• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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How to retain your job in these times


These are not normal times. Because of the Coronavirus, the global economy is expected to contract, caused by reduction in consumption and spending. This will affect many industries and businesses. Mostly hit are the tourism, travel, conference and exhibition industries. Energy stocks globally have witnessed a major hit and crude oil prices dropped to levels never seen since the gulf war, caused majorly by the oil price war between Saudi and Russia – second and third producers respectively globally.

In Nigeria, GDP estimated for 2020 will be revised drastically further down wards as the effects of Coronavirus and its implication on crude oil consumption becomes more apparent. Already the Federal Ministry of Finance has intimated on the need to review the benchmark price of crude used in the 2020 budget estimate, because revenue targets may not be realised. This will certainly affect spending and businesses will be adversely affected.

When business is down, most companies generate coping and survival strategies. Amongst them is to reduce cost and expenses to manageable levels, while seeking for new market opportunities to keep the business going.

There is so much apprehension right now in many organisations and with many staffs because layoffs are inevitable. We run a recruitment and HR support organisation and daily we see the concerns of job seekers including those holding positions that are becoming shaky due to the prevailing circumstances.

How do you retain your job?

One cardinal advice: Do not be an Expense. Do not be found in the expense address. Because expenses are the first casualty in times like this. Who is an expense? What do I mean? Simply put, when your contribution is far less than what you are earning. Or the business is subsidising your income. In other words, what you are getting from the business is far more than what you are putting or giving at the end of each work month. Is it possible for one to put less and get more? Yes. So how does one leave this “expense address” assuming one is there now? Here are some suggestions. Firstly, understand your job description. If you don’t have one, please demand for a clear, well written and approved job or position description for whatever position you have been given. This is very important. This is your contract of engagement with the organisation. Once you have this, then spend time to understand it but also regularly visit your position description to refresh yourself with it.

Secondly, give more than what you earn. This may sound foolish, but this is wisdom talking. Make it deliberate professional habit to give more than what you are getting from your organisation. This is your greatest security against tough times and in times like these. When you give more than what you get in qualitative terms, you automatically cross from an expense to a value creator. Now, in times like these, value creators remain and in fact are given more responsibilities, indeed they are in high demand. This will require personal adjustments and sometimes sacrifices that may not be convenient. But I tell you it will pay off.

Thirdly, don’t be lazy. Part of the sacrifice to give more than what you earn is that you may find yourself taking job home, spending up to 2-3 hours some days, finding solutions to critical tasks. Sacrifice always pay off!

Fourthly, put your mind on your job. I cannot emphasise this enough. Especially young people, they are so distracted that they spend less time on their jobs and tasks, thinking through the tasks, and so their contributions are neither here nor there. The greatest gift God has given to man is the mind. Many of us do not use our minds enough. No matter the challenge and task before you, man has the ability to resolve it and find solutions. Your mind is your greatest asset. In fact, your organisation employs you because of your mind. Your looks and how you appear is good and very valuable in many positions, but the greatest asset an employee has is his or her mind. At the end of each work day, do a quick self-assessment of your accomplishments for the day and make plans for the next day. Free your mind from things that can shut out inspiration. Like unforgiveness, malice and generally try to be happy and keep a good and friendly relationship with colleagues and people close by.

Fifthly, always self-evaluate your work against your PD. As you perform your daily tasks, take note of your accomplishments and periodically do a self-assessment and report on your accomplishments against your position description. Some organisations require self-evaluation as part of the annual or biannual evaluation process and will require you to present your self-evaluation report to your supervisor. Engage your supervisor and get his or her feedback on your self-evaluation and take whatever inputs he or she provides to improve and move on.

It is possible for one to be in the “expense address” and not even know it. How is this possible? The following conditions can lead to that state of mind:

Firstly, when you have an entitlement mentality. You feel that it is your right or the organisation owes you an employment. So, you become unmindful of your contributions, not interested in making sacrifices but rather you focus more on the rewards you expect to get each month. This may continue for a while, but it is not sustainable. When hard times comes, even the big and mighty and the well-connected may not be spared. So, let go this entitlement mentality, it is not sustainable and it reduces your ability to move to other more rewarding organisations when the opportunity comes. You are being subsidised here because the MD knows your father. That may not be the case in other more rewarding organisations within the industry.

Secondly, you are so self-centred, you see only your goodness, your needs, you become so lenient and generous with your-self to the point that water has cross under the bridge and the company tolerates your weaknesses and limited contributions that you did know this for many years running. Until the axe fell! Don’t allow this to happen. Constantly be hard on yourself, checking your performance against your PD, keeping abreast of developments in your industry and seek new ways to do your job more efficiently.

In conclusion, your work is your life. God made man to work. And through our work, we shall provide for our needs and be happy and prosperous (Psalm 128:2, GNB).


Roland Oroh

This piece was written by Roland Oroh, founder of RosslandJobs, a CV Bank and Job Portal; and Rossland Screening Solutions, a recruitment agency and HR solutions provider with a focus on creating development impacts. Email: [email protected]