THE ILLUSION OF JOB SECURITY

I remember that several years ago, I had a lucrative job offer, after thinking about it for a while, I decided to still stick with my employer primary because I felt the new job didn’t provide me the stretch and challenge I needed to grow.

Interestingly when I shared my dilemma with a few family members, they also felt I didn’t have to move jobs, mainly because the then current job provided more job security than the new offer.

Job security has been a big deal among especially the older folk. Interestingly the world has rapidly changed and the whole halo around job security is faded.

The truth is that there is no longer job security (except the few Government low paying ones strangled by bureaucracy and inefficiencies) which may eventually be privatized because Government can no longer sustain it.

So why should you forget about job security when making career choices in this modern era?

 

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STAKEHOLDERS & BUSINESS OWNERS DON’T FANCY JOB SECURITY

The last thing on the mind of big corporations is providing job security for their employees.

When it is all said and done, it is all about meeting the bottom line and guaranteeing the investments of shareholders and partners.

There are primarily two ways of achieving sustained growth in a business. One is growing your market share and the other is cutting costs. Corporations no longer have the luxury of transferring costs to their consumers, because if the many other options available to the consumer.

There are a lot of external factors like the economy, competition activities and regulatory bodies which can impede your growth ambitions; therefore where big corporations have developed an immense appetite for is cutting down costs.

As much as they say that their greatest assets are their employees, the same employees are the easiest targets when cost cutting conversations pop up. This is not evil in any sense, it is called productivity.

Any time a different corporation figures out how to get more output with less human interventions, other corporations will follow suit. It is a cycle which won’t end.

When the likes of General Electric, under the leadership of former CEO Jack Welch committed to driving the productivity agenda, it totally transformed their business and made GE immensely profitably and the talking point on the corridors of Wall Street. Same can be said of other companies like Toyota.

Other multinationals have jumped into the fray of productivity and will stop at nothing until they can squeeze every possible dime they can get from their investments.

So in the end, fewer employees would be required to do more jobs, with the help of software analytics and automation. Job cuts will continue and more employees would wake up one day to discover that their most coveted jobs which was a source of pride and confidence has evaporated into thin air

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MILLENIALS HAVE EMBRACED THE REALITY ABOUT JOB SECURITY

It is amazing how most of the younger generation don’t fancy hanging on to the same jobs for long. In the USA, the average length of year’s people under thirty stay in one job is about three years!

The same wave is blowing to other developing economies.

With the advent of the internet, most young guys prefer to do their own business. A lot of entrepreneurs under 30 yrs are found all over. This generation wants to be the masters of their own fate. For them, it is all about finding ways to provide quality service to prospective clients at an incredibly affordable and convenient way, and your clients will handsomely reward you with the tag of a millionaire.

Besides the profits they could amass over a month once they breakthrough might be far bigger than a lifetime of earnings when they gets stuck in the traditional 8am -5pm jobs

Another reason why Millennials crave for entrepreneurship is that it affords them the opportunity to leverage all their talents instead of a boring role profile that limits your abilities in a regular job.

Freedom is also priceless for the millennial. They want to work when they want to, at where they feel like. You can virtually run a business successfully on your smart phone while sipping some coconut juice at the beach. What else would a mortal man desire apart from this?

I personally fancy that in some few years to come, regular jobs would have to heavily incentivize their employees to stay up to even 5 years. The days of employees taking pride in the fact that they have been around for decades is gone!

 

 

YOU CAN’T GUARANTEE YOUR JOB SECURITY BUT YOU CAN GUARANTEE YOUR OWN SECURITY

Well, for those who still have a thing for working for these big multinationals, you would have to focus o building your personal brand. You should aim to become the specialist or consultant with different talents who works with multinationals.

Ask yourself that if you were to have your own personal complimentary card, what will you put on it? You can’t put on it that for eg. Yaw Manu, “Business Development Manager, Ecobank”. Rather it should be something like, Yaw Manu, Finance Expert, MBA, CPA, Business Development Strategist, Start Up Consultant etc.

Once you are done with this exercise of creating your personal complimentary cards, ask yourself, what development areas you need to focus on in order to build the necessary expertise you are tagging yourself?

