Many Indian work visa holders say heir employers do not offer any mental health or counselling facilities
The latest from the job onslaught bulletin is that McKinsey, the global management consulting firm will be laying off about 2,000 employees in one of its biggest ever job cuts.
With a current employee workforce of about 45,000, this comes out to be a little less than 5% of its workforce – a formidable number for a global firm. Just a couple of days ago KPMG, one of the big four accounting organizations announced a 700 person lay-off.
Read: Indian government asked to help laid off Indians (January 24, 2023)
With news on job cuts emerging from across sectors and not just tech circles, it seems pretty evident that the job crisis in the United States in the post-Covid era is one of the biggest industry crises of our times.
As a lot of Indians are reporting job losses, considering their large numbers in the work visa categories in the US, it seems that there is a need for counseling services.
Gaurav Kalra who runs an online group for Indian expats confirms that of late the majority of traffic on his group has been about job losses with many looking at words of support and advice from their peers.
The problems get multiplied for work visa holders as suddenly they are not just stripped of their jobs but also of their social status in the country. They require genuine insights into their options and often times just an inspiring story to believe that there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Sensing that most Indians are struggling because there are no support groups or counseling services provided by most employers, Indian American professional Asha Reddy stepped up and offered to provide assistance to anyone who may need it and left her email for anyone who may need any form of help.
Read: Laid-off employees on H-1B visas share their stories (January 27, 2023)
Talking to the American Bazaar she says, “I just started providing assistance to any one that asked for help via email. At the moment, I am reviewing their resumes and working on one to make necessary updates.”
“I also have calls setup to provide general guidance – pursuing other roles and also to conduct mock interviews,” says Reddy. “At least, 90% of the candidates have made the updates I had suggested and are working on next steps so I am excited about helping out anyone that reaches out to me.”
Bay area based Preeti T. (last name withheld on request) who lost her job at a tech giant last month says, “I am on a green card so while I could wait a few months before I look for a job but the havoc this lay-off causes to confidence is damaging.
“My company did not offer me any counseling or advisory service on how to handle this situation and I think that is travesty. Indians work so hard, contribute immensely to several important industries in the US still the employers think that it is just okay to drop us like hot potatoes.”
Many Indians feel that since seeking mental health help is still a developing concept in the community, no one pays attention that they may need counseling post a traumatic experience like job losses.
Sunita Kohli, a technology assistant in California says, “After a few days of losing my job, besides looking for job openings, I found myself browsing the internet to look for similar stories of job loss and how people overcame the crisis.”
“When you are in a dark place, you feel there is no end to it and you are looking for similar stories of people who were there and could rise above,” she says. “I could find a few people on social media who assured me from their experiences that this may be a temporary phase and that helped me to a great extent.”
Read: Indian techies prepare for worst amid lay-off spree (January 10, 2023)
Read: How workers can stay in the US after losing jobs (December 20, 2022)