This morning, I received a phone call from a lady friend who did not sound like herself at all. For the first time since I’d known her, this extroverted, lively and always happy woman sounded sullen. It happened that she swam through her tears all night.
Her problem? The unbearable demands and horrible conditions of work from her boss is “killing her”. Unfortunately, she was not the first to complain about this boss, nor was she the first to steer similar complaints my way about unpleasant working conditions in our labour market, particularly in the private sector.
I won’t go into the chaff and ruffle of these experiences, some of which sound pretty sordid; instead, I’ll reshare 5 tips from a copy I recently wrote for a young audience regarding work.
1) Do your job diligently. Do it with a tinge of irreplaceability and a touch of global relevance. Being good, scratch that, being great at what you do comes with an enamour of confidence that will make you always choose yourself when a working environment chooses to be toxic.
2) Upskill and keep increasing your marketability or what I call market quotient [MQ]; in other words, keep getting better at whatever your craft is. And there are a handful ways to achieve this. Online options like Google Africa, Udemy and Cousera are some of the platforms which afford a plethora of courses and opportunities [both free and some for just a token] to improve yourself and up your MQ.
3) Join professional circles, communities and networks. Seek memberships where necessary. The opportunities to grow and collaborate from such circles are valid.
4) Always be open to the fact that no matter the course you studied as first discipline, there are more than enough trainings and certifications [especially online] to add to your arsenal of skills and to give you the in-demand edge in the competitive world of job application.
5) If you choose to work in an organization, you need to know your rights are actually protected and legally so. Enter the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, a legal instrument set up to protect you. The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations, and also matters arising from the workplace and conditions of service which include health, safety, welfare of the employee. The court, which even recently adopted standards of the International Labour Organization [ILO], can be found handy in your dealings. This is the at-all-at-all part of these tips. From what I hear, ‘Nigeria’ has not totally happened to them in this court. So, if any boss is actively trying to take up the roll of your village people for free, approach this court….at all at all na im what?
I wish you well.
PS: If you are a boss somewhere, be calming down; don’t become a tearful prayer point. While you seek productivity from your staff, know that carrot and stick is a thing.
#Konisewu ©️Sayo Aluko