For Millennial young professionals and entrepreneurs and some Generation Alphas, COVID-19 is their major global economic crisis and pandemic they are facing as key players in the marketplace.
The 2020 International Youth Day is ushering young people into the novel economy popular termed the new normal into a different kind of workplace and work culture popularly termed #WFH (Work From Home). 2020 graduates are entering the worst job market since the Great Depression. Job market full of uncertainty, chaos, fast pace change and much more.
It is a difficult time for young people, some are afraid of their tomorrow, some are stressed up, some are confused and some are definitely excited and curious about what is coming. The only thing certain is an uncertain future, especially in the present marketplace, digitized and global business world.
With COVID-19 pandemic giving birth to more chaos like economic crisis, workplace crisis, unemployment crisis, this has severely affected the livelihoods of young people either as newly recruits, job seekers and or startup owners. Why? You may be asking. The hardest hit segments of the economy or population are daily wagers, low-income earners, entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses and young people make up the largest percentage of this segment.
In this confusing and unsettling times, rapidly changing marketing place, young people need to start making critical and intentional decisions about their careers and businesses. It is high time for young people globally and especially across Africa to know they cannot be on the sidelines, they cannot just watch, they need to wake up, show up and be active key players.
Right now playing the blame game, shying away from responsibilities, staying quiet while people are being oppressed, staying quiet in the midst of bribery, corruption, embezzlement and under development is not for any young person in this present age. It is time for young people to be movers and shakers.
There is no doubt the pandemic has had deep economic, career and social consequences on young people, which will widen existing inequalities between young people and matured professionals and or the wealthy. Despite the massive unforeseen circumstances caused by the pandemic, the determination, bravery and self-reliant nature of young people will shine forth.
Forward-looking young people are wondering what a post COVID19 marketplace might look like. Truth is, there is a lot of uncertainty how the marketplace will look like after humanity succeed to beat COVID19. Oh yes, you read that right, humanity always win. We are not going to lose this fight.
What is the way forward for young professionals and entrepreneurs as we celebrate the International Youth Day? The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for change in our society and this give the young people the opportunity to lead and to shape our future.
1. Young entrepreneurs should seek ways to revamp their existing business models to adapt to the novel economy and changing needs of their markets
2. Young professionals should upgrade their skills massively to be employable in the current marketplace driven by remote working and or work from home culture. With businesses and offices being forced to shut down, the economies have come to a halt. The service sector has moved from physical workstations to digital workspaces, thus, increasing the reliance on digital connectivity
3. Young professionals should effectively master how to synchronize machines, systems and humans (staff) to achieve the desired goals
4. Young executives and entrepreneurs should master how to create and lead sustainable and flexible workplace strategies. The current and future workplace is not just physical it is now social and digital workplace
5. Young professionals and entrepreneurs will consistently need a higher degree of adaptability and resilience for sustainable success in career and business.
6. Young people need to be quick to seize opportunities, speedily improve what needs improving and transform what needs transformation
7. Young people should invest in Future Literacy skill. According to WEF, “it is time our society takes another step forward to cope with this new challenge, becoming a more “future literate” society. This is the skill that allows people to better imagine and make sense of the future. It’s important because it is images of the future that drive our expectations, disappointments and willingness to invest or change”
Yes, COVID19 drove the business economy to a standstill but the resiliency, ingenuity, commitment, bravery, skillfulness and resourcefulness of young people will reopen a new massive novel economy.
Happy International Youth Day 2020