Positioning Yourself In 2010

“It is very obvious now that if the skills you use at work are not such that in case of retrenchments, you are laid off and can transfer same to a private enterprise started with minimal investments; then you are on a perilous path and you need to wake up and acquire some more skills” – Ayo Oladejo

The New Year is just a few days away and the most important thing to do right now is to sincerely review the outgoing year in a bid to see where and how we can make the new one a better year. My last post talked about the alarming trend of retrenchments going on in the country. For some, it is almost the end of the world but I know that is not right. It is just a rude awakening for us all to note that employers are in the business of making profits and when they sense any threat to that, their survival instincts take over while the emotional one goes to the background. I am going to be sharing tips on how to position ourselves for the next year to reduce heartbreaks and dare employers.

1. No Man Is Indispensable
It is very common for us as men to think that our organizations cannot survive without us. That is a lie from the pit of hell and a way of giving us false hopes and assurances. The worst that will happen is that the company will suffer for a few weeks/months and move on. The first step to real freedom in the corporate world is in knowing that you are not an exclusive club of skills or knowledge. This realization will help us all in giving our best at what we do while also developing ourselves for more exploits.

2. You Are Keeping Your Job Because You Are Still Relevant
Yeah hear. If you have been led to think that your employers love you and that is why you are on the payroll- you need to examine yourself deep down and wake up from the slumber. If they can get a younger man to replace you with more agility and less salary, then you are gone. The era of job security is gone forever unless you are in the civil service and even then you must note it won’t be long before computers replace most of the redundant staff in those establishments. It is important to ask yourself each year how relevant you are to your organization and how you can be more useful for the next year.

3. Review Your Job
I have seen all sorts of resumes in my life and the first thing that strikes me is that after 6 years of working, some people still go about with CVs fit only for a fresh graduate. This can either show poor CV writing skills or to call a spade a spade; a waste of years for the fellow. If your job is so monotonous and unskilled to the level that a sharp secondary school leaver could be trained to take over from you in a few months, then be very afraid. Imagine a job that only requires you to wake up in the morning, not have to think too much, get to work, and close without much tasks to the brain; you have to be very afraid because most likely your organisation would soon decide to employ OND or SSCE holders. We have started seeing this in many organizations especially the banking sector. So if you are stuck in those kind of jobs, start buying good books, read them a lot, determine what career move you want and find a way to get there.

4. Acquire More Skills

I remember my very good friend who was working in a company he did not like. His salary was nothing to write home about but he was determined to further his career. He started saving money to write a very tough IT certification and gain more experience as a Java programmer. He eventually saved enough money from a salary of 22 thousand naira per month and wrote the examination. In a period of 4 months, he got 2 jobs and the last one paid him about 200 thousand naira per month starting salary in 2004. It is a true life story. There are some of his colleagues who didn’t think it urgent to develop themselves and are still stuck in the rat race. You must sit down today and ask yourself a simple question – AM I SKILLFUL? Even if you are, you will be driven to acquire more knowledge and skills. It is the only way to stay competitive and edge out others in the New Year.

5. Stop Complaining and Do Something Useful
I hate sitting down with pessimistic people who are not ready to move on with their lives. They are all around us spreading their woes but unwilling to make the next move. We are not ready to hear those stories next year. Even in the desert lies opportunities but only the willing mind can see them. This is a season to have a positive mentality and move on to do exploit. The secret to getting the best out of our world is to think positively and picture how our lives should be, and then we can do it in the physical. If you already defeated yourself spiritually, expect no victory.

6. Start Thinking Entrepreneurship
Those who hate to be confined to monthly salaries are actually those that organizations spend a lot of money to lure into staying more with them. Let me break this down. Those who are confident enough that they can stand on their own will most likely be high performers in their current jobs. The more they have that mentality, the more they shine and the more they get better offers to keep working for organisations. They are known as intra-preneurs as they keep going the extra miles working as if they own the business they are employed in. These are guys who at a point are offered shares in companies just to tie them down. The other side of the fence is pathetic. They are the ones who are never thinking of starting their own businesses. They want to die in paid employment but they are found out easily and are bundled out early. It is actually scriptural: He who holds on to his life will lose it. He who holds on to paid employment will eventually lose it.

7. Start a Business While Still In Paid Employment
Not all businesses will require your 24-7 attention at the beginning. There are some you can start doing even from now. Identify a need you can fill and get on with it NOW. You must decide in 2010 to write that business plan, talk to potential partners and ensure you don’t fall into the trap of forgetting your goals. Nigeria is a developing country and there are still loads of services enjoyed in developed countries that are still not available in Nigeria. It is time to start looking at such and fill a gap. And yes, it is important to start small before you can attract investors later.

8. It Might Sound Silly, But Please Learn A Vocation
Interior Decoration, Cake Baking and Designing, Photography, etc are vocations that can make you Millions. Some are too myopic to think they are for people with little education but please a lot of very educated tush people are making waves now. There is enough room for more. Aren’t you going to be pleased to have a mechanic garage where the owners are graduates and truly understand cars unlike Wasiu the Mechanic who almost totally destroyed my car? These are subtle opportunities that are being taken for granted by us all. If you must know, I have a professional DSLR camera and would soon go for a course in professional photography. Very soon, I should be making some money from you LOL.

9. Do a Certification or a Higher Degree in 2010
It costs money to make money and that is the simple truth. Careful planning of expenditures in the New Year will ensure you can save money to do an examination, go for training or even a post-graduate degree. The returns always justify the investments at the end of the day. So before you decide on changing your car, buying more electronics that would soon be old model in a few months; please think of setting money aside for personal development in 2010. You will be glad you did.

10. No Better Time to Love God
A conscious decision to stay away from sin and love God in 2010 will result in a lot of favour coming your way. Sometimes we see some people with things falling on the good side for them always and we wonder why. The God factor is very important and even when all is in place, that extra touch from God makes everything simpler. As we go into 2010, let us put our plans into his hands and it will be well with us all. So I am using this opportunity to wish you a Merry Xmas and a very fulfilling and prosperous New Year 2010. Success will come our way in good measure. Amen.

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