawn of Introverts and bane for extroverts, I think those who have the skill to manage impressions remotely and build connections will rise. We all have witnessed our creative side in quarantine times(Many have started writing blogs), and it is time to not just learn but implement our skills to practice.
To conclude, I think this pandemic should not change sectoral preferences we had earlier because change will be related to processes and structures. Entire domains and sectors won't collapse, but new ways of doing things will come up. And who knows we might become "Atma Nirbhar."
Stay safe; stay healthy.
About the Author
Raghav Kumar, an Electrical and Electronics Engineering graduate, is currently pursuing PGP at IIM Nagpur. He's keenly interested in finance and has qualified the CFA Level 1. Apart from following the stock market, he is also interested in travelling, playing the guitar and writing poetry.