When you are able to close the development gap, you would have just insured yourself from any catastrophic job loss from your employers. You will be putting yourself way up there and ensuring that you are at par with all the key trends in your industry.

 

So in summary, no job is secure nowadays, therefore find time to experiment with your passions till you have figured out how to generate revenue from it and then also be industry focused instead of job focused, investing in yourself to become that talent every multinational would love to covet.

I wish you all the best

 

From the desk of ROL

12 SECRETS OF CAREER SUCCESS WE LEARNT WORKING FOR A TOP CEO

 Co-authored by Roland Ofori Larbi & Joshua Nyamadi

 

Introduction

Joshua and myself have one thing in common- we all worked for the same amazing CEO at  a point in our careers. The Executive Assistant’s role was a mixed bag of challenges, excitement, accelerated development and life transforming. You were virtually the Deputy Managing Director as an Executive Assistant to the CEO. I was the first generational EA and Joshua being the third.

Recently as we were chitchatting in the office, we felt it would be great to reflect on the key things we learnt whilst working for this man. We have decided to put our thoughts on paper and share with you. Spend some time and read it, it will boost your career and life as a whole.

 

As told by Roland Ofori:

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# Always Remain Positive

The first two years of Peter Ndegwa’s administration was saddled with a lot of challenges, ranging from tougher economic conditions versus planned, loss of key talent and  fatalities.  In the time where most industry players were downsizing and cutting their losses, my CEO invested more, he said to me that you cannot save your way to profit. That in the most difficult of times invest more in your human resource, don’t hold back, go all out. This paid off and turned the business into one of the most outstanding performer in the world.

When everyone was despaired and waiting for the worse to happen, Peter exuded some extraordinary confidence in his team and in the future of the business. This was so contagious and it caught with the entire staff. Job security was guaranteed and everyone gave out their all to turn the fortunes of the business around.

 

# Focus on Getting the Best Out of People

One of the strongest attributes of my boss was his ability to get the best in others. He makes you believe in yourself and holds a very high expectation of his reports to the extent that the least you could do is to give your 120%.

I believe that to be good, you must strive to bring the best in yourself, but to be great; you must strive to bring the best in others.

During performance reviews, he won’t waste time to dwell on your weakness, but will praise you for the least of efforts you brought to the table and show you the picture of how great you can be if you keep doing the right things.

Despite his busy schedules, he would find time to catch up with you and find out how you were doing in your personal life.

Everyone who worked for Peter had their A game on, not because he was the overall boss, but simply because he had an intangible way of getting the best out of others

 

# Invest in People & Give them a Chance to prove their worth.

One of the phenomenal legacies Peter has left is the tremendous investments in people. During his tenure, a lot more young talents were promoted to senior management roles and given the right support, coaching in order to succeed. Many local talents who were seen as “not ready” for their next career move and at best could only act in such roles till “a more befitting talent” takes over were all promoted under Peter. None of them turned out to be a failure in the long run.

A lot more Ghanaians had the opportunity to go for international assignments in other markets, to build their confidence and give them necessary exposure.

 

# Take Risks

Peter was a risk taker. He took bold decisions which could have terminated his career if it had gone the wrong way. He was a man who had the faith and appetite to take risks. He invested in a cube technology when it had not been used anywhere in the world. In effect he was prepared to part with millions of dollars to invest in a technology which might even fail. Today that technology produces one of the fastest moving brands in our business, ORIJIN. I am sure that when the powers that be are counting the bucks this investment is bringing in they will be thanking Peter for taking the risk.

Peter also spearheaded the launch of Ruut extra within a supersonic record of two months and the rest is history.

He has the record of launching the most innovations as his time as CEO of GGBL.

I must admit that not all the innovations were successful, as in the case of Armstrong, but that never reduced his appetite to innovate to meet the ever changing demands of Ghanaian consumers.

 

# Create the enabling Environment for people to Succeed.

One thing I learnt from my CEO was that it was more profitable creating the enabling environment for others to succeed than trying to succeed on your own as a leader. None of us is an island, we cannot execute our visions alone, we need others, and in order to get the best out of them, you have to create the enabling environment for them to succeed.

