By Kibet Tobias
Millions of Kenyan professionals have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we won’t discuss the struggles of those who are currently unemployed, but those ones who weren’t not laid off; the employees who were spared from company layoffs? How has COVID-19 impacted them?
So here are the different categories of professionals affected;
1. Employees Who Have Been Demoted
Truth is, most companies who laid off employees due to COVID-19, also demoted some of it’s employees in order to reduce the wage bill.
How to handle it:
If you were demoted during COVID-19, you may feel frustrated, discouraged, and perhaps even bitter. You may also believe that there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation. And to a point, that’s true. There is a lot you can’t control right now. But you need to focus on what you can control.
There are a few actions you can take now that will help you grow your career later. You may not get promoted back to your original position for a while. But if you can upskill at work, continue to network with other professionals in your industry, and take responsibilities off your manager’s plate, you’ll be the first one they promote once COVID-19 is safely in the rearview mirror.
2. Employees Who Received Salary Reductions
In order to cut costs, most companies not only laid off employees, they also reduced their salaries. This usually goes hand-in-hand with demotions. So, if you were demoted, you likely took somewhat of a pay cut too. Close to 40% of employees received salary reductions due to COVID-19, after their company laid off their colleagues.
What You Can Do:
Since promotions and raises are connected, the tips mentioned above in the first section are relevant here as well. With a raise though, you need to prove why you deserve the increase in pay. This requires you to know how much value you provide for the organization.
Quantify all of your accomplishments on the job. Write them down. Better yet, add them to your resume, so you can use that document in your conversation with your manager. Make sure you do research on salaries in your industry, too, comparing your salary expectations to what those with similar job titles earn. By being a valuable, proactive, indispensable employee, you should be in the running for a raise as soon as the circumstances permit it. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s your job to prove your deserve one.
3. Employees Who Absorbed The Responsibilities Of Those Who Had Been Laid Off
Perhaps the most significant statistic to come out of this study is that 78% of employees have absorbed the responsibilities of those who’ve been laid off. Employees who kept their jobs during COVID-19 are working hard, trying to juggle more tasks and responsibilities, all while having their salaries reduced—41% of them have, at least.
What You Can Do:
Unfortunately, if your job responsibilities have changed, there’s not much you can do to lessen the new workload. You just have to do your job. What you can do, however, is make your health and wellness a priority (if you haven’t already).
Exercise, eat healthy, and do whatever you need to do to manage your stress. Job burnout is real, and it’s very important that you take good care of yourself, for your personal and professional life. When you’re having a particularly bad day, just remember that everything is temporary: the changes to your job, the increase in stress, and COVID-19. You’ll get through this!
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Tobias is a CV Writer/Communications Assistant at Jobs Kenya Network. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 07 29, 735 467