Gen Z: The rising financial insecurity and Moonlighting

 

Gen Z: The rising financial insecurity and Moonlighting

The term 'moonlighting' became a conversation point in India now after IT major Wipro fired 300 employees after finding out that they were working with one of its competitors at the same time to which its chairman Rishad Premji has had no hesitation in calling it out as cheating.

Many debated over WIPRO’s action, some favoured the decision as all IT companies need to protect their customer data, many saw no problem in double working, ‘why not, they asked. Some said, it would kill the entrepreneurship.

While IT sector have been grappling with the issue of moonlighting, no one is perhaps looking at the reason why the moonlighting is on rise?

Is it because the new generation is more risk taking or they are excited by India’s start-up program? May be. But there is a certain amount of the uneasiness in the new generation joining the workforce. 

In India, in service sector, 80% jobs come from IT sector. Therefore for last few decades, everyone was in rush to become a Computer specialist as a lucrative job was assured. But came Pandemic and scenario changed.

Post the pandemic, the fear of unemployment, inconsistent pay and job insecurity has pushed a lot of generation Z to source for second income. The pandemic not only disrupted everyone's lives but also made people rethink their career choices, the fear and insecurity that this generation had never known of. And the recent job cuts in IT sector is making Gen Z more jittery. Chat GPT and AI and other tools also are making them nervous.

One of the young Product specialist working in a well-known MNC, says, ‘Even if I am one of the best engineers in the company today, and paid highly, there is no guarantee of tomorrow, I might get a mail any day to exit the company.’

‘Being best and dedicated’ to the company, no longer assures the longevity in the company. One has to be always on alert and look for the next safer stone to step on, such is the muddling affairs of the jobs.

 

The job insecurity is making Gen Z nervous, and they are drifting to other line of businesses. Many are looking for a fall back option, for them to assure the continuity of income. Many are looking at options beyond IT –  in traditional businesses which could be anything but not IT – Readymade garments, content creation, Luxury brands, food and restaurant business, jewellery etc.

In recent times, most of the Tech companies have announced major layoffs and job cuts one by one. many are not rolling out the offer letters. I wonder, what kind of message these companies are sending to the new workforce? It’s like a tree instead of pruning or going for medicinal treatment when its leaves are infected, decides to cut the supplies to its own roots.

 

I don’t think any company has ever recovered in history by laying off their people or job cuts. In the current times, the organizations actions are driven by Stock markets rather by the social responsibility, forgetting that they have much a bigger role to play towards society, their role is not over after publishing sustainability reports. Every entity in the society must work for the Society. That is the bottom line.

As Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said “Any captive models will fade. Employers expect employees to be entrepreneurial while serving them. The same people can apply it personally to themselves. Time will come where there will be a community of product builders who will divide their time on multiple projects. Just like lawyers or consultants do. This is the future.” 

In one of my earlier articles on Gen Z Gen Z : Shifting demographics in workforce, I said that companies must reinvent their way of working if they want to engage with Gen Z. The Tech companies must rethink what message they are sending to the new generation joining the workforce?

 

Rakhi Sunil Kumar

 

note-

This is in series to my research paper A study of Nextgen ‘Balance of Life’ Workplace in Indian Organizations published by the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. The research paper can be downloaded http://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-1021.php?rp=P11811719

 

 

 

 

 

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Author

  • Rakhi Sunil Kumar

    Rakhi Sunil Kumar has published three fictions – ‘Dancing Mirrors’, ‘Bougainvillea Anywhere Everywhere’ and ‘Songs of Water’. She has worked in IT for 30 Years, and now pursuing her interest in Creative Writing!

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