Anytime you had an appointment with Peter, there are two questions he will ask you without Fail:

  1. How are you feeling about the challenge you are facing? – In essence are you confident it can be resolved or you are in despair?
  2. What help do you require from me to resolve this issue? – he was prepared to go all out to enable you achieve the smallest of feats. In his estimations, tools of work and logistics should never be in the way of the  delivery of one’s job.

He invested heavily in the state of the art communication gadgets for the sales team in order to make them more effective and connected. Latest technologies like Sales Force Automation was brought on board during his time.

 

#Build your own brand

Be known for something. When your name is mentioned at the workplace, what can people easily associate you with? My boss was an embodiment of sheer brilliance who asks ceaseless questions until he got a grasp of the subject matter. Anytime he walked into any meeting ,whether he was an authority in the subject matter or not, you are guaranteed one thing, that by the time he leaves the meeting he would have added significant value to the discussions on the floor.

He had built a brand of a personality who never gave up, who knew how to get the best out of people and had a great knack for attention to details.  What will you be known for?

He always asked me the question” apart from your job title what else do people know you for? What will they say about you if I ask them?

Make the conscious effort to build a reputation and a brand for yourself at your workplace.

 

As told by Joshua Nyamadi:

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# Get To the Point

During my interview for the role, I was asked a question by my prospective employer –can’t really remember what the question was. I thought to myself “Oh this is easy, I got this covered.” I then went ahead to give preface upon preamble upon context –get my drift? At a point when I was rambling away, obviously enjoying myself, the interviewer cut in “Joshua go straight to the point. You are beating about the bush”. Guess my response. You guessed wrong. Here’s the correct answer “Peter hold on, I’m coming to the point.” This left both he and the acting HRD staring at me with eyes as large as dinner plates. Well, I did land the role and as expected, this reflected in the written feedback and my new boss always teased me about that episode. I learned a valuable lesson (and this still remains my greatest development area): say what you have to say in the fewest words possible.

 

#Be A Masterful Jack-Of-All-Trades                                                       

I stepped into the EA role with a background in technology (Information Technology and Telecommunications) and what I’d like to term ‘Basic Marketing’. From Day 1, I had to wear the hat of a Finance Director, Commercial Director, Supply Director –you name it.  Not only was I expected to be abreast on business performance but also update the GM on the workings of the various functions. Did I mention that I also prepared critical business documents including the MD’s report for the Board, Investor reports etc.? I had to become a Deputy GM overnight. I still remember my goals for that year. They were so sleepless nights-inducing that the GM made a joke that if I was able to achieve them I could move to another business as a GM. If only he knew the wealth he blessed me with! Now I reason and run my life like a business CEO (which sometimes sets my wife on edge).

 

# Being Ruthlessly Candid

Or as he fondly calls it, ‘Being authentic with style’. Did I mention that my boss has a good stomach for bad news. Well, then I stepped into the picture. I can remember countless times I gave him reports and he complained that they were too gloomy and depressing. Gloomy? But I was only presenting facts. He schooled me in the art of presenting information without dampening spirits or ruffling feathers unless necessary. There were also times when he called for my opinion on dire business issues and expected me to leave nothing out. In my early days, such times would get the boy child sweating profusely but I learned to develop a thick skin and kill off projects without batting an eyelid.

 

#Giving Feedback Upwards

As the EA, I was the official sounding board to the GM. This was one area of my job I trod about as if on eggshells. Picture this: you just left a family meeting with your dad during which he plays a key role. Immediately both of you step out he asks you to rate his performance. See where I’m going with this? Yes, that happened almost every day I spent in the role. In the initial stages I always said to myself “No way am I going to tell him today’s delivery was sub-par! Me? No way!” As a former Finance Director once said “It’s nice being on a payroll.” He taught me how to give feedback. I adapted this in my feedback sessions with him and this remains one valuable lesson for me.

