Skills that help you survive job market volatility
Yojana Sharma,

Changing business scenarios often call for quick hiring and quick firing. However, there are a few skills that can help you find quick employment in tough times or chart a new career.

With the times changing, businesses too are changing their dynamics. The operational changes comes in all possible ways with all possible names – as mergers, acquisitions, acqui-hiring, downsizing/rightsizing, scaling up/down operations and the likes. A quick glance at the newspaper is enough to hint that some company or another would be expecting some change in its business operations in the coming days.

It may come in many manner – change in job role, attrition, hiring for some roles and firing for other simultaneously and the sorts. The bottom line is that while every professional must be thorough with skills and knowledge pertaining to his domain but still be ready for the changing professional demands.

What are the new challenges? 
“The current economy is growing at a fast pace and new-age businesses are in demand. Most private equity firms and investors are looking for quick return on their investments. For some businesses, ideations work out well and some of them do not take off. The changing decisions and dynamics are the reason for hire and fire,” says Sunil Goel, managing director of GlobalHunt, a staffing solutions firm.

The first impact of such moves is on the staff. That includes decisions like handing over pink slips, offering voluntary retirement, extending a golden handshake (when the company is asking you to leave with a hefty compensation) and the sorts.

Every company will draw up its own logic and reasons to pick employees who may be asked to leave first.

Goel says that while rightsizing the organization structure, companies will always lay off 5-10 per cent resources who are on high cost or are less productive or are surplus resources.

An electronic giant recently cut off a product line from its portfolio. As a result, the staff dealing with it was also “relieved of their services”.

An internal source confirmed that the company considered those who could not fit in other roles in other departments and asked them to leave, handing them heavy compensation. The ones retained have the challenge to fit in new teams and culture while the ones who were asked to leave have the daunting task on finding job right away.

Skills that help survive bad times
However, there are a few skills that help a professional keep afloat during tough times. In fact, there are a handful of skills that help a person chart an individual journey if need be, and probably realise his entrepreneurial dream also. We are talking about the jobs that an individual can do independently also.

Mumbai-based Sutra HR has been placing professionals across different locations and different functions. “The role that a person can pursue independently are web development, content writing/copy writing, content editing, graphic designing, UI designing, UX designing,” says Waqar Azmi, CEO and founder of SutraHR.

Goel says any job which does not have direct customer interface and work more around technology can be pursued all alone.

The Pros: With these skills, you can turn entrepreneur as well – earning revenues and reputation based solely on your work.
The Cons: When working alone, you have to be the master of all traits in your skill. A single mistake can cause loss of client and work reputation.

The skills in demand now
Goel says skills like risk taking, exposure to technologies, ability to work in diverse cultural environment, expertise in domain, decision science and analytical abilities find more takers.

According to Azmi, jobs like mobile developers, UX/UI designers, growth hackers, front end engineers, data scientist, product managers and digital marketers are in demand presently. These are based on the startup ecosystem mainly for product and tech based companies.