21 March 2014

Zambia: Are You Ready to Be Fired?

NORMALLY, no one is ready for a dismissal from one's job. This is why one got that job to be in it to earn a regular monthly income for ever unless otherwise. But employers hire and fire whenever they feel it is necessary to do so. Therefore, one should also be prepared to leave a job at any time.

Therefore, former home affairs deputy minister, Alfredah Kansembe's confession that her dismissal from her ministerial position has affected her; and that she is trying to cope with her emotions from such an incident helps each Zambian workers to consider how permanent are these jobs that we get; and therefore generates lessons from those who lose their jobs.

It is against such a background that one prays and wishes Hon Kansembe the best in her new endeavours.

It is a known fact that Hon Kansembe is not the only worker or appointee who is negatively affected by a dismissal. Many other workers and appointees can equally be negatively affected by a dismissal.

Consider also what most of the nurses who were also dismissed from their positions said. They pleaded with their employers to reinstate them in their respective positions because they had no alternatives to feed their families. The nurses' union and Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president, Leonard Hikaumba also pleaded with the Government to forgive and reinstate the affected nurses.

This is why it is said that what happened to Hon Kansembe and some of the nurses; and their consequently confessions generates a lot of lessons to both current workers and appointees in any organisation.

The purpose of this article is not to celebrate the dismissals of our colleagues who have lost jobs in various organisations; but to remind our esteemed readers who are also job seekers and or workers that if something can happen to others, it can also happen to us. Therefore, this article further reminds all workers and appointees to prepare for any negative eventuality when they are in any employment.

While no one can celebrate any worker's dismissals, one can argue that the incident generates a lot of lessons for current workers. One of such lessons is that immediately one gets a job, each worker is supposed not only to be loyal to their appointing authorities and work hard in that job but should also start preparing for such a negative situation in case it happens.

One of our esteemed readers is whispering in the background that how can one prepare for unforeseen circumstances or a negative event like death since dismissal is like death to someone?

Yes, you are right. But who doesn't know that one day, one will die? Being fired from employment is something one should expect because anything can happen when one is in employment. Just as one gets a job; one should always know that one day, one is going to leave that job for any reason from yourself as a worker or from an employer. Employment has never been for life unless it is your own organisation.

Employment is like life. It has a beginning and an end. And an end we should always prepare for.

Preparing for a dismissal doesn't mean that one should be involved in illegal activities or malpractices to raise more money within a short time in case the appointing authority fires you soon. Preparing for a dismissal means that one is supposed to use legal incomes from one's employment diligently from the first month of one's getting that job.

This is why Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor, Dr Michael Gondwe says that BoZ will be carrying out a nationwide financial literacy camp to help citizens understand the importance of saving.

If one has been saving soon after getting a job, probably by the time an employer thinks of firing that worker, one would have accumulated enough savings to start a business or to become a good entrepreneur.

It is encouraging to learn that Hon Kansembe said that there is more to life than a political job. This means that despite being affected by her dismissal; she is ready to exploit other opportunities in life. In short, she was ready for any eventuality in her former ministerial position.

Learning from some people who have lost jobs for various reasons; and how preparations for loss of a job has helped some people who lose jobs, one should reduce on using incomes from formal employment on too much luxurious activities and increase on saving money before one loses a job. This is should part of each worker's insurance policy. Be fore-armed. Be insured. Tomorrow never comes.

Getting a job should be regarded as a blessing from God. One should thank God; The Almighty for giving someone a job where one will earn a regular income for a stipulated time from.

Therefore, while one is in employment, one is supposed to invest and establish businesses which can replace a regular income whenever one leaves formal employment.

Some workers have even thanked their employers for terminating their contracts or firing them because such a situation gives them more time to manage their private businesses than when they were in formal employment where they had divided attention for formal employment and managing their own private businesses.

Not being prepared for leaving a job has seen many people applying for a contract after being retired or renewing their contracts many times after one comes to an end.

There is nothing wrong with getting a contract or renewing one after retirement or after one contract comes to an end. What is worrying is doing so just because one has no any other source of income or survival apart from the same job that has come to an end.

Some of those who have not been given a contract or who haven't been given a chance to renew their contracts have developed depressions or stroke. Wishing people undergoing depression from effects of being dismissed from their respective jobs a quick recovery.

Workers or appointees should always be ready for retirement or to be fired. This doesn't mean that workers or appointees should deliberately be showing disloyalty or doing things against organisation's policies, rules and regulations; but it means that they should always know that being in employment or being out of a job is a two-way thing in that either an employee or an employer can terminate that employment at any time with or without genuine reasons.

Therefore, never take employment for granted that as long as one has been appointed in that position, one will be therefore ever. Things change. They can change for the better or for worse. What is important is to be prepared financially and psychologically for an eventuality.

Work hard in any job you are offered. Hard work might compromise employers' decision to terminate or not to renew your contract. Prove to your employers your loyalty, hard work and the value you add to the organization.

Hard work creates good curriculum vitae (CV) for your future prospects. Therefore, while one cannot order one's employers not to renew or terminate one's employment or not to be fired; good performance in one's job creates reservoirs for further bright future in job prospects. Better still, if you have been saving or investing in a form of business while you were working, one is able to survive the negative effects of losing a job from one's business investments regardless of its size. What is important is have some savings or an alternative income to the current formal employment in case whatever reasons you lose the current job.

One can also use one's knowledge, experience or skills in one's former job to run one's businesses effectively and efficiently.

Therefore, take the job you will be offered or the current job as a stepping stone in your life. Don't take your current job for granted. Always assume that you will lose it soon. Such an assumption makes you so wise that you use any income from such a job wisely for your better future with or without a job.

The author is a trainer and career coach.

Contact: Cell: 0976/0977 450151

E-mail: sycoraxtndhlovu@yahoo.co.uk

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