The double dilemma of a job loss and an impending recession | Fola Daniel Adelesi

Whether it is being done openly or not, it is a known fact that many employers are laying off because the times we are in can’t sustain many business models anymore. There are those whose business models may be sustainable but the future seems bleak. For this reason, the first reaction is to begin downsizing or right sizing as some people now call it. This pandemic era now will leave many economies battered with millions of people all over the world losing their jobs daily if they haven’t lost the job already.
While we don’t have any clear figure in Nigeria, America has already reported over 20 million job losses in less than two months. A Nigerian bank recently got in the eye of the storm because the MD mentioned in a video that was hitherto harmless that they didn’t need seventy-five percent of their workforce anymore. While the video was still circulating, many people were already losing their jobs from the bank.
Now the bigger problem is that the government wants people to stay at home as much as possible and work from home if their services are not essential. This is a problem because the government is focusing on the pandemic and that’s why people have been advised to stay at home but many of the employers of those being asked to stay at home can’t get them to do much when they are at home. In some cases, it is not because these people can’t work remotely. It is simply that they do not have all the required resources to work remotely. Some do not enjoy good internet access and they still have to provide their own electricity and other basic utilities if they must work from home.
The employer wants to save money by cutting out anyone whose services will not deliver much for him or her while working remotely. The employee needs to stay employable because there is a looming recession based on the pandemic which has compelled the government to advise many to stay home.
Now, what will the employee do when it is obvious his or her job is gone and there is an expected recession? It is a different game entirely if you lose your job and there is no recession. You simply think about getting another one. Now, if you think getting a job is hard you need to think about how harder it will be to get one when most employers are not certain of the future of the company.
I think this is the time for the employees to look inward and make critical decisions for themselves rather than leave that decision in the hands of many others who will care for their profits before caring for human faces. You can’t blame them. This is business and if they don’t save the business first, you all sink together. If they save the business first then you get a chance of being employed in the future when things get better.
While hoping that things get better, what are you going to do right now as an employee who has already lost or is about to lose a job? My simple but candid advice would be to take a look at all those businesses deemed as essential and were allowed to operate during the pandemic. Identify and study one of them that you can do very well then get into it because we have been told there is a new normal. We are being made to understand that things will not return to normal in a long while so you need a business that is sustainable.
Getting a sustainable business now will put into consideration the first need to feed yourself and the second need to be able to run through any season of life. What if there is another pandemic that will require a lockdown? What will I do to ensure that the lockdown will not take my job or source of income away? If you have already lost your job, I believe it is time to think about essential services you can render to begin to make a solid income for yourself and determine how you work.
We may not come to terms with this easily but employers all over the world will seize this opportunity to make some irrational decisions. Some decisions precede the pandemic but this will also be the best time to make some of those decisions as far as the employers are concerned. I think it is time to take your fate into your hands. Take a look at your experience and decide if your experience is enough to start another business or service.
Whatever happens now or in the coming days and months, find a way to keep food on the table and spend less energy blaming the employer and the government for what’s ahead. At least you have to stay alive to blame them if that’s your choice.

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