How Careers For Women Have Evolved Post The Pandemic5 minute
Just as you scroll on your phone reading, somewhere a woman is grieving over her recently lost job, another is considering freelancing as her alternative career option, and someone else is contemplating about turning home-cooked food into a business idea. If you’re one amongst them, take a deep breath before you read any further and know that you’re not alone in this.
Will we need to reinvent ourselves for remote working jobs? Should we consider freelance gigs to be the future? Do we have to look for an all-new career option post this crisis? The uncertainty looming over our heads about what’s next is painful. However, one thing is clear, the world of work will not be the same.
India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economy has one of the lowest rates of female employment. This abysmal trend has worsened over the last decade. And COVID-19 is another big threat bringing further losses. While the virus seems to be deadlier in men, the economic consequences have hit women harder.
Firstly, the sectors facing the brunt are those with higher concentration of women workers- be it leisure, hospitality, health care, education, or retail.
Secondly, to no surprise, employers are taking disproportionate decisions to lay off women as they are not seen as the ‘primary breadwinners of the family’ and thus easy to let go when compared to men.
WORK, WOMEN AND VIRUS
Is your job at risk?
As per the report by The Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) in April, millions of young workers in their 20s have been left jobless since the lockdown in March. Also, over one-fourth of India’s working-age population is unemployed due to the pandemic. The number of women in home-based work and self-employment are high in India. This means a large number of women will lose work and in turn not receive the benefits of contractual paid leave policies unlike in formal sector jobs. 70% of health and social workers in the world are women, according to WHO.
This means, the majority of healthcare and social workers are women, which puts them in frontline and at high risk of catching the disease, thus increasing the distress on this part of the workforce exceedingly. Due to the severe economic downturn, the Exports & Imports sector are impacted to a great extent. Women occupy around 60 - 80% of jobs in export manufacturing industries and hence, until the economy gets stable, women will bear the burden of unemployment.
Furthermore, post this pandemic more and more women in desperation for jobs, may be forced to take jobs in informal sectors, or accept underpaid jobs, work overtime and even face layoffs. To sum up, the picture of Indian job market currently is ugly. While all our lives remain uncertain during these tough times, women are facing a more severe and a long-lasting collapse than the other half of the population. Such dire setbacks will undo decades of gains (however small) made by the country to bring up the women workforce.
Jobs after crisis unevenly distributed between the sexes
A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation And Development (OECD) suggests that the jobs created during and after the crisis will mostly target men, leaving women jobless for a long period. During an economic crisis like COVID-19, in order to create jobs, government generally emphasises on big infrastructure projects, often carried out by men. Such a neglected approach, further contributes to high unemployment trend for women in the country. Women have the ability to be the driving force in recovering country’s economy. However, inclusive policies and suitable jobs need to be created to meaningfully include women. This demands the leaders to devise gender-neutral plans and reform discriminatory practices.
Women working longer
As if the crisis hadn’t burdened women enough, the existing social norms leave them with no choice but to juggle between professional and personal lives. While the schools and colleges being shut down and the new work from home policies was seen as an untimely long vacation for many, the women being the primary caregivers have been weighed down increasingly. For decades, women have done a major part of this unpaid work- of running the household and taking care of children, even if they are out working just like men. This unequal distribution of unpaid work between men and women does not work well for a woman’s career growth or her earning potential.
The post-pandemic life
This lopsided situation is going to lead to many lasting social and economic changes. In order to bring balance in the post-pandemic world- the policymakers will have to make recovery efforts on the grounds of gender equality; the employers will have to devise ways that allow flexibility, work from home alternatives and gender-friendly conditions; and the men in the houses will have to take up some part of chores and childcare work. These mindful moves will prevent women from falling behind once the crisis ends and may promise a more balanced future.
Journey from ‘I don’t know what to do’ to ‘here comes the sun’
While we can’t really predict the future, we can pay attention to what’s going on around us. Yes, things are changing and instead of panicking in response, you can stay ahead in the game by playing out various probable scenarios. The sooner you believe this reality, the faster you’ll be able to jump in and adapt to the changes.
The Game Plan
With this major economic recession, we are all going to face pink-slipped shocks, unpaid leaves and brutally slashed incomes. And to brave these tough challenges, all we need is a well-thought plan. One that helps you understand what the employers would look for post-COVID. One that helps you with a safe exit from this complex reality.
1. KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON
Stay updated. Keep a finger on the pulse of the industry you work in and the overall economy. Set up your news and social feed to connect with key trends related to new work from home opportunities and companies that welcome remote work options. Follow the right people and industries It’s best to track valuable insights into the industry yourself before someone else delivers the news to you.
2. ELIMINATE THE IRRELEVANT
It’s all about focusing your energy. In a normal situation, you’d apply to as many places as possible. However, in a situation like this, it’s best to choose the companies you really want to work for and look for reasonable openings there. Resist your urge to apply anywhere and everywhere. Rather than applying to hundreds of irrelevant job positions, one must direct their energies to a few relevant applications. Focus on quality instead of quantity.
3. STAND OUT FROM THE PACK
Unemployment has smashed its own records, which means a whole bunch of people like you and me are looking for jobs at the same time. And it’s now more than ever that you need a compelling story to stay ahead of the pack.
Construct a clear story of what motivated the job search, and what you are looking for in your future job or your employer. Put together your experiences in a clear crisp format to explain how they shaped the person you are today.
From your cover letter to your LinkedIn profile, make sure you maintain consistency through all your job search assets to make a great first impression. This is essential to come across as trustworthy, reliable and memorable.
If you don’t know where to start, feel free to seek help through free guides, samples and tutorials about personal branding and communication skills on online platforms like LinkedIn Learning or know about the right career path for you through FOITO 's Skill Evaluation
4. ACCEPT THE NEW NORMAL
An important step in learning to thrive is to understand how radically different today’s job search approach is. Coffee meetings and networking events are a thing of the past. It’s the age of online networking.
Even as we practice social distancing, it’s imperative to stay connected with the right people to get the job you’re looking for. And that means, you may have to send initial outreach emails to former colleagues, friends, college-mates, and industry leaders to get to know about the current employment trends.
Relationship building and networking have a far better ROI when looking for the right opportunities. Build a community on your job search portals so you can seek advice on how to restart your career. Be straightforward and specific about the kind of support you need like getting feedback on your resume, asking for an internal referral or making an email-introduction to another contact.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT EMPLOYER
Firstly, since the job opportunities are scarce, it’s best to look for jobs in companies that are recession-proof, are hiring rapidly, and hold a positive future.
Secondly, the employers should be empathetic, flexible, allow remote working, listen actively and be gender-sensitive in their approach to the current scenario. Compassionate leadership is the need of the hour.
Thirdly, make sure the organisations are digitally agile enough to adapt to the changing environment. It is the organisation’s responsibility to re-skill the workforce, bring in technological advancement and work on virtual collaborations.
Lastly, transparency and consistent communication play a key role when choosing a firm to work for, post-COVID. It is imperative to work with people who are honest about the challenges they are facing, share facts and acknowledge successes and fallouts regularly.
6. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Worrying about your lost job will not take you anywhere. The only way to deal with chaos is by embracing it. And if it implies that you step out of your comfort zone and switch cities, then do it. Look for places with higher job opportunities and jump right in. In times like these, it’s more about survival than choice.
Keeping an open mind about switching geographies will only broaden your job options. Likewise, apart from switching places, be prepared to switch roles too. This is the time when you can try out other roles that are closely related to your previous job.
7. THE COMPETITIVE EDGE
While up-skilling is never an option, you may need it now more than ever. It’s the time to invest in yourself. Start afresh with a beginner’s mindset, imbibe critical thinking, revive your skillset, and learn new tools.
To enjoy a competitive edge, it’s essential to be seen as up-to-date, unique and innovative. Identify online courses to leverage your unique insights and creativity to meet and exceed the expectations of your future employer. Always remember, what guarantees you employment is a clear business need for the skills you’re offering.
8. THE HOT JOBS
The new normal post the pandemic will be quite different from the past. As per the experts at HR firms, there will be fewer full-time jobs in the future. Health care, pharma, medical equipment companies and e-commerce segments will see a gradual increase in business, according to the analysts. Considering the current demands of the people, new jobs will be created in gaming, technology, healthcare, hygiene and edutech segments.
However, these companies will need to come up with innovative solutions, revamp their working ways, and devise new revenue streams to drive economic growth. In just a few months since the crisis,professionals in online education, online sales, online customer support, digital marketing, graphic design and course coding have gained value. Similarly, a sea of change is observed in working habits. Remote working, short-term contracts and freelance work will be new norms in the post-covid world.
