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Career insights during lockdown

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Employees are faced with decisions on whether they should stay or move on with their careers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Art by Joy D. Dagun

By Hannah Mallorca
Features Writer, The Philippine STAR

Experts weigh in on how employees can better tackle important career decisions in the face of uncertainties brought by the pandemic

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a looming global recession. It has posed an uncertain future in the economy and employment with various industries walking on a thin line. As a result, employees are faced with decisions — should they stay in their current jobs or move on to the next phase of their careers?

To help Filipino workers determine their next career move, The Philippine STAR’s CareerGuide shared insights on important job decisions during the pandemic.

The online discussion featured TalentView chief executive officer Anj Vera, Inspire Leadership Consultancy Inc. general manager and leadership consultant Jeff Manhilot, and TaskUs human resources leader Atty. Bianca Bacani.

Ensuring stability among employees

One of the major factors that determines an employee’s career decision is how their employers maintain stability during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Ms. Vera, employers should establish effective communication with their employees.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a small company or a big company, whether you see it or not — you have an employer brand. Especially in this crisis, it’s vital that you protect it, communicate well with your organization and just showcase who you are because it always comes out. Your true self comes out in a crisis like this,” she stated.

Ms. Vera also urged companies to provide sufficient assistance and strengthen their leadership skills for their employees’ sake.

“Pour out your resources for your organization: show them that you’re present, that you have strong leadership capabilities and that you’re at the forefront of this crisis,” Ms. Vera said.

 Working hand in hand during the crisis

Because of the pandemic, many companies experienced drastic changes in business operations. This includes the work-from-home setup, which goes beyond the traditional working relationship. Mr. Manhilot stated that employees and employers should preserve a stable working relationship.

“It will all play down with the combination of the two things. One is how the leaders are doing it and at the same time, how employees should be taking it,” he added. “We need to put into perspective that leaders have to play a huge role in making sure that the organizations they’re leading are really taken care of in all aspects.”

In making wise career decisions, Mr. Manhilot and Atty. Bacani encouraged employees to understand that various sectors are also affected because of the pandemic.

“As an individual, we all have to understand that our leaders are also encountering the same thing. The virus is a great equalizer, regardless kung nandito ka sa sitwasyon na ito or itoyung position mo sa organization. The amount of fear or risk is the same,” he said.

“Inevitably, our employees will feel uncertain, they will feel sad that there are so many changes around. Here’s the challenge for our employees, we want you to step up in this crisis as well. Once your employee steps up and tries to help you, you will also need to step up,” Ms. Bacani added.

Despite this, Ms. Vera advised employers to be transparent with their employees. “We really need to see our leaders communicating well enough, sometimes even as simple as being transparent is appreciated by your organization. It cannot be that the leaders are the ones who are silent,” she said. 

Making life-changing career decisions

Employees are faced with decisions on whether they should stay or move on with their careers as a result of the pandemic. With this, Ms. Bacani advised workers to consider important factors such as employment opportunities, salaries, and more.

“Every career move, it has to be a deliberate act. Whether or not there is a global pandemic or crisis, we have to take a pragmatic stance with regards to our career choices,” she added.

Since career transitions is a life-changing move for employees, Ms. Bacani stated that it’s a personal decision that one needs to make.

“Do you want to make a career change now? It depends. It’s a ‘no’ if you don’t have a plan, if you’re not pursuing your passion and you’re not doing anything productive. But on the other side, it’s a ‘yes’ if you are pursuing career growth, if you’re pursuing your passion or you’re protecting your mental health,” she said.

 

For more information about employment, job openings and advertising options, visit CareerGuide PH on Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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