“I want to quit my job” thoughts never show up by accident. Just two weeks ago, a subsidiary of one of Nigeria’s oldest banks mass-sacked most of their seniour and mid level staff members. Many junior officers were also affected. A protege of mine who works for them began to tell me that everyone is considering the option of resigning to avoid the bad record of being laid off. When she mentioned it, I began to wonder if they are ready to step out of the security of being employed.
Its funny right? Whether they resign or are fired, the question is still “are they ready?” While considering that, I decided to create this post. There are at least 8 questions every employed person should provide answers to in order to prepare themselves for when they leave their present employment. I call them the Quit My Job Questions.
Lets consider each of them.
If you have been a good employee, you are more prepared to quit your present job than the person who hasn’t been. The reason is obvious. It will be easier for you to have the confidence to sit before an interview panel and talk about all the good things you achieved for your previous employers. That will increase your chances of being employed. But don’t remain at being good anyway. It was Jim Collins who said in his bestselling book, Good to Great that “good is the enemy of great.”
Every now and then, people make some things happen for the organization they work for. They however make the mistake of just basking in the euphoria of achievement and awards and thereafter forget about it. No! When you achieve a milestone for your organization, it is important to write that down. Date, team members, contact persons, achievments and so on should be well documented. Imagine how nice it will be to tell a future prospective employer or client these achievements in graphic details. Linkedin even allows you to put these on your public profile.
Who do you know? What connections are you making on the job? Who can you call when you have a career emergency? Who are your friends? Many people make the mistake of working in a firm for 10 years without becoming friends with their boss, colleagues and customers. Whether you are going to leave your present employment to work for another firm or to start your own business, you need to make friends. These will be your contacts whenever the chips are down.
Yes, are you saving? When your salary per month was N25,000, you did not beg for food. You ate food. You lived in a house. How come now that you earn far more than that, you still cannot afford to save? Because saving is a habit. I want to encourage you to start putting something aside every month for the period between when you leave your present employment and when the next one starts paying you. How much you put aside per month matters. But it does not matter as much as developing the habit of saving does. Start from somewhere and be disciplined.
It’s amazing how some people work from Monday to Friday every week and waste their Saturdays and Sundays. The waste starts on Friday night for some people as they have made it compulsory to go clubbing once a week. That’s enough time to learn something. I read something very inspiring on Facebook today about Emeka Oparah, who is a current Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR of Airtel Nigeria. This “big man” is currently learning Tailoring. That’s a future fashion designer in the making. Are you developing skills you can sell in future?
It is better to teach a man how to fish than to keep giving him fish, right? Ask those who depend on you financially what they want to do with their future and start guiding them to independence. Stop throwing money around if you have been doing that. Ask your dependants the number 5 question. Then guide them to develop the best sellable skills. I have helped many people like this. Many of them will resist the gesture. They will see it as your excuse to stop “supporting” them. Make them understand.
Whether or not you like it, selling is one of the most crucial skills you need to develop. If you lose your job today, there is a sales job waiting for you in almost any firm you can think about. If you decide to start your own business, you will need to sell. Selling is a duty you cannot completely leave to a staff to handle for you as a business person. You have to know it enough to be able to inspire, teach, guide and push your staff to bring in the desired results. Learn to sell in any way you can. You will find the skill useful in the nearest future.
This sounds like a cliche but I will state it any how – readers are leaders. I have seen people accelerate very fast in their careers when they began to read consistently. Task your mind by reading and learning everyday. Look for books that will make you a better planner, better user of time, an excellent executor and so on. Subscribe for and read career magazines and newsletters. I recommend Harvard Business Review.
So there they are. What is your answer to these questions. If you do not have good answers to them, this is the time to begin to get your answers.
Kindly leave any comments you may have in the comments section below. Cheers!