9. STAY FLEXIBLE
For the ambitious women of our community, this situation of uncertainty might mean re-setting expectations of career advancement. Being flexible is vital as the number of job seekers in the market will only increase in the coming days. With the desperation on the rise, you may have to set realistic expectations with your employer about your role and salary. In order to stay ahead in the game, it’s your skills that may give you an edge over the rest. Convince the organisation about how you’re a better fit for the role considering your knowledge and values. Prepare hard and stay competitive by identifying and offering the new needs of the organisation.
10. BE OPEN TO OPPORTUNITIES
No opportunity is a bad opportunity. And in a recession like this, where everything is changing so rapidly, one has no choice but to keep up. More and more people may seek contract-based workers for their individual projects. Seize any opportunity that comes your way- be it freelance assignments, short-term contracts, commission-based sales, time-bound projects, paid internships, part-time work, or online teaching. Use your time and efforts to put your skills to good use. Until you land the job you like, this money (however little) could help sustain you.
Women’s employment is one of the strongest influencing factors of women’s empowerment as a whole, and not just to boost a country’s GDP. By empowering women economically, the country can uplift entire families and communities out of hardship and poverty. Supporting women has proven to create powerful and positive benefits to society. And if women continue to drop out of the workforce post-COVID, it will only intensify the damage caused to their position in society. There is a great need to reduce exploitation and create economic opportunities for women during the crisis to ensure the overall growth of the country’s economy.
Despite the unprecedented conditions and uncertainties, you’ve got to pull your socks and stay positive. Instead of grieving and complaining about the situation, you have an option to use the above advice to restart your career and find a job you love. And every time you feel vulnerable, lost, or anxious, get out of your own head and call a friend or a loved one. Talk it out. For all, you know they may help you with a tip or two or even offer support. It is difficult in the beginning but things do fall in place eventually.
Anika Manocha- Changing perspectives, changing lives1 minute
We can all agree on this, staying away from negative news is impossible nowadays. Be it social media or your google news feed it’s a reality, that we all are dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty.
We have anxiety and fear due to a lot of issues such as apprehensions regarding contracting the Coronavirus, the health risk of family members, keeping kids occupied while being indoors all-day, managing to get work done from home or simply coming to terms with the separation anxiety. As the days go by, the stress can eventually build up -affecting us both physically and mentally.
Hence Glo-Community has collaborated with Anika Manocha to help you manage stress during the Pandemic.
Ms.Anika Manocha is a Master's in Psychology from KUK, Haryana, a counseling psychologist and a Certified CBT trainer.
Anika has been actively involved in Uplifting children who are victims of Child Labour and is also a Marriage & Family Counsellor and has been successful in bringing about an improvement in many relationships. She is a Visiting Counselor in schools and takes online Counselling to help people understand their problems and find a better solution in their day to day life.
Register for the Webinar on "Managing Stress during the Pandemic" On 7th August -
Time - 1 pm to 2 pm
- Recognizing the difference between pressure and stress
- Understanding the symptoms and causes of stress
- Consequences of not managing stress
- Circle of influence and control – how to take positive action
- Adopting the right mindset to handle stress effectively
- Practical tips for managing stress
Online Businesses You Can Start Quickly And Earn Well!5 minute
The article guides you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home.
Staying at home has caused many of us to explore the inner Creative Gurus in ourselves. Personally, I find myself doing things I otherwise couldn’t imagine indulging such as baking a cake, trying out a FAD diet just for the fun of it, counting my steps (Not to brag, but I’m way past the 10K a day mark, *cue applause*), taking new courses on recycling, brush lettering and novel writing and my favourite: trying a new steak sauce recipe. Can you imagine the kind of proactiveness it takes to want to try out a new steak sauce recipe? (For the record, balsamic barbeque For. The. Win.)
It’s not uncommon to look at your social media feed and feel discouraged about not doing enough. Change can be mighty frightening for some people and takes them a whole lot of courage to ride the wave of change. You might look at monetizing some of your various talents but shy away because “a million people already seem to be doing the same”. Layoffs and paycheck cuts can increase this pressure of wanting or worse: needing to make some quick money to make ends meet.
Take a deep breath in before you read this article and remind yourself that you’re not alone in this.
While it may first seem overwhelming to start an online business out of the blue, especially when your career so far has been more non-virtual and hands-on and you seem to have very little knowledge on the subject, it’s important to note that rapidity is what sets these businesses apart. Most online businesses are almost worth the risk, simply because the investment that goes into building one is almost nothing as opposed to the massive amount of learning that comes with it. (even without a clear success at first attempt). Glo has taken this subject as one that’s close to our heart, and more so now, to guide you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home and the mini-steps you can take for each of them that will lead you to success: gradually, but surely.
