Let’s be clear – 2020 has been a hard year for EVERYBODY. But if you’re a young graduate or have just entered the job market, then it’s been especially hard on you! Many young people have had to take a pay cut or worse, have been laid off altogether. Yes, 2020 has been a difficult year and has forced the youngsters in our society to think long and hard about their future.
A survey conducted by FIS found that although young people were the most vulnerable to the negative effects of COVID-19, they were also the quickest to adapt to current and future trends. Even with the ongoing pandemic, I strongly believe that young people are well equipped to deal with this and take away lessons for life. Here are five lessons that I will encourage all youngsters to think about:
1. Rethinking of priorities
COVID 19 has completely reshaped norms in the workplace and society and challenged young people to ‘reprioritize’ their lives. This is a good time for millennials and Gen Z to take a hard look at their current affairs and to think about what is really important to them. The result could be a restructuring of their lives, with a greater focus on family, health and financial wellbeing.
2. Change in spending habits
With this pandemic having a considerable impact on income, young people are learning to adjust with less money. The pandemic might just have acted as a catalyst to help youngsters become more mature. This can be seen in spending trends, with a greater emphasis on essentials like food and health and less expenditure on lifestyle, leisure and recreation. It will be interesting to see if these trends continue even after the pandemic is over.
3. Maintaining a work-life balance
With work from home becoming the new normal, young people are finding it hard to maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. According to a survey, 49% of the respondents said that COVID-19 has negatively impacted work-life balance. However, with work from home likely to persist well into the next year, people need to draw boundaries not just in their physical routine, but also in their mind. Mental strength and awareness has never been more important and making it a priority has been one of the biggest eye openers for me this year.
4. The need to plan for the future
YOLO..no more? Youngsters like to live for the moment. But COVID-19 has created a need to make financial plans for the future. This could involve getting insurance, planning a budget and learning how to save more. This generation is now more aware than ever and is looking for the kind of solutions that can help them find a balance and achieve moderation.
5. The need for empathy, understanding and kindness
This pandemic has also demonstrated how we cannot live in a bubble and ignore the rest. We don’t wear a mask just to protect ourselves but to also possibly reduce the impact on someone else. The only way we can all really live happily is if we support each other. This has also been a great opportunity to develop empathy and understanding for people who might be struggling more than we are and to show kindness and goodwill as much as we can. The pandemic will eventually be over and hopefully, we can use it to not only become more financially responsible but to emerge as better human beings.
Authored by Rajan Bajaj, CEO & Founder, Slice