By Olumide Adeleye
You are paid in direct proportion to what you do, how well you do it and how hard it is to find a replacement for you- Brian Tracy
VENTURES AFRICA – Segun Akiode wrote a brilliant post on “How to find the job you love.” I recommend that you read it especially if you are unemployed or wish for a better job.
Assuming you do have your dream job however, how do you keep it? How do you avoid the dreaded phrase, “you are fired”? Better still, how can you earn rapid promotions and become your employer’s favourite? How do you earn more than all your contemporaries? Here are a few tips:
1. Be the best there is: How well do you do your job? Are you the best at what you do?
2. Never join office gossip: Avoid joining office gossip especially when it is about your boss or co-worker. Even if your boss is wicked or unfair, resist the temptation to join in unproductive discussions about him.
3. Do more than is required of you: If you do your job, you have fulfilled the basic requirement to earn your salary. But what really sets you apart from other workers is the extra you do. Handle your job as you would if you owned the company.
4. Always get better: Never allow yourself to remain on the same level. If you are the best today and you refuse to improve on yourself, other people will catch up and you will lose your relevance! Attend trainings, read books, research on new developments in your field. It is so amazing that there are still senior officers today who cannot operate computers! Just like professors who are still teaching with the same notes they took while they were in school.
5. Cultivate people skills: Learn to relate well with your colleagues. Even if you are an introvert, you can learn to smile often, greet well and hold warm conversations within your office environment.
6. Never transfer aggression: Just as you should avoid letting the problems of work spill over to your family life, you should never allow whatever problems you may have at home spill over to your work. Let your work environment be strictly professional.
7. Be ethical: Every profession has its ethics. In trying to climb higher, don’t do shady deals or form shady alliances. Yahoo’s recently ousted CEO ‘mistakenly’ claimed to have a wrong degree. This ‘mistake’ caught up with him when he reached the peak of his career.
8. Take responsibility for whatever happens under your watch: People who always pass blames often don’t go far. Your organization is interested in results, not excuses. If you are put in charge of something (even if you have a team working with you), do everything you can to ensure that it succeeds.
9. Don’t let your work burn you out: As good as it is to work harder than others, it is equally important to know when to pause and take a break. Plan vacations with your family and friends. Enjoy your life. That way, when you resume at work, you would be fresh, happy and full of ideas.
10. Have a plan B: Even for the best workers and the best organizations, unforeseen events happen. If for any reason you lose your job, would you be stranded? Have a good savings plan. Have investments, no matter how passive they are. If you have always lived in a company owned house, why not build or buy yours while you have the chance (since it is still reasonable in most of Africa)? Don’t lose your job and then realize you have nothing to fall back on!