The IT industry is a very unpredictable domain. One day you'd be paid like a king and the very next day, you might be unemployed. That's how it works. Harsh, but true!
After the 2008 recession fiasco, it has once again hit the IT industry, and has already taken the ugly face. Not only getting a new job is hard but employees are even being kicked off after investing their precious years in a company. There's no mercy or sympathy for anyone here.
These IT layoffs have had a hard hitting effect on the youngsters losing their jobs for no worthy reasons. Depression and suicides have now become such a common word and phenomenon that you won't even be surprised if I talk about it.
With artificial intelligence on its tipping point, is already replacing humans, it is estimated that about 6,00,000 jobs in the next three years would be lost.
How do you cope with this? How does the youth overcome this? How do you survive without a job in a country like India where there is a cut throat competition even in the lines of a local bus?
While everybody was busy talking about this problem, two people thought about its solution. There was no end to IT layoffs and depression as its byproduct. But there was a way not to let people around us get trapped in it and lose hope.
"My employee agreement stated that irrespective of the reason for my resignation, I would have to repay the joining bonus of Rs 1 lakh. I was not convinced that me resigning, and accepting all the terms as is, was the right way forward."
I filed a case against my firm and won. Though the end result was in my favour, the whole experience of being laid off was traumatising. Deep down, I started to question whether or not I was good enough. It hit my confidence when looking for new jobs, and impacted my personal relationships too. Despite having moved on with the organisation, I found myself unable to speak with my ex-colleagues whom I shared a good bond with. I didn't know how to break it to the world that I was 'laid off' and so I told everyone for the longest time that I quit my job to focus on setting up my own start-up.
The fact that I hid the truth, and the stigma in my own head around being laid off still makes me very uncomfortable. We live in a society where failures are frowned upon, and somewhere I felt like I had failed miserably, for no real fault of my own.
Getting fired isn't easy but in retrospect, it has taught me a lot about myself.
"I, along with other colleagues, believe that this was a political game. This was the first time I was let go like this. I was shell-shocked!"
Things were political and driven by bottom-line arithmetic. I just could not believe this was happening to me. I felt negative emotions about myself, not about my work performance, but that I had allowed myself to be a part of a political game. I received a lack of emotional support from my wife, and there were other dynamics and issues that came to the fore. Her stonewalling and lack of support were quite disappointing. In her anger, she even made personality attacks, trying to justify that the management were right in what they did.
My extended family, however, were very understanding and sympathetic. The love and validation I have gotten from other quarters have been phenomenal.
"I worked hard in my first job and put in a full shift every day, trying to sell my company's offering. But I was unable to succeed."
It wasn't just me, even my other two colleagues were unsuccessful sales-wise. When we got laid off, I felt ashamed, guilty and disappointed. It was only later that I realised that it wasn't my shortcomings that lead to the layoff but a product offering that was ahead of its times.
However, I had to take responsibility for signing up for the job, and I had to pull up my socks and take responsibility to find a new one. If I hadn't done that, and wallowed in pain and self-pity, it would have taken longer to find a job and I would've probably found a sub par one at that. Knowing that job security is temporary, always made me think, "if not this, then what?". This helped me evaluate alternative job options and also helped me brave career transitions. After six years of a fairly successful sales career, I took a year off and studied journalism, and spent five years as a journalist. I've had other career transitions post that as an Intrapreneur-In-Residence, Community Manager and Freelance Writer.
If you are also going through a tough phase in your life, take a step forward for yourself today. Talk to your close ones, reach out for professional help, do whatever it takes, but just don't give up. You've got one and only one life, live it to the fullest. If you're having a hard time finding someone to talk about your problems or you're too hesitant to take a step forward, here is what you can do!
Click here to reach out the experts at YourDOST online, who will counsel and talk to you over a chat itself! But before anything let's know what is YourDOST all about.
YourDOST, founded in 2014, aims at becoming a personal emotional wellness trainer to anybody and everybody. Here, you can find a trusted friend online, in the form of qualified experts who know how to help you. The professionally trained experts help you cope with tough times - work stress, relationship, self-image and much more, and support you in your quest for self-improvement.
Richa Singh is the CEO and one of the Co Founders, while Puneet Manuja is the COO and the other Co Founder.
Richa says, "According to reports by WHO, 250 million people in India go through stress or other mental ailments. Further, according to ASSOCHAM, 50 percent of corporate India is under chronic stress. Hence, we have a huge market potential lying in front of us. Hence, it's our endeavour to reach out to more and more people and become the market leader in this space."
YourDOST has a young and energetic team and their platform witnesses about 3,000 daily visitors across all properties (online, iOS and Android app). It has various content and discussions on career counselling, relationship advice amongst others to provide the right guidance to individuals. This is what differentiates their startup from others, according to its founders.
"Stress is becoming a part of an individual's lifestyle. Similarly, we want to make YourDOST a lifestyle product where you don't think twice before going to your wellness coach. It should be as effortless as a going to maybe a fitness coach. So, in the future, you will see us bringing out that perspective in our product."
This initiative by YourDOST is specifically for helping the IT layoff victims. The youngsters losing their jobs in the IT sector and then plunging into the worst type of depression are a major cause of worry today. About 36% of Indians today suffer from clinical depression and its a leading disability world wide.
It's time we break the stigma about mental health and start talking about it. The one suffering from it is already going through so much that it is very inhumane to ask them further even to hide their pain and suffering from the world.
What interests us so much about this initiative is that now one can reach out to professional experts online by using the YourDOST application available on iOS and Android both.
That's all, mates. You can reach out to me on email@example.com.