Let’s talk about everybody’s nightmare: job security. Jobs are no longer secure. This is the era of contingency jobs. You may ask what exactly is contingency job? Check your good, old dictionary. Contingency connotes the unexpected, something that’s not predictable. We make contingency plans to deal with the unknown. Today, jobs are getting scare, even the self-employed cannot boast of job security for a number of reasons. Contingency employment is now the new normal. Everybody’s job is on trial.
Not even President Muhammed Buhari can boast of job security because very soon the Nigerian voters would go to the polls to decide whether he keeps his job or get the sack. In the ‘60s through ‘70s, if you were looking for job security, the civil service was the place to go. It used to be the oasis of stability but not anymore. Today, the civil servant is as insecure in their job as bankers, members of the armed forces, the self-employed artisans, traders and other professionals. Employers and employees know that once the figures don’t add up, heads must roll. The bottom line decides job security. If the balance sheet doesn’t look good, people on the payroll must begin to panic over imminent lay-off.
Come to think of it, the concept of employment is relatively new. It only became popular during the industrial revolution. Before then, we used to have the agrarian economy. At that time, most people worked on the farms. Most people employed themselves as farmers. Even blacksmiths, hand loom operators, and other service providers for the domestic economy were self-employed. All that changed when the school system arrived. People were sent to school to get education so that they could work as employees for the emerging industrial economy. Since then, job stability has become dependent on economic prosperity and the whims of the employer.
The industrial age simply shifted serfdom from the farms to the factory floor. Now, for the employee, the employer is the lord of your life. You work for a wage. The hiring and firming system hangs on you like the sword of Damocles. I write about this subject, not to scare you, but to stir in you, the youth, a need for entrepreneurship, financial independence and multi-tasking as a way to secure your life in prosperity.
I had to go into a brief history to put things in perspective. You have to face your present reality. This is the age of contingency employment, regardless of what job you hold at the moment, you can still be fired! Even, if you are a self-employed artisan or professional, you can lose your job if patronage dries up. If sales begin to shrink, that’s the red light that your time is up.
All these lazy civil servants who idle away in government offices doing nothing, but gossip all day only to wait for their pay cheque at the end of the month are living in fool’s paradise. Very soon, the government’s inability to implement the new minimum wage may force the government to lay-off civil servants who are not rendering essential services. Once the general election is over, you’d see this come to pass before our own eyes.
Once we settle in the reality that there’s no job security anywhere, you begin to think about long-term survival. If you are a trader, service provider or artisan, you have to up your ante. Look for ways of topping your performance. Increase value on your product or services to keep your clients, or customers. Every manufacturer rises and falls with their markets. So, keep your market; in fact, keep growing your markets. Improve on your work ethic, if you are an employee. Be the very best you can be so that when its time to fire, you become the untouchable.
Employers so value good workers that they palpitate when they threaten to leave. You have to be indispensable to an organization to keep your job nowadays. If your clients know that nobody renders services like you, your business is secure. Resources are becoming very scare as the world’s population grows. People now make tight budgets; and hard spending decisions that put their money where they can get greater value.
As technological advances continue to threaten job security, you, too, must adapt to these inevitable changes by innovating, and updating your skills through continuous training and retraining, not just of your members of staff, but you also. Money flows to where value is. Your skill must be cutting-edge to attract quality patronage. You will keep getting patronage if you give value for money.
The only way to keep your job or business is to keep adding value to customers’ needs. The relationship between a worker and an employer is symbiotic. There’s always a mutual benefit, otherwise, both partners soon part ways. An employer keeps an employee who gives value. People will pay any amount to get what they want. Price is determined by worth. That’s why your classmate with whom you have the same qualification could earn more, doing the same type of job with a different organization.
What makes the difference is the worth your individual employer places on your services. Everything is contingent on something. That’s how it works.
Weekend Spice: Your thoughts and your feelings create your life-Lisa Nicholas.
Ok folks, stay motivated.
Ladi Ayodeji is an Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (sms & whatsapp only).