An Indispensable Survival Guide for Today’s Employee

This refreshingly honest article shows you to take charge of your career and create your own job security-providing you with the most important things that really count in your workplace. The information here may not keep your present job, but could guarantee your future employability. If loosing a job, keeping a job or finding a better job is a concern, then this is for you.

Your Personal Life
The stability and quality of an employee life often have a direct impact on professional life because your professional life mirrors your personal life. You are who you are all through the day whether at work or at home.
Employee whose performance at work is below expectation could be traced to personal life problems such as impending divorce, abusive spouse, death of a loved one, life threatening illness, financial hardship and so on. These problems  result in employee being late to work, impatient with their clients, customers, patients as well as causing insubordination, gossiping, negligence of duty, abstinence from work-the list is endless. It has turn some managers and bosses to become employee’s counselor, advisor or therapist
No one personal life is perfectly in order including your employer. As we resolve one problem another one is showing up . Employee must feel good about themselves and come to work ready and excited rather than emotionally drained from conflicts, challenges and abuse at home. They need to find the courage, strength and willpower to work on resolving personal problems so they can cope with overwhelming challenges and demands of today’s workplace. They can work through the trauma and psychological impacts by getting help from a friend, counselor or therapist.

Create Visibility
Your presence and contributions you make must be felt in a positive manner in your organization.  What is your contribution in your team, unit, or department? Are you looked upon as a problem solver or someone who just keep mute when critical decisions or issues are been discussed? Are you someone who just distracts attention with vague, unhealthy, funny contributions trying to be noticed?  Are you proactive and do you volunteer for special projects when it is necessary?
Decision makers must know who you are and your contributions to the success of your organization; otherwise you risk your job because no one is aware of what you do.

Leadership Opportunity

You may not necessarily hold a leadership title such as manager, supervisor , director etc. but more importantly your willingness to assume a leadership role when the need arises regardless of your title. While leadership may come naturally for some, for others it takes practice and hard work. Leadership skills are life skills. It will benefit all of your personal and professional relationships and will help determine your present and future employability

Your Attitude

Every organization wants employees they could trust, who could incorporate in their life and jobs the value of honesty and integrity. They are the foundation upon which personal and professional success is built.
Another thing that may have impact on the course of your career is the way you use social media. Do not post that which conflict with your organizational culture. Avoid using office time to post every hour as if you are working in the media, Do not spend all your work time on social media . If social media is up on your screen every time your boss walks past, It is a dangerous sign that you cannot get involved in deep work. This is not healthy for your company unless you are getting paid to work on social media or it’s an integral part of your job responsibility
Your social media handle could be the first place employer would go when they want to carry out a background check if they need to hire you. Many have been rejected for a job solely because of the content of their social media.  

The Habit of Going Extra Mile

Employability today goes beyond job description; doing what is just required. Your future will depend on your ability to demonstrate to decision makers that you bring added value to your establishment
In the mid-1990, as told by Jeffrey A. Krames   in his book  ‘7 Exceptional Leaders and their Lessons for Transforming any Business ‘ While some company were gearing up for internet in a big way, Microsoft did not put internet high on its priority list. By 1995, the company was being derided for not responding to internet quickly. But within a few years, it responded with urgency, made investment in dozens of web-based companies and went from a company without strategy to a company obsessed with the power of this new technology. How did this happen?  It was as a result of an employee trip to a college campus who noticed that Cornell University was using internet for far more than just computer science application. On his return, he came back and wrote a MEMO declaring that Microsoft would ‘’go out of biz’’ unless it listened to him. The MEMO got to Bill Gate; a man who empowers workers by encouraging communication at every level of the hierarchy, took courage and listened to him. In the fall of 1995, internet was defining the future of the company.  Bill Gate was not the resident visionary of this idea. It was an employee who did, not even a senior employee. This is the habit of an employee going extra mile. Resourceful employees look for ways of adding value to their organization

