Where are the jobs?

Every week I get connected to people I have never met before or get calls from professionals I have known for a while; All reach out with a fundamental problem to which neither they nor I have a solution. They are seeking a job. These are people who wielded power and are suddenly finding themselves without a job. These are individuals who headed corporate communications and drew hefty salaries and are suddenly caught in a situation where that monthly credit into their account is not happening. These are people with 15+ years of experience, in their early to late forties and some even older. These are people who have been there, done that and seen it all and suddenly witnessing a tsunami that has hit them. Some were prepared for this, most were not. The situation is getting grimmer. I have a dozen CVs in my inbox but I have no clue where to send them to. The concerns are as follows:

  1. These individuals had reached a cost to company that was close to a crore. Something unheard of in corporate communications until a decade ago.
  2. These individuals did not move with the times and upgrade their skills to become digitally savvy and thought leaders.
  3. These professionals did public relations for organisations but in the process forgot to focus on some amount of personal branding.

There are atleast a dozen corporate communication professionals who earn between 10 lakh and 12 lakh a month and maybe a half dozen who earn more than that. Barring these who work in large organisations – Indian conglomerates or global tech giants, most others get anything between 3 lakh to 8 lakh per month based on their pedigree which is a combination of three factors (last job + salary, education qualification + previous experience and personal reputation). Well, most people aspire to touch the 1 crore per annum figure.

So, with this background I tweeted this last week – and then there were several discussions on why it has come to this.

So many corporate communications heads with 15+ Years experience have no jobs. I get calls/CVs of 5-6 a month. If anyone is hiring DM me. But this is a crisis looming large – for relevancy. Companies prefer hiring less expensive, younger employees who are digitally savvy.

My thoughts are simply as follows –

  1. Corporate Communication professionals are invaluable assets to an organisation. However crazy salaries are not the order of the day. Therefore, a course correction of financials as well as talent is taking place.
  2. Businesses are realising that a smart team at a PR firm can be managed by a young, inexpensive in-house communications head.
  3. Better educated talent is available in the market versus how the scenario was ten years ago. So, if one was fortunate to rise and grow and accumulate a handsome package, one should also realise just adding years to a CV is pointless. One needs to do a bunch of additional things to continue commanding that salary.
  4. Lastly, every profession evolves and goes through cycles. The smart thing to do is to earn and save in a practical way and live within one’s means. Exuberance and splurging didn’t take anyone too far.
  5. There are solutions that one can always arrive at to ensure a steady flow of income takes place. Because there is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.
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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

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