 

 # Be Tactful & Have Your Own Opinion

Following from the point on getting to the point, one area that I had to learn –and pretty fast too –was choosing my words carefully. My line manager always demanded that I attend high profile meetings with him. Not just attend, but contribute as well. “You’re not part of the furniture,” he’d tell me. This helped develop my confidence since I dined with kings and could hold arguments with them on various subjects. I did have a few faux pas, notable among them being making one of my directors the subject of a funny comment at a social event. The one in question took it in good faith but the rest of her peers were offended on her behalf. Come Monday morning and 4 different directors called me into their offices for a verbal whipping. Lesson learned: test the wind before you launch.

 

#Thinking Beyond My Age

My major stakeholders were the directors: older than me by far, with a wealth of experience. I could not go harassing them for information on behalf of the GM. Ok, I must confess I did a few times, just a few times! Lord knows the number of times these directors wished they could mount my head on a mantelpiece. I was constantly being a pain in my early days in the role but over time I acquired skills in the subtle art of scratching them behind the ears without them knowing. Now, even after my stint in the role, I can walk up to any director and still fall back on the amazing relationship built.

From the desk of ROL

 

 

Don’t be taken unawares in 2016. Make sure you read :8 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE YEAR 2016

 

Joshua Nyamadi is a brilliant young fellow crazy about his passions: his beautiful wife, Manchester United, technology, soccer… He has a background in Computer Science and currently works with Diageo plc as a Consumer Planner. You can link up with Joshua Nyamadi on twitter (https://twitter.com/daquicksilver)

 

10 REASONS WHY YOU MUST BECOME A BLOGGER THIS YEAR

This article  is dedicated to Rachel Victoria Mills, an ardent reader of my blogs and a soon to be phenomenal blogger!

 

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In a very simplistic terms, a literate can be defined as someone who can read and write.

The average years one spends  from kindergarten  to a first degree is 20 years. within this period, we are trained to read and write things mostly about others. Most of these things we struggle to even relate to especially in our part of the world.

After school we get employed and continue to read and write on subjects strictly related to our jobs. What most of us have failed miserably at is optimizing this rare gift of reading and writing to the benefit of ourselves and others.

How will it benefit us and others? Well I will tell you:

We all have amazing stories and lessons we have gleaned in life, unfortunately these lessons are only privy to a very few circle of friends and relatives because it is mainly shared orally. But these lessons are not only meant for the select few you will come across physically  in your  short lifespan of 70 years or more. If you are to meet one person a day and share your stories and life lessons, you will eventually meets 25,550 people by the time you are 70 years. That constitutes  about 0.0004% of the world’s population of circa 7 billion people.

This means you wont even make an impart in the lives of 1% of the world’s population by the time you die!

However if you put those thoughts, lessons, opinions and experiences into a book and publish, it will reach millions of people out there.

A book is the extension of the author. It will  go places further  and impact more lives than what the author  ever envisaged even when he or she is dead and far gone.

The reason why Christianity has made so much impact in the world is because the Bible which contains the thoughts, direction and experience of this religion has been made more accessible than any other book in the world!

I therefore encourage everyone , especially leaders to publish at least a book before they die.

However, book writing requires, skills, techniques and a lot of discipline not easily accessible to the regular joe on the streets! Not to mention the hassle of printing, publishing, distribution etc. and the ever declining interest of this generation to read books, mainly because of alternative attractive distractions like social media and infotainment.

These challenges aforementioned rather presents an amazing opportunity and hassle free mode of influencing the world with your thoughts, experiences and opinions without much financial commitments.

It is called Blogging.

Basic requirements: A computer or a phone and an internet connection and a little discipline.

Now enough of the context setting, lets go into the reasons why I believe you should start blogging today.

#1. BLOGGING WILL MAKE  YOU VERY DISCIPLINED  & TIME CONSCIOUS

Blogging is a very demanding hobby, it requires lots of time for thinking, reflection, research and the writing itself. On the average I spend at least 4 hours per blog. With an average of 4 blogs a week, it means 16 hours of my time and 832 hours in a year! This time is equivalent to the tuition time required to pursue a part time  MBA! This forces me to make hard choices with regards to how I spend my time in order to continue to remain effective as a  husband, father ,manager,  youth coach , student etc.

A blogger once hinted that it took him 18 hours to put one blog together!