Help Your Company Save Costs

 Author Jeffrey Krames in his book outlined basic five ways to save money as follows:
1.    Reduce staff
2.    Cut benefits
3.    Lower wages
4.    Decrease quality of products or services
5.    Increase Productivity
Employee don’t want number 1,2,3. Customers hate number 4. The only way now is to increase productivity. In this scenario, to cut cost to save money and make profit is to increase employee workload. You hear employee gripe and complain that they work so hard, they are doing the job of 2 or 3 people and the company refuse to hire. Employer is looking for employee who can make them profitable and who are actively finding ways to increase profits. Your company is willing to replace you with someone who will be glad to have your job with your salary and benefits. Don’t be frustrated with workload or fewer people on the job.
In the book,   Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future  by Ashlee Vance described  Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX as a big optimist when it comes to the cost estimation of his projects . At a time  SpaceX required an actuator to perform the action that steers the upper stage of the Falcon 1 vehicle, so engineer Steve Davis brought the quote of $ 120,000. Musk laughed it off saying it should be no more complicated than a garage door opener. He gave him a budget of $ 5,000 and asked him to just make it happen. It took Davis months of hard work but eventually delivered the actuator with a cost of $ 3,900 only.
Kevin Watson, joined SpaceX after an interview with Elon Musk. He had spent 24 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Kevin was of the opinion that the exceptionally expensive and especially hardened computers used by NASA in their avionic systems were a bit irrelevant and that there was a possibility of cost-cutting over there. Musk resonated with the idea and gave him the task of designing the bulk of a rocket’s computing systems well within $ 10,000 only.  These systems typically cost about 10 million dollars at NASA. However, SpaceX delivered this system in record time and passed NASA’s protocol tests in the first try.
Most companies are asking more from their employee because they are trying to eliminate as few jobs as possible, keep wages and benefits stable, and also make profit. Visionary employee thinks about saving money while also increasing productivity. Valuable employees are as careful with the company’s money as they are with their own.

Organizational Change

Organization is constantly evolving as result of new technology, customers demand, innovations, merger and acquisition, recession and global pandemic, leading to downsizing of dedicated employees.  Companies want employees who can face these new challenges with a positive outlook. When this happens, employees doubt their ability to integrate new ideas, use new technology, or adapt to new organization. They fear moving out of their comfort zone and tend to resist change. Some Employee are open to change as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. This is wrong.  
 Change brings about personal loss, additional commitment and disruption of routine. Change may mean working harder, longer, faster and better. Change threatens our habit patterns and forces us to think, reevaluate, and sometimes unlearn past behavior. When a decision to change has been made and no amount of opposition will alter it, simply become an early adopter and begin to diversify your skill set in order to cope with the new threats and challenges. Resistant to change is universal, but don’t let your attitude towards change create hindrance to your personal success.

Lifelong Learning
As a research scientist at an entry level in my Job, I expected I would be trained under an experienced employee until I l learn the job. Surprisingly, I was shown essentially my office table, chair, a filling cabinet. I was given twenty minutes orientation to the workshop, machines and equipment and from there on, I was on my own. I had to figure out how this machines work. I asked endless and boring questions from a colleague of mine who resumed the job few months earlier. To overcome this challenge, I acquired all the textbooks relevant to my profession. I learned rapidly in two years from my colleague and my books. This gave me confidence, skills and experience I needed to carry on.
Many swore after graduation from the university that they will never set foot in a classroom, but real learning begins after school. Remember, people at the top of their profession are those who take learning aggressively. They attend trainings, seminars and workshops. They read books and journals to keep abreast of the trends in their profession. They learn new software, develop their computer, management, leadership and problem solving skills in case they get laid off, they can find new job. Your long hours of work should not prevent you from going to school in the evenings or taking classes on weekend. The thought of being unemployed with your outdated skill may make things get worse.  Check with your boss how you can make this possible with a well thought out plan on the premise that your training will add value to your company so your request can be approved. The more you advance in your career the greater is your learning requirements necessary for you to climb up a corporate ladder. Do not be that employee who only learn or read in time of promotion interview in your workplace. I hope this guide help. Remember to like, comment and share with your friends.

By Olusegun Solaogun

CEO: Firstway Bookshop


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