Saturday, March 18, 2023
HomeCampus VoiceWhy young Indians are moonlighting—they need two jobs in this economy

Why young Indians are moonlighting—they need two jobs in this economy

Text Size:

Last week, Wipro fired 300 employees for moonlighting. Moonlighting is the practice of having a secondary source of income in addition to a primary one. The news has badgered readers with an influx of information on how corporations can cope with moonlighting, what it means, fierce debates on whether what the tech giant did was right or wrong, how the company found out the employees were moonlighting and more. While all this information is important, I couldn’t find any article on why employees choose to moonlight.

As someone who is going to enter the workforce soon, I fail to understand the refusal of discussing the perspectives of people who are at the crux of this issue – the employees who have two jobs. There is tremendous information on social media and perpetually any financial help book one might pick up about how more than one sources of income are, in fact, a necessity for most people to be able to save. Millennials and GenZs are entering a corporate world that is competitive, ruthless, and highly under-equipped to deal with our generation as employees. Young adults already live in tremendous financial anxiety. Post the pandemic, the fear of unemployment, inconsistent pay and job insecurity has pushed a lot of people to the edge. In situations like these, is it still feasible to blame people to clamber for as many sources of income as they can lay their hands on?

I choose to switch the lens through, which one might approach the problem; instead of viewing it as employees having two sources of income, perhaps we could look at it as employees having to work two jobs? I think this minute change in perspective could exponentially change our agency to deal with the problem.

While I’d like to believe in an ideal world where everyone gets paid for doing what they love and following their passion, the world we live in is far from ideal. So many people work jobs they don’t like; the reasons could be plenty – the need for a stable income, family, fear to start something new in the middle of their careers and so much more. A lot of people who take up secondary jobs are only trying to satisfy their appetite for growth, learning and doing what they love.

The pandemic created a major economic imbalance for thousands of Indians. The brunt was borne by a lot of younger people who lost their jobs and failed to find new ones. Even after the pandemic – the ripple effects of which the corporate world can still feel in movements like ‘quiet quitting’ and the Great Resignation – most countries have failed to initiate policies to help their employees recuperate. India boasts of its gigantic population as ‘human resources’, but has failed to carry out policies and laws to ensure the productivity levels of this human resource. The Great Resignation in the US was an effect of this incapacity of governments.

Also read: What is quiet-quitting? Researchers explain rising employee disengagement

While it is undebatable that employees who work two jobs could be a threat to the integrity and security of both organisations but the fact that most of these people might need these jobs is beyond dispute as well. Moonlighting throws a blinding light on the gaps between what employment means in today’s world and the ground reality of how the corporate workforce is coping.

Solutions to these problems can be found in simple grassroots-level policies – better education opportunities, guidance to help students decide their professional trajectories, economic security so pupils can pick careers based on their interests and not out of need and creating policies to keep up with the moving world. Perhaps, instead of focusing on the extensive fiasco around the employees that got fired over suspected moonlighting, one might significantly benefit from learning more about why employees choose to work two jobs to begin with and how we can shape policies to help them escape the need to have two jobs.

Ruchi Shahagadkar is a student at FLAME University, Pune. Views are personal.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular