6 October 2012

Zambia: Personality, Work Culture and Career Development


READING Miyanda Maimbo's Human Resource Talk on 'Appreciate The Job You Have' that appeared in The Post of July 11, 2012, reveals a lot of challenges that Zambia has as far as qualifications, work culture and career development is concerned.

The same article also reveals a lot about the chaos that is there in the labour market; and how human resource officials are failing to isolate flour from chaff.

The stated article also confirmed my past article which was talking about challenges most people face in choosing a career.

Miyanda's article also speaks volumes about how the qualifications and the experience we gain can help us survive when employment seems not to be there.

The stated article also spoke volumes about our education systems and its standards. The article made one to wonder what benefits experience gives to an employee.

It also made one wonder what human resource specialists both in public and private sector are doing to help government departments, organisations and firms to provide high quality products and services for the socio-economic development of the majority of Zambians.

The article also revealed a lot about how supervisors are doing their work; and how administration in this country has reached the lowest levels of performance.

Therefore, this column will handle each of many issues that Miyanda highlighted in the stated article as a spring board to explaining many issues that affect the labour market in Zambia.

Miyanda's article confirmed what the author was talking about in his Public Relations class that the Patriotic Front (PF) government needs to x-ray the labour market and the unemployment situation in this country if we are to come out of high levels of unemployment failure to which Zambia will be going round in circles in trying to resolve high unemployment levels.

Although the author is confident that the PF government has the capacity to create genuine employment for many youths in the long run, this cannot happen without proper statistics about who is and who is not in employment; and who qualifies to be in formal employment.

Why this information is important is because there is chaos in the labour market.

Whatever the case may be, in this article, start learning something from the many things Miyanda mentioned so that we can increase our chances of getting a good job, maintaining that job through good personality for our sustained career development processes in order to achieve our career goal in life.

Miyanda's observations confirms what vice president, Dr Guy Scot said about some government institutions where he said they need cleansing.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary, Dr David Shamulenge also complained that the problems he has with some MAL staff is late coming and resisting accountability.

Firstly, as stated before, workers who don't work hard while in employment are those who don't have a purpose in their lives; and therefore don't have a career goal. Someone who has a purpose and career goal will work hard while in employment to achieve one's purpose and career goal.

Similarly, workers who report late for work and have a bad work culture are those who don't know what they are doing in life.

Miyanda says some candidates are very humble when looking for jobs; but when probation in their employment ends, some workers join the majority in bad work culture.

This reflects badly on those who select people for jobs. It also reflects badly on what type of training most human resource officials have gone through.

This is why, from the very beginning during various stages of selecting candidates to fill up vacant position, human resource specialists should isolate hard workers from 'idle' ones.

Where is industrial psychology in current human resource officials if those who get jobs can change personality from good to bad within 3-6 months?

Miyanda advises those who aren't happy with their work or with their boss to resign. But lazy people don't resign from their employment.

They are more comfortable getting a monthly salary for not doing enough than being out of employment. They are like parasites in an organisation.

Therefore, what is supposed to be done is just to improve on recruitment processes and staff supervision so that the right candidates are employment and sustain their jobs.

If one fails to meet the targets in the process of one's employment, effective supervisors should know what to do with such workers through timely performance appraisals and disciplinary procedures.

The picture that comes out clearly in the Zambia's labour market is that of chaos. One of the leadership gurus, Myles Munroe described chaos as when everything is there; but in wrong places. Zambia needs to carry out management audit on employment and unemployment related issues.

The public service, organisations, firms and Zambia as a whole needs to have a mastermind in engineering each government department, ministry, organisation and each firm to move forward according to the objectives and goal of that institution or organisation.

In Zambia, some people are in employment when they are not supposed to be in employment. We also have some people who are unemployed but are qualified enough in all aspect to be in employment and serve the purpose of that position.

But this is the confusion that comes with malpractices associated with nepotism, bribery and corruption in employing candidates to fill certain jobs.

For individuals who have a purpose and a career goal, the prevailing situation in this country gives a very good opportunity to come out of unemployment; and achieve one's career goal and purpose in life.

It must be stated that when things are bad, it is not an excuse to ruin one's life. When things are bad, one is supposed to adjust one's personality, refine one's objectives, work harder in studies or in employment to achieve one's career goal and purpose in life.

When one is out of formal employment, one is supposed to sharpen job hunting skills to find the much needed job.

It is true that in some situations, one thinks can be bad. One can have financial challenges to finance one studies.

Some supervisors can have unnecessary negative attitude towards you. But focus on your career goal and purpose in life in whatever you do. Save money for your studies or training.

Stop bad habits. Improve on your personality. Report for work early as if you are a slave or you had nothing else to do. Work hard when you report for work.

Offer yourself for volunteer jobs or extra assignments. Your friends will talk a lot against you for reporting for work early and how effective you apply yourself in work assignments.

You are different from others. Work differently from others to benefit and impress your supervisor.

God will always be with you in your efforts to get a job, maintain it and achieve your career goal.

As a result, even a supervisor who hated you will feel ashamed that he or she hates a worker who comes early for work; and works very hard to meet assignments' targets on time.

Supervisors and employers should be objective and fair in appraising workers. Supervisors and employers should consider Mat 7: 12 which states: Do onto others as you wish them do unto you.

If you were a worker, could you be happy to be treated the way you treat your subordinates even when they do the best for their jobs?

As a worker, when you do good things even under very difficult conditions, God; The Creator appreciates your efforts and He supports you. Whatever work assignment targets you meet on time are part of your good CV which can help you to rise in the same organisation or get a better job elsewhere.

Don't be lazy. Have a purpose for doing whatever you do. Don't consider the frustration your supervisor or the world gives you.

Concentrate on your objectives, career goal and purpose in life. Soon or later, you will be there. Avoid workers' mob psychology. You are an individual.

Be unique. Do things differently; but constructively for your current or future employer and your own future.

As a worker consider Matthews 7: 12 as well. Do unto others as you wish them do unto you. Contribute positively to the development of your organisation if you want your employer to do good things for you.

Your employer can help you to rise above the majority if you help that employer to achieve his or her organisational goals.

Stop being a parasite on your employer. Be a partner to your employer through reporting for work on time, working hard in your work assignments and meeting work targets on time.

If you do this for a good time, even the most unrealistic and capitalistic employer will appreciate your patience and reward you handsomely.

If not, you would have still built enough capacity to get another better job elsewhere or run your own business where you can excel more than ever before.

Don't frustrate yourself in achieving your career goal and purpose in life through bad personality and bad work culture.

Don't be a stumbling block in your own success. The ball is in your court to achieve your career goal and your purpose in life.

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