There is a saying that goes like “there is only one job. Multi-tasking”. Then another one that says “Change is constant and if you do not change, change will change you”.
Some of you were lucky enough to read what I wrote about not looking for salary as compensation. Check my blog.
I used to be one of the Admins for a Ugandan job seekers group on Facebook. Far too many times, I watched jobs being posted and graduates would comment “I need that job. Here is my number, call me”. You can see why I am no longer Admin of that group.
What? Do you walk on water such that the employer should call you in a country with 85% unemployment of graduates? And the key thing “I really need this job”. Wacha, then you do the calling. Stop the silliness.
But what really got me was “how much do you pay?” Seriously? Most companies already have a determined salary scale and asking about pay at the start is a very bad idea. Never ask for salary. Never even answer that question in an interview. It is advisable to answer “we can negotiate that after you offer me the job”. This is arrogance but it works.
Research the company which has called you for an interview. Usually you will find out what their average compensation is and avoid shooting yourself in the foot.
The key thing is learning. Does the company encourage ongoing education? Does the company pay for good training? Does the company have enough operation areas such that you can move around within the same company and get a lot of skills? This will often involve multi-tasking.
Your employer might be solid and then one day you wake up and the job has moved to Malaysia. You get a pink slip. It is good money and you think you can live on it while you look for another job.
You update your CV and hit the pavement. After all with a CV that you were an engineer with Orange, Africell will hire you. Worse, you were a network engineer with Nortel and surely someone is gonna pay you 6 figures to keep your BMW.
Six months job hunting and the pink slip money has run out. What to do? Buddy, you were too confident in your degree and the name of the company you were working for.
Here is how smarties do it. They take every opportunity to learn and multi-task. You think I liked writing user guides, courses, presenting, teaching, nebilala nebilala. Absolutely no way! My tiny computer lab was my sanctuary and my 3 computers were my best friends. That company had just gone from 15,000 employees to 7,500.
People who believe in survival have usually learned a lot. In the 6mths before the money runs out, they have a game plan. They do consulting. In fact consulting pays very well and one of the clients you are consulting for might even hire you.
Read. Learn. Work for free if you have to do so and learn. The company or organisation you are volunteering for might even hire you.
Multi-task like heck. Cross into every area possible for one day, you might not be an Investment analyst and end up being a teacher of finance at a cool university.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I am passionate about education. All opinions are mine.