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Author Name: Debbie Ogunjobi
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You are fired
Author: Debbie Ogunjobi | October 01, 2006

One of the most important features of any building is the Fire-Escape. It is actually a crime not to have one in most civilised countries. While a building must be secure and provide shelter at every time it must also have an escape route. This is necessary in case of unforeseen disasters like fire or other perils that can require a quick exit. Your career must be built like a fortress, it must provide for you, shelter and all the comforts that you require for day to day living. The same requirements and effort you put into building it must be put into what I call the” Fired” Escape. At every time you must have your wits about you and not get too comfortable in any job or position. Ask yourself this question; Am I ready to be fired? The obvious answer is no but rephrase and ask what you would do if you got fired? Most of us live from pay check to pay check, some people even spend months ahead what they have not even earned, people like these risk getting crushed when they face the possibility or even reality of job loss. You must incorporate an escape point into your life and career! You cannot and must not live in the now, with no thoughts for your tomorrow. You can save yourself a lot of grief and hardship if you put a few life saving ideas in place. Something of an insurance policy to safe guard your tomorrow in a volatile world economy. Your curriculum vitae must always be dynamic. When you enter any organisation, you must add an extra sheet on to it, for every year that you spend there. Most good companies offer courses and send their employees on seminars at different times. Make sure to always attend religiously and collect certificates to that effect for every course, no matter how irrelevant you consider it. At the end of every course, take photographs and frame in your office with other colleagues even if you have to instigate it. You need to start using your new skills immediately so that you are sent on more career improvement courses, it is to your advantage even more than your company as the skills are yours for life. Remember to frame and display all group photos and certificates as soon as you return, also go to personnel and update your C.V. The advantage is that you remind your employers of just how much of their resources they have expended on you, this will make it difficult for them to fire you as you become a valuable asset to the organisation. In situations where the company does have to cut down and sadly you lose your job, you will find it easy to get re-absorbed in to the job market as you will have gained considerable skills from the last time you were job hunting. Apart from courses and seminars, you must always know your organisation inside out and acquire skills that make you the target of head hunters from other organisations. This will require you doing more work for less pay and acquiring knowledge that is outside of your field. Most young executives go back to school part time and acquire more qualifications to solidify their positions. This takes a huge chunk of their resources but is a sacrifice worth taking as it eventually pays off big time; it lays the foundation for your admission into the big league. Networking and Sponsorship are two words you should learn if you expect to be successful. The most vital ingredient for networking is sponsorship. You need a viable sponsor to make the right introductions and back you when the need arises. Make a list of the people who may be useful to you and cultivate their friendship, make your self useful to them, find out their hangouts and be a regular face there. Every opportunity to fraternise must be seized with eagerness. The first contact in any organisation is with the personnel or human resources department. They will play an important role in your interview so pay attention to them immediately. Apart from your immediate boss; they will determine your growth level as they are entrusted with monitoring your progress and contribution to the overall growth of the company. Even if you are a nominee of the powers that be, they have the authority to make your life in the company a living hell. What comes across in any interview is enthusiasm; a willing worker is attractive to any organisation and if you make a good impression on personnel you may last quite a while. You must not restrict yourself to your department; make sure you mix with other departments. While on courses and attending seminars, network and take notes. Make sure you keep in regular contact with the people you meet. Keep an ear to the ground and listen for vital information; you might even learn of more challenging openings and opportunities before the axe falls... The game of golf is one the most fertile grounds for networking and you might want to take up the game if you want to get known by some members of the board. The whole point of networking is to make sure that your next job or investment opportunity is a phone call away, always keep that at the back of your mind. Developing a Savings culture is one of the most difficult things for anyone to do yet it is very essential. Money is never enough and most people are heavily in debt. The first step is to crate and implement a monthly budget. Saving liquid cash is at times not a good idea as it is accessible, so it is better to invest a small percentage of earnings in other things that retain monetary value and even yield good returns. A lot of women fool themselves by acquiring jewellery as an investment and find out just how wrong they are when they are desperate for cash. Gold is an investment when you acquire it by weight and in bars. Your expensive gold set will most likely not retain its value if you buy for beauty and not weight. Stones are bought for clarity and flawlessness; whatever you get for it will be determined by its carat. Diamonds and Emeralds are easily resalable. Even if you take the jewellery back to the seller, you will be shocked to find that they offer you less than half of what you paid for it. It is a buyer’s market, worth exactly what someone will offer for it. The same goes for cars, once a car is out of the showroom and registered it becomes second hand. While you may get a good buyer and price for it, if you are selling out of desperation and are in a hurry, you will lose considerable money on your investment. Your savings should be tied in viable assets like property, stocks and bonds and some insurance policies. Try as much as possible to build in a clause that assures you of your initial investment should the company go under, this way even if you need to sell quickly, you can minimise your losses. Be cautious and listen to the counsel of an experienced broker. Don’t be too adventurous as a few rogue companies come once in a while and lose money for investors who are lured by some financial razzmatazz. For people who like to save cash make sure your money is in an account that is not easily accessible. Never save in a current account as cheques encourage impulse buying. If your money is fixed in a deposit account with clauses that make it difficult to withdraw, you are less likely to make extravagant purchases. Make it a habit not to carry too much cash around, try using cheques and make sure you balance your accounts against your monthly budget. Even when your eventual goal is to set up shop and run your own business, you must be prepared before you start. Being fired is like pushing a diver off a cliff before he is ready to jump; he might not make it. Whatever business you embark on you will need help to get it started. You might need financing or just valuable contacts to link you up with other people and their companies. Your qualification and years of experience will determine what kind of risk you are to banks or other potential investors when you are looking to raise cash. Your networking abilities will also open up your fledging company to opportunities that will make its success a sure thing. To crown it all your savings and investments will cushion your fall should you get fired or help you lay the foundation for your very own empire. Whichever option you choose; paid employment or self employment remember to always have in place a good “Fired” escape… it just might be your saving grace.

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NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
TopeMavis    Lagos, Nigeria    October 16, 2006
Thank you Debbie, I think this your article will help a lot of people and they will learn from it, as I have learnt one or two things... for the fact that my attention was called to some areas, it was like reminding me of some things I am not taking seriously. Thank you once again
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