Chaos

How you cope with sudden unemployment

Navigating the mental, emotional and practical fallout of losing your job in India

Day after day passes, the world and the country caring about little other than the coronavirus numbers. You tire of sitting in your shorts and imbibing a jumble of news, work emails, Zoom calls and social media, even as conversations in the company, the industry and the economy at large turn increasingly worried.

The MakeMyTrip group of travel websites announces pay cuts, with the management giving up their salaries entirely; many contractors and third-party staff may be let go of, the reports say. Loss-making hotel aggregator OYO furloughs or lays off thousands of staff across markets and cuts salaries. Companies freeze operations around the world. One by one, consumer internet startups with little income but a lot of supposed scale see funding drying up. Retrenchments, furloughs and pay cuts across the board. Airlines, media companies, automakers and more follow suit.

You carry on with work, but dread starts to grow. You try to make sense of revenue projections maybe, or sales plans for an always vaguely distant yet hopefully close “post-COVID” world. The numbers don’t really make any sense; every day, you overhaul them. The management opens up, at the very least, there won’t be any annual increments, and everyone can forget about bonuses.

Everybody is scared. Friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, neighbours, it’s likely that someone you know has been fired, furloughed or faces the immediate threat of the axe—maybe even you. Sign in to read more.

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