Wage freezes, redundancies, lost income, fewer opportunities – that is the economic legacy from the cornavirus. Like it or not that’s that net result of the current corona virus – and as much as it will bounce back quickly (my prediction) it will take a few years to return to normal, unlike the ten years from 2007/08.

But in that recovery time (shorter than it might be), and just like the people entering the workforce in 2008 and the following years, that generation will suffer the most, and they just won’t know it. Everything will be more of a struggle, initial wages will be lower, entry level career jobs will be harder to come-by – and they will be under scrutiny for providing value like no other time. Many will also have the stigma of getting grades without even complete exams, yet they will be working harder than the cohorts before them, and after them.

Opportunities will be fewer, with more skilled and experienced workers available and looking for work at lower salaries – the less opportunity there is for unskilled and less (or no) experience workers. Just getting into a career will be harder.

Once someone has secured a role it’s a challenge that will last a lifetime for them – lower initial wages means lower wages for life, unless you are conscious about your earnings you just don’t know the impact negotiating and securing a high salary has on your life-time income.

Joining an organisation when the scrutiny everyday is on the value you bring – and ‘can we afford you’ mentality takes it’s toll. Worker who are less risk adverse due to job security, it’s a mindset that doesn’t change once you have it.

Young people joining the workforce during these times will have worse mental health (and general health) outcomes.

As people that have benefited from strong economies we have a duty to help protect these young people and encourage and support them as much as possible, and see being established in a career as a privilege regardless of our own background.

Examples of research: