By Perminus Wainaina
What happens when you suddenly lose your job after over 10 years of working in the same organization?
Many times, we learn the biggest and most valuable lessons the hard way.
This was a reality for many professionals last year, and Evans was not spared.
As a job seeker, his biggest dream was to work for a corporate organization. When he finally got the job, he decided to give his best and as such, moved up the ranks in different organizations.
Then the global pandemic struck and the company he was working for merged with another organization to ensure it stayed afloat. Evans’ role, was not part of the merger.
It is after being laid off that he remembered that many times, it is both your connections and CV that get you a job and not just one of them.
I had a chat with Evans on whether he has any regrets about working in the corporate world and any lessons he learned, after working in the corporate world for 12 years.
These are the lessons he has gathered through his journey:
“I’ve been asked a few times if I ever regret working in the corporate world, and my answer would always be a big “No”,” he started by saying.
With the uncertainty that may exist, being in the corporate world has taught me a lot of valuable lessons that continue to remain relevant in my life.
1. Do not ask and compare salaries
When I started working in the corporate world, I was 23 and quickly learned that although we were in the same office and even department with my colleagues, each of us was earning a different salary. At first, I would wonder why, yet we were doing the same job.
I later learned not to compare how much I was earning against my peers because I discovered that what mattered in the coming years was that I was making more money than the previous year.
Discussing income can cause interpersonal conflicts, and make either one feel jealous or inferior, which can affect your working relationship.
We all have different skills, talents, and opportunities — and someone will always be earning less, and earning more than you. So instead of comparing yourself to others, simply focus on increasing your income year after year.
2. Learn how to deal with different kinds of people
You can choose where you work, but you cannot choose who you’ll work with.
I’ve had my share of colleagues, gossip-loving officemates, arrogant bosses, and many other personalities.
The corporate world is a social environment and whether you like it or not, you will need to learn how to deal with different characters and find a way to work with them effectively.
The people skills I learned helped me in facing the diverse personalities of clients, suppliers, and peers.
3. Your value depends on the problems you can solve
In the corporate world, those who often get promoted are not the ones who work hard, but those who have shown great ability to solve problems and handle issues that arise in the company.
You may not see your supervisor or manager physically working all the time, but they earn more than you because they are efficient at avoiding, handling, and fixing problems.
As an employee, the first question you should ask is what problem you are looking to solve for the customer.
4. You cannot improve what you don’t measure
I hated making job reports back then because it’s a long and boring task. But I realized later on that those are important not just for the company, but for my self-enhancement as well.
Those reports allowed me to objectively measure my output, and when I compare them to my past performance, it allowed me to see areas where I can improve in my work.
5. Learning should never stop
I was always excited when we had to attend training because it was a welcome break from our daily work routine.
But why do companies regularly invest in employee training? Because it’s good for them in the long-term — you get better employees with updated skills and knowledge, and rarely do they leave after, especially if they’re happy at work.
And it’s the same for you. When you continuously learn and improve, you become better equipped and more efficient at reaching your goals and achieving success.
If, for example, you are struggling with pitching your ideas in meetings confidently, consider signing up for a Public Speaking class that will boost your confidence and help you achieve success.
A steady job gives us a sense of security, despite how hard or little you work. You work hard, you get paid; you do the minimal things possible to secure your job, you still get paid. When you lose your job without a plan, however, the stress and anxiety that may come with it will make you question everything. Pick up lessons from Evans’ story and always have a plan.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through career mentorship programs, he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE