Staying relevant in the era of productivity

 

era of productivity

Forget Nigeria, I guess the world is also merely thriving in these trying times. Just yesterday, I was watching a program on CNN and it was speaking, verbatim, the language of most companies in Nigeria now. Productivity. What is productivity anyway?

“The effectiveness of productive effort (achieving a significant amount or result), especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input”.

I suppose this covers everything – every company’s expectation of their employees and everyone’s expectation of themselves basically. So from day one of any venture at all – careful planning, excellent execution and successive consistent delivery of exceptional result is very key. In the words of a professionally accomplished young Ireland woman I know, “put yourself out there. No one will necessary give you the platform to succeed until you take the bulls by the horns and be counted”.

In the usual exercise of a lot of companies, re-org, downsizing, and lay-off, whatever you what to call it, over the last few years, millions of people have found themselves involuntarily out of work—too often through no fault of their own, notwithstanding the conscious effort to deliver and be productive. Unfortunately, this exercise has come to stay. But whether the reason you lost your job has everything to do with your perceived performance, or absolutely nothing, it’s how you respond in the wake of it that will set you apart from others before the next job surfaces. A proactive and positive mindset will differentiate you from the masses, making all the difference in how “lucky” you get in an unlucky economy. It will even determine whether you one day look back on this time with some measure of gratitude for what you gained from it—whether it was the chance to re-evaluate your life, spend extra time with your family, re-strategize on spends and savings, or to simply re-affirm what matters most.

Below are some of the strategies I think one can be adopt while the world is clamoring on productivity:

  1. Be proactive – Rather than re-actively waiting to see what jobs are posted on a job board, pro-actively explore ways to discover where the job you want may be lurking, waiting for you to find it.
  2. Don’t let your job status define you – Sure, losing your job is a very personal experience, but don’t take it too personally. Who you are is not what you do. Often times, it never is.
  3. Always note to begin with the end in mind – If someone asks you what you are looking for, your answer must be short, specific, believable, and memorable to be effective.
  4. Tap your network – The more people who know what you want, the more who can help you get it. The vast majority of jobs are never advertised. So the adage “Your network is your net worth” is particularly relevant when it comes to finding those jobs that are filled via word of mouth.
  5. This is the time to take care of yourself – Mental and emotional resilience requires physical resilience. So be intentional about taking care of YOU and doing whatever it takes to feel strong and fit while the next job comes. (After all, you now have no excuse that you don’t have time for exercise.) Exercise builds resilience after all.
  6. Surround yourself with positive people – Emotions are contagious.  The people around you impact how you see yourself, your situation and what you do to improve it. Be intentional about who you hang out with and don’t get sucked into the vortex of those who want a marathon pity party.
  7. Synergize – Spread your tentacles and subscribe to the many online job portals out there. You are bound to find something soon when you have your resume in as many places at a time as possible.
  8. Keep bagging those qualifications – Continue to learn and grow in knowledge and skill even when you don’t have a job. This is important particularly if the job search drags on more than anticipated.
  9. You are a survivor – There a lots of ways and avenues you can make profit from no capital anyway. The absence of job in a human life does not begin and will not end with you. Find something to do and keep diligently at it. After all, Olajumoke Orisaguna and Olumide Oresegun are testaments that goods things do find those who keep busy.

Please note: a paycheck is not a goal. A paycheck is the result of reaching the goal of finding a job. The best goal is the right job for you so you have a steady stream of paychecks.

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