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Stay in...choose your beverage
Stay in...choose your beverage
Kathleen Hildebrand

MUNICH — At some point Hanna Seibert (not her real name) just started making excuses. When her girlfriends called and wanted to go out to eat and drink cocktails in the city, she would put them off, saying she had too much to do. The cliché excuses suggesting she was stressed out struck her career-minded friends as pretty normal. “Tell me about it,” they’d say with a knowing nod. But it wasn’t a question of time for Siebert. It was a question of money.

Things weren’t always this way for her. After earning a degree in business administration, Siebert earned good money working for a couple of years at a large German accounting firm Then, at 28, she quit to start her own small advertising agency. It took a long time to build a customer base, and at first there was no income at all. But she’d counted on that. What she hadn’t counted on was that her professional decisions could affect her friendships.

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Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: The Ripples Of Ukraine War On The World Of Work

Jobs for Ukrainian refugees, too busy to quit in Hong Kong, the rise of 'asynchronous' work....and more

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the working world — still recovering from the global pandemic, no less — was dealt a sizeable blow, from ripple effects of unemployment to supply chain disruptions to office campaigns to support the victims of the war.

Of course, the most immediate impact of the war is inside Ukraine itself, which UN News estimates has lost 4.8 million jobs. The immediate impact has also been felt across the global economy, as energy embargoes and grain blockades have undermined the most basic elements of life. Meanwhile, the influx of refugees has put newfound pressure on labor markets in certain countries.

But as the war unfolds before us on our screens, business in Western countries have also felt compelled to get involved, often with spontaneous initiatives to offer help. In the UK, for example, several companies have put pressure on the government to make it easier on refugees, and have offered jobs themselves to Ukrainian refugees. Some are going even further by offering relocation and other assistance.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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