11 Online Businesses you can start quickly and earn well:
Practice Affiliate Marketing
You’ve probably already heard of the term affiliate marketing before and associate it with a complex growth marketing tactic. But it’s a rather simple concept to grasp if you learn about it. Affiliate marketing is essentially the process of earning a commission by means of promoting someone else’s (or another company’s) product. For instance, if you own a website of your own, and promote products of another brand by providing links to their catalogue, and a sale is made through this link, then you’re entitled to earn a commission for the same.
But how do you get started with affiliate marketing?
- Amazon: If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you can be lost. A lot of affiliate marketers find success with amazon. Not only are there a million products to choose from, but amazon also kind of makes it simpler for a beginner with its Amazon Associates Program.
- Informative Products: Promoting video series, ebooks, membership sites, new releases, etc can earn you over 50% or more in commission and even has lesser barriers to entry. These products are also easy to find and promote if you know where to find them.
In fact, a lot of great marketers, including Neil Patel, have spoken of how to find a niche for affiliate marketing and earn profits quickly - so learning how to get started should be the least of your worries. Although, in addition to affiliate marketing, it might also be really helpful to know (at least the basics) of SEO and copywriting. Some great books on the subject are SEO for beginners 2020 and The art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine optimization.
You’re wondering if the last bit was affiliate marketing, aren’t you?
Set Up An eCommerce Site
Before you start scrolling down assuming that “building a site” is only for the techies - hear me out. If you have an idea and possess basic knowledge of how an online store works, there aren’t a lot of barriers to overcome before setting up your very own e-commerce store. Sustainable products, local products, handcrafted goods, sanitization products - these are some markets that people are currently exploring vastly - and if you have the means to bring these products online, then the technology of it shouldn’t stop you from doing so. In fact, there are several websites ( such as Airtable and Bubble ) you can use today with possessing no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Shopify is built for e-commerce and you can use it to build your very own virtual shop with low investment, no coding skills and a free 30-day trial to experiment with too!
Things to remember before setting up an E-commerce site:
- Study about the internet market experience. What are customers drawn to, what is it that they seem to interact well with, resonate with
- Find a market that’s profitable. Do some keyword research and try and find an untargeted niche. There might be a hundred online stores selling furniture, but you could pick dressers (for example) as your niche and ace that space.
- Do a profit analysis. If you're selling a product whose manufacturing & distribution costs are almost as much as your selling price, there’s no point dealing with such minimal margins and putting in all that effort for nothing.
- Assess if the product you aim to sell is part of a growing market. Something that's already reached its peak in the market is not very easy to scale and sustain (like VCRs for example). You need a product with solid growth potential.
Start That Blog You’ve Always Wanted To! - And Monetize It
Starting a blog is not just a fantastic way to voice out your thoughts and opinions on different subjects, it can also earn you quite a bit of money if you’re consistent and adept with all the available tools you can utilize to grow your audience. It’s easier than ever to start a blog in 2020 and make it a potential source of income. But you’ve to be willing, patient and consistent to reap profits from your writing. You also need to generate valuable content that is engaging and educating to capture the interest of your audience.
Eventually, you can aim at monetizing your blog by selling relevant digital products or ads, sponsored posts, ebooks, etc once you have a good number of readers who come on to your page.
Become a Facebook Ad Expert
Many companies struggle with running successful ad campaigns. Read that again. Facebook and Instagram give you a seamless journey as a user who’s trying to display ads for their brands - it almost feels like following these steps are enough. But there are few businesses who run successful ads and this is only after some serious studying of the Facebook ad metrics. If it were so easy to run ads that worked, do you think people would be selling their “How to create successful ads” courses for thousands of rupees? The answer is, of course, no.
A lot of companies are in need of Facebook advertising experts and if this interests you, you can take the time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook, how to get the most return on an ad investment and reach out to businesses to assist them with your expertise on the subject.
Become a Skype (or Zoom) Coach
If you truly consider yourself to be an expert on a subject matter - be it yoga, knitting, nutrition, meditation, business & strategy consultation - or anything else that people might be interested to learn too - you can start by building a client base and coaching these clients online either daily, weekly or monthly.
There are coaches available for everything today - dating, health, life and even things like palmistry, astrology and tarot card reading. These are areas people seem to be getting interested in of late and could use some guidance from an expert.
Furthermore, you can always aim to increase your client base by appearing credible - enlist yourself on curated websites, set up your own website and but up blog articles to educate people and market yourself well, get certified if you must - all this makes people feel like you know your stuff and sign-ups become a cakewalk once you appear credible.
Dropshipping essentially means creating an online store but to sell other people’s products. One of the main reasons people opt for dropshipping is because they don’t have to do any of the manufacturing or shipping and still get a commission on every sale made. The main benefit is that you’re not at risk of stocking up on a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The barrier to entry is low and so is the investment. It is, of course, easier for an already established e-commerce brand such as amazon (who also sells their own products) to practice dropshipping, and the competition is massive - but the key is to figure out a product niche that has an audience but not many competitors selling within this niche.
There are apps like Shopify and Oberlo that also help connect you with suppliers to import products to your store.
Ways to make dropshipping a successful business:
- Gather the same products from different suppliers, to create a store that serves variety within a specific niche.
- Offer a superior value proposition through quality content and top-notch customer service that creates value way beyond selling products
- Target an untapped region on the world map (but be sure to pay attention to shipping costs).
- Target different set of audiences with the same product (for example, target music festival stalls with led gear)
While Creative writing may require a whole other process and headspace, there’s something about technical writing that people seem to have a grasp on even without any prior experience. Do you see the instruction manuals on a new remote control car? Or safety compliances of the various products displayed online? - That's essentially the job of a technical writer.
Even writing resumes, cover letters and press releases are options you could explore, besides technical writing. People are always on the lookout for jobs - and they’re always looking to prettify their resumes and cover letters. If you think you could be good at this stuff - you can always give it a shot and find interesting work online. (Freelancer and Upwork are popular sites)
Start a Print-on-Demand Service
If you’re good at designing, or even have a fairly good hand with design software - this is something you can explore. Again, you would have to cater to a specific niche - like doctors or gamers or cat lovers, for example, and create customized digitals to get them printed on various merchandise including mugs, t-shirts, posters and stickers. A lot of people are making tangible products out of their beautiful yet quirky designs today and in the process - turning their Instagram accounts into virtual gift shops!
What's more, is that if you have a printer at home, all you need to do is buy heat transfer sheets and you can start printing at home using just an iron box!
Convert Your Service Into a Product
One of the obvious downsides to running a service-based business is that you only get paid strictly for your time and skills. It’s not flexible. If you “Productize” your service i.e, you create a physical/digital product that sells your expertise as a package, you can add additional revenue streams to your business as well.
Examples of “productising” a service include:
- Downloadable reports
- Digital templates
Most of these ideas involve digital media that has been packaged as a product, which means there’s no inventory to keep around. If you’re running your home business on Shopify, you can also sell digital products effortlessly using the Digital Downloads or SendOwl app.
SEO and PPC Consulting
If building your website from scratch isn’t for you - you can always guide others’ websites to rank high on google search results. When a website ranks higher, it gets more and more relevant traffic and in turn, naturally makes more revenue.
This is a highly valued skill in the world of internet marketing - but not an easy one since google is always changing algorithms. You have to be committed to being on the leading edge, learning as well as testing new strategies. If you manage to master SEO, companies tend to pay quite a lot for it.
Similar to SEO (but not quite), Pay per click advertising helps rank your ad at the top of google search as “sponsored”. It’s a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee every time their ad gets clicked. Unlike SEO, PPC is buying visits to your site (which is a short-cut, but equally effective nonetheless)
If you master these basic digital marketing techniques, you’d be of high value for any business trying to scale online.
Start Your Own Clothing Line
Have you ever thought of owning your own clothing line but were not quite sure about how to take off with just designs on your hand? We’ve got good news. Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or similar product sourcing apps automatically link your Shopify store to apparel printers and manufacturers. They also take care of the retail fulfilment process giving a whole lot of freedom to design and ship a range of clothing pieces.
So all you really need to kickstart your very own clothing line is the skill to design creative/trendy clothing and a Shopify store to sell the same. Amazing, isn’t it?
It is indeed a satisfying process to create products that people will use every day. Plus, as soon as your Shopify store is built, you’ll be able to start selling your clothes almost instantly. Besides, the feeling of seeing one’s own designs come to life by transforming all the creativity into something real and profitable is truly unmatched.