 

#2. BLOGGING WILL MAKE YOU AN AUTHORITY IN YOUR FIELD/NICHE

One remarkable thing blogging will do to you is to put you on top of your game. Assuming your niche is marketing, lifestyle or relationships, you will be “forced” to keep up with the latest trends and developments in those fields in order to remain relevant to your audience. This will accelerate your knowledge and expertise and in the long run make you an authority in that field.

 

#3. YOU BECOME MORE AWARE  OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT AS A BLOGGER

Good blogging requires an ability to see things others cant easily see or notice. Hence  anytime you are on the go, you are sniffing around and observing to see if there is something interesting you can pick and write about. This will eventually dial up your awareness and make you sharper.

 

#4. BLOGGING CONNECTS YOU GREAT MINDS YOU CAN LEARN FROM

One phenomenal impact of blogging is the rich social connection it affords you. Once people realize you have good content , like minded people will connect with you to learn from each other.  I now have great minds like Sue Anne Dunlevie (@SueAnneDunlevie)   Chris Karasiewicz (‏http://t.co/UavFD8yhI9) providing me the necessary coaching and guidance to succeed with my new found hobby . The kind of people I have come across and the information at my disposal this few days is simply unbelieveable.

 

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#5 BLOGGING MAKE YOU INFLUENTIAL

In one of my most popular  blogs:  8 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE YEAR 2016, I hinted that 2016 is the year of influence. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Influence as:

:the power to change or affect someone or something ,the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen

:a person or thing that affects someone or something in an important way

This is exactly what blogging affords you to do at no cost at all

#6 YOU BUILD AN AUDIENCE WHO HAVE EXPECTATIONS OF YOU.

One of the greatest needs of man is to be heard. There is nothing as refreshing to know that there are a group of people out there interested in your point of view about life matters. It is even more refreshing when they take the pains to comment or provide feedback on your blogs.

The ultimate aim of blogging is to build a formidable base of audience.

#7 BLOGGING BROADENS YOUR HORIZON & MAKES YOU AN ALL ROUNDED PERSON

To be a successful blogger you must spend a lot of time to study other successful bloggers, you will also have to understand the interests of your target audience and as a result you find the relevant information to meet their expectations. This will cause you to research on a broad range of issues which will build your knowledge base and make you all rounded.

Blogging is one hobby  if well executed  will take you on a journey of accelerated personal development.

#8 YOU BECOME OMNIPRESENT AS A BLOGGER

From the comfort of your home in your chair with  your laptop and a glass of sobolo , your blogs will be accessible to every part of this world with internet. I am amazed at some of the countries who visit my blogging site. I may never visit some countries, but my blogs are accessible to them anytime.

Isn’t it exciting to know that you can be in over 200  countries at the same time? Well apart from God, your blog will.

#9 YOU LEAVE A LEGACY THROUGH YOUR BLOGGING

Legacy is defined as anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor( dictionary.com)

With blogging you don’t only influence your  current generation but long before you are dead, future generations can access your rich insights and learn from them. So if you want to leave a lasting legacy start blogging.

#10 YOU CAN MAKE GOOD MONEY OUT OF BLOGGING

There are countless number of people who have taken blogging as a full time job because of the limitless revenue stream it generates from adverts on your blog. One close reference is Ameyaw Debrah – http://ameyawdebrah.com/about/

I must admit that it takes quite a while to build consistent audience and generate the level of traffic which will attract advert placements on your blog. But it will happen if you persist with your good content.

The secret of success is doing something that others are not willing to do for a long, long time – Peep Laja

I hope you I have inspired you enough to start blogging.

To conclude reflect on Benjamin Franklin’s quote below:

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I will suggest that you both do and write something worthwhile in your lifetime

From the desk of ROL

NB:

Find useful links below to start your amazing blogging journey:

You can also join blogging communities who will encourage you and give you some good exposure. Examples are:

 

List of top 10 earning bloggers in the world:

http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/worlds-10-top-earning-bloggers/?view=all

Finally don’t feel shy to ask https://www.google.com. for help. She is kind and ever ready to provide you with the best help she can.