Dr. Vivek Bindra, Founder & CEO, Bada Business Pvt Ltd

An economic contraction unleashed by the COVID pandemic has negatively impacted the employment and job situation in India. Job opportunities continued to shrink last year with employment contracting by 2.8 per cent in the October-December quarter, according to estimates by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).  Even as many salaried employees lost jobs, youth entering the job market have been finding it hard to start a career. Back in May last year at the peak of the pandemic, a survey by British research firm Crosby Textor (CT) found that a whopping 86 per cent of Indians surveyed expressed worry about losing their livelihoods.

For youth who are anxious about their career prospects, it is important to realize that while an economic crisis is real, it is only a transitionary phase. With a vaccination drive already kicking off across the world, the worst is already behind us. India also launched a countrywide vaccination programme this month, raising hopes of a return to normalcy over the year. However, as we recover from this recessionary phase, the economy and the nature of jobs are bound to change. For the young workforce, this is the time to prepare for the new economic trends. Greater digitization of work spaces, major shift in buying behaviours and growth of digital services has engendered the need for multiple skills among employees be it digital product management, data analysis or social media marketing.

So, do not despair about a delay in your career; rather prepare to launch yourself in the new age economy. Here are the new trends that you need to know

Gig economy set to surge:

One of the major post COVID economic trends has been an increasing shift towards what is referred to as gig jobs. As organizations look to cut costs, they are displaying an increasing preference towards hiring freelancers for short term projects. On the one hand, this has led to a drop in regular jobs; on the other hand it has also given rise to a wide array of part time work opportunities which consultants and freelancers can avail. For youth it is important to gauge this trend and skill themselves to benefit from the same. If you are struggling to secure a full time job, you must start by looking for short term work arrangements and gain experience thereof. Network with people in your field, market yourself on LinkedIn and other professional platforms and start a full-fledged career as a Solopreneur.

You must also use this time to upskill yourself and learn the new applications and technologies being used in your domain. For example, if you are a traditional marketing professional, it is high time you learn digital and social media marketing skills to stay relevant to the time. Learn creative writing skills, brand management, face and Instagram marketting. Enroll yourself in a digital business skilling program to hone your skills. Multiple skills are particularly important in a gig economy.

The field of data science will throw new opportunities

Even in the pre Covid era, data analytics was a lucrative field. However, with a rapid surge towards digitization post COVID, the field of data science and analytics has received another major boost. Clearly, the demand for data scientists and analysts is surging worldwide.

Data is a major driver of a digital economy. Making sense of data helps organizations better understand their market, and predict and plan strategies accordingly. Data analysts work by applying models to tonnes of available data, making better sense of them and finding actionable insights. If you are s young professional looking to prepare yourself for a lucrative field, you may use this time to learn data analysis.

Digital marketing jobs will surge

Digital marketing or strategizing sale of products online was already a rapidly growing field even before 2020. However, the COVID 19 pandemic has served to significantly alter the buying and selling of products and services with even small organization turning to digital mode to attract new customers. The demand for digital marketing strategists who excel in skills such as social media marketing, Facebook and Instagram marketing, content marketing and SEO has therefore surged like never before. Even gig jobs are increasingly being offered in this domain. Young professionals can craft a dedicated career for themselves by skilling themselves in these strategies. You may use this time to enroll yourself in online digital and social media marketing and brand management courses to upskill yourself for the new normal.

Acquire multiple skills

While specialization is desirable, it does not pay anymore to be a master of just one skill. In a changing economy, organizations actively look for multi-skilled individuals who can fit into different roles and plug in the skill gap in their team. It is important therefore that you must learn a series of new age skills that will come in handy for you once you take a job plunge. Teach yourself the art of good PPT presentation; learn all components of MS Office diligently, be it Word or Excel; learn to properly navigate the new age communication platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft teams etc; and do not underestimate the power of soft skills such as good written and verbal communication. All these skills will set you apart in a crowded and competitive space.

Consider turning entrepreneur

A difficult time for the economy is also a time when new products and ideas can emerge as game-changers. If you have a business idea, it might be just the right time to take an entrepreneurial plunge. However, if you are a wantepreneur it is important to prepare yourself for this significant project by undertaking a professional business skilling course. Business skill training courses help professionals learn essential financial management, leadership and problem solving skills, project management and time management – skills essential for both entrepreneurs and managers. In case you already are an entrepreneur looking to scale up your business, business skilling and training can help you significantly improve your trade.

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