Are you a graduate looking for a job, or a student searching for a part time job? I have a word for you. An experience of reality that can open your eyes and make you smarter as you transcend to this new face of your life.
I used to work as an administrator in a textile printing company — loving what I did and looking for ways to expand my resume and possibly get promoted and earn a raise. But sometimes things don’t happen as planned and the turn of wheels in one’s life may serve as a lesson for greater achievement.
In his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki said, Life is a teacher, it pushes us around, each push is a way of telling us to wake up and learn something new. For me the push has taught me great lessons, lessons that will serve you and your children well if only you have the patience to read through to the end.
I have told this story hundreds of times in conversation to friends, family members and recently to relatives, but in this book, I intend on getting into more details than I ever have been before.
Because the brevity of these conversations often blurred the truth of how things really were, what happened and the lessons derived from these experiences. Of course, