Media and SEO specialist, PDG Media, Brisbane, Queensland (AUSTRALIA)
The figure may sound dramatic. But, one can easily claim that millions of people around the world would have lost their jobs amidst the current COVID-19 crisis. And if you happened to be one of the millions that are in the rudderless boat sailing off nowhere, you may also be forgiven if you silently marvel at the speed at which you have suddenly found yourself without work.
A permanent break
Just some months ago, you would have been taking a break, even a vacation to some dream island and then suddenly you find that your company has given you a permanent break and you have nowhere to go, nor the means if they allowed you to travel anywhere in the world.
A deluge of negativity
Many have been directly laid off, some have been asked to take indefinite unpaid leave and others simply told to go. And when you are fired from your job, before the financial challenge looms above you, there is the psychological challenge that comes, raining down a deluge of negativity. How do you handle these feelings? Many of us must be undergoing this turmoil, as we face challenges by the dozen and no immediate means of overcoming them.
By this time you would have guessed that it did not take much time for me to be part of the millions that I was speaking of at the start. As COVID-19 began impacting our daily lives in early March, I was made redundant from my previous job as a communications officer. Once I was out of my job, I wasn’t sure what my next steps were. Mulling over what to do next put me into a lot of stress and strain.
Learnt to cope with sudden job loss
Luckily, I secured my current job a week after I was made redundant. I have also been doing some freelance hours for a small business in Brisbane. Personally, I saw myself thrown out of routine! I had to learn how to be self-sufficient with limited resources. I couldn’t buy much since everything was sold out and the cost of food supplies was inflated. I learned how to cook with non-perishable food, which was a very interesting experience and a good skill to have! I got back into my hobbies, which I normally would not have time for.
Disrupted businesses try to stay afloat
The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted businesses giving it an indiscriminate blow. Reeling from the blow, many businesses have closed their shutters or radically changed the way they operate. The ones that were forced to change the way they work and had to implement many organisational changes as they tried to maneuver themselves in sudden tricky situation and stay afloat.
Nightmare of losing a job
Losing a job is a nightmare. I went without a job for just a week and that itself put me in tremendous amount of stress. Imagine the plight of the ones who know they are not going to get back to doing any decent job for a considerable period of time. The initial shock itself is distressing and then the reality of it will slowly sink in. And then when it really hits, you will realise that you are not at all prepared to be suddenly thrown off the grid. Finally, you might end up feeling a bit stuck, perhaps even paralysed.
Industries that took a major hit
Some may stare at the prospect of never returning to their jobs in the near future at least as the industries they worked in itself have taken a major beating. Following the pandemic, there are many industries that are bracketed into severe risk categories and may face a prolonged shutdown.
A supportive digital network
Fortunately, my work is purely digital and I can do it from anywhere in the world. My team and I had to work hard to bring everything online, including internal communications. But, I couldn’t see my colleagues, which made my work a bit lonely. Still, everyone has been very supportive and connected.
Better contingency plans
In the future, I believe many businesses would have a better contingency plan, especially one that includes having a digital business model. Educational institutions would have to invest heavily into online LMS (Learning Management Systems) to cater to students in all parts of the world.
Some of COVID’s lessons maybe well learnt
Much has been said about cleanliness being next to godliness but whether the pandemic is a lesson for all and whether we will learn from this harsh lesson remains to be seen. Still, we can guarantee that many are going to be a lot more cautious about the germs on their hands. This may bring about a cleaner planet than the one we inhabit right now.
I also think that people are going to appreciate the many future public gatherings, travelling adventures and friends ‘meet ups’, a lot more!