The Covid-19 pandemic can be tough on mature workers. As most of you already know, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a mass global work from home experiment, which the younger employees might be praising. But not everyone is cut out for the current work-from-home (WFH) trend. Especially not when it involves tech.
Additionally, the downtrodden economy might bring new anxieties and fears to a more mature worker. As a recruitment agency in Singapore, we are no strangers to the different anxieties that our mature candidates might share. Here are 4 tips that mature workers can take note of, to help pass the Covid-19 pandemic hitting most organizations across Singapore.
1. Know Your Tech Basics
Video conferencing might be second nature to some of the younger employees. Whilst your Millennial and Gen Z colleagues grew up hand in hand with technology. Not all my older friends and colleagues are aware that you can video conference professionally using their phones and tablets. Try your hand by downloading apps such as Skype and Google Hangouts.
In addition to this, mature workers are not versed in video conferencing etiquette. It’s simple really, all you need is to use a pair of headphones with a microphone attached, to “kill” the ambient background noises. Don’t forget to find a good angle for your phone if you’re planning on using the camera.
2. Know Your Rights
Unfortunately, in order to cut costs, some companies are asking their older employees to consider early retirement or taking unpaid leave. Or the final alternative is to accept a slight pay cut until the Covid-19 issue is done and over with. Of course, these are just several creative ways that the company has come up with to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite these measures, your organization is not allowed to force you to do things such as:
Your employers cannot force you to take annual leave for a Covid-19 quarantine. However, your medical leave can be deducted if you have to be quarantined.
Deduct your pay due to the quarantine period.
Decline your medical leave or access to a doctor.
Force you to retire early, or go on unpaid leave.
When it comes to unpaid leave and salary deduction, it’s best to stay informed and know your rights. Some reputable readings to check out are:
3. Upskill Yourself
Sometimes, we must prepare for the worst-case scenario. If your employer has to make unfortunate cuts to keep the company afloat, upskilling might make them reconsider their decision. It is not uncommon for older employees to face setbacks despite their experience. But don’t falter under the hype. Upskilling is just one of the many ways that mature workers can do to remain competitive alongside the younger generation.
Here are some ways for older employees to upskill themselves without breaking the bank:
SkillsFuture Singapore: If you’re above the age of 25, you’ll obviously have heard of the SkillsFuture development program. With SkillsFuture, older workers are able to claim a $500 credit to be used for a wide range of government-funded courses and programs. But before you scoff at the idea of government-funded programs, a 2019 survey revealed that more than 8 in 10 Singaporeans found the training to be helpful to their work. Mature workers are able to receive more subsidies on upskilling courses with programs such as SkillsFuture Mid Career Enhanced Subsidy which funds up to 90% of course fees. Curious to try? The program covers a wide range of courses including data analytics, finance, and cybersecurity. You can learn more about the SkillsFuture program here.
Pro-Tip: Looking to kickstart a career in human resources or cybersecurity? We’ve rounded a list of courses you might find useful in these articles:
Adapt and Grow: This initiative was originally started to aid Singaporeans affected by the economic slowdown. The Adapt and Grow program is mainly focused on two groups of mature workers: PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Trainers), and RnF (Rank and File) workers. Through the program, candidates will be able to apply for positions in industries they’d like to break out in. Or be placed in “Place-and-Train” programs. Much like the SkillsFuture program, around 30,0000 Adapt and Grow candidates benefited from the initiative back in 2018. Learn more about the Adapt and Grow initiative here.
Online courses: Take a page out of the young employee’s handbook and pick up a new skill through online courses. This is a great option if you’re stumped for cash. And with a number of courses available on platforms such as YouTube, Coursera, and Udemy. You will surely have a lot of options to choose from. Online courses are also a great way to keep yourself busy without the hassle of leaving your comfy home!
Here at BGC Group, we like to emphasize the importance of upskilling. There are a number of benefits to reskilling as a mature employee. It can range from more diverse skills to a larger network, and depending on the circumstances, better pay. Read up more about upskilling as a mature employee in our past article, “The Importance of Upskilling in Singapore”.
4. Friend not Foe
It might be hard to not view your younger colleagues as competition, in times like this. But you can make yourself valuable to the organization by opting to train your younger and less experienced colleagues. Since education is a two-way street, older workers can also stand to gain a thing or two from newer hires.
3 Things Older Workers Can Learn From Younger Employees:
New Technology: Perhaps one of the most obvious areas that can be developed. Whether it’s computers, apps, or even ways to simplify your browsing efforts. There is a high chance that younger workers will know how to use it.
Taking New Risks: Compared to older and more experienced employees, younger employees tend to have more “out of the box” ideas. Not only can your new colleagues teach you about taking new risks. They can also teach their more experienced friends to think in new, innovative ways. After all, a new era calls for a new way of thinking.
New Perspectives: One thing that younger employees have embraced is diversity. And it’s no surprise considering many of your youthful counterparts come from diverse family backgrounds. These newer and more diverse perspectives might be able to help open older worker’s eyes to the changing world and workforce. Learn more about what older workers can teach younger workers in this article.
What are some tips that younger workers can share with older employees to help them get through this tough time? Start a discussion in the comments section below!
Read More: CV Tips For Mature Employees