The first pandemic year was probably the most difficult time in human history. Not only we faced a lot of casualties due to the COVID-19 but the entire world came to a halt.
And even though vaccinations are helping to relieve the pressure of the pandemic now, these are still unprecedented times.
For anyone who is working in a company and is dependent on a paycheck to run their home, these times seem gloomier than anything ever before.
During the COVID-19 era, many companies laid off and cut the salaries of employees. If you survived all of that, consider yourself fortunate!
But what if even during these trying times, you have fallen into a situation where you’re considering quitting your job?
After all of the horrible things I’ve just mentioned, is it worth leaving a considerably safe job during COVID-19?
The answer is much more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Before you even think about deciding that, consider the following:
The unstable job market
Ever since the lockdown was imposed in March 2020, the Indian job market saw a great rise in the unemployment rate reaching up to 23% nationwide.
Even though the rates have gone down since February 2021, the Indian job market is still in a pretty volatile state.
So, if you have a stable job that has not laid you off and has been paying you on time, then remember that quitting your job may put you in unemployment longer than you would generally expect in a non-COVID-19 world.
Uncertainty of a new job in the COVID-19 world
Like most job seekers, you may want to get an offer letter from a company before quitting your current job and in a COVID-19 world, it’s more important than ever to do that.
However, as we are witnessing second and third waves of COVID-19 hitting countries at the most unexpected times, your new job may not be as secure as your current one.
You might’ve been working at your current organisation for a considerable time which makes it harder for your employer to lay you off.
Not because they cannot, but mainly because you’ve spent enough time in a company to be considered a long-term employee.
On the other hand, at your new job, you are relatively new and if another lockdown situation happens, or your new company loses a lot of money all of a sudden, then new employees will most likely be the first ones to be laid off.
So, remember this before quitting your current job during COVID-19.
As a working professional, you must know that the first question any new employer asks is why do you want to leave your current job.
And even though you may give them valid reasons, you wanting to leave your current job during a global crisis may come off as a lack of commitment or loyalty towards your employer.
This may become one of the reasons for you to miss out on good job opportunities or employers.
So, also remember this before you decide to leave your current job during COVID-19.
A strange new beginning
Starting a new job during the COVID-19 era is not at all similar to starting one before it. You will most likely understand your role and meet new people virtually over a video call.
While this may not be a big deal to some people, working relationships are crucial for reaping productivity in an organization.
Also, mental health has been at the center of COVID-19, loneliness and depression stem from not having enough people to talk to.
So, if you’re someone who is isolating alone, then relationships are the most important thing right now- even the ones at work.
So, keep this in mind before deciding about leaving your safe job during COVID-19.
Now, if the above-mentioned points have made you rethink your decision of quitting a very stable and safe job, then I think it’s a great idea to keep doing your job and wait for the world to get back to a bit better.
However, if you still feel that your reason is much bigger and stronger than the problems you may face mentioned in the points above, then at least make sure of the following before resigning from your current organization:
Financial status of the new company
Before you say yes to any organization, make sure you’ve done enough research about their financial background.
Understanding their financial status may help you make the right decision. A company with a weak financial background may not be a great choice during COVID-19 as they may not be able to handle lockdowns and losses at their company.
Consider joining big companies that either have a strong financial backing, or are large enough to sustain themselves during another wave of COVID-19 or lockdown without laying off employees.
Recent history of the new company
Not everything gets reported in the news, so make sure you read about the recent history of your new company.
Find out if they’ve laid off employees recently and during the lockdown year. You may do that by reading employee reviews online or connecting with current or previous employees on LinkedIn.
This will give you an idea if you’re joining the right company or not. Obviously, do not join a company that has laid off employees because of the pandemic as they may do it again in the future.
Written proof of compensation and benefits
Finally, make sure you get everything written on a company’s letterhead before you even think of quitting your current job.
Get your compensation package, benefits, and everything you have agreed upon during your interview mentioned in the letter.
Also, if you can, try to get a clause related to COVID-19 and layoffs in your offer letter. If the company can give it in writing that they won’t lay you off during a crisis then it’s the best-case scenario.
However, I am not sure if it’s possible, but hey! Asking won’t hurt anything.
In conclusion, the answer to the question, is it worth leaving a safe job during COVID-19? In my personal opinion, is a big NO.
For me, the above-mentioned challenges are bigger than having challenges at work. However, you are your own person and your situation may not allow you to carry on with your current safe job.
So, make sure you read the challenges mentioned in this piece and if you can handle them, then take my suggestions and hope for the best!