NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic's recent peak in India has amplified the importance of work experience and professional connections as youngsters are found twice (2.5x) as worried as their older cohorts about the impact on their careers.
According to the latest edition of LinkedIn workforce confidence index, nearly 30 per cent of Gen Z professionals (born after 1997) and 26 per cent of millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are troubled due to lack of jobs in comparison to 18 per cent of Baby Boomers (between 1946 and 1964).
The uncertainty widens when it comes to finances as one in four Gen Z (23 per cent) and millennials (24 per cent) report being more worried about their debt or expenses when compared to just half as many Boomers (13 per cent).
At the same time, average time for fresh graduates to find a new job has also increased by 43 per cent (from 2 to 2.8 months) in 2020 compared to pre Covid-19 times in 2019. A total of 1,891 professionals were surveyed from May 8 to June 4.
But while the conversion time has increased, so have remote opportunities as LinkedIn platform data further suggests that the proportion of entry level jobs labelled as 'remote' posted between January to March 2020 have increased by 9x between 2020 and 2021.
Significantly, the second wave has worsened 'shecession.' Twice as many working women are worried about the availability of jobs and time for job-seeking compared to working men.
The individual confidence index (ICI) scores of female professionals fell from plus-57 in March to plus-49 in early June -- a 4x decline compared to working men (plus-58 in March to plus-56 in June).
India's working women are thus 2x more likely to be worried about the availability of jobs, their professional network and time devoted to job seeking than working men.
This uneven impact has also bruised the financial stability of working women as 1 in 4 (23 per cent) female professionals are concerned about growing expenses or debt in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13 per cent) working men.
Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager for LinkedIn, said despite a modest revival, confidence levels of working women and young professionals are among the lowest in today's workforce.
Twice as many working women are concerned with job availability compared to working men and 30 per cent of Gen Z professionals worry due to lack of jobs, he said.
"Remote jobs can be the ray of hope, to provide the much-needed flexibility and growth in opportunities to help them bounce back into the workforce," said Gupta.
Besides, 'self-care' appears to have become a greater priority for job seekers.
While one in two job-seekers value employee benefits (55 per cent) and salary (53 per cent) more post Covid-19, an equal number of job-seekers are found prioritising work-life balance (48 per cent) and location flexibility (50 per cent) when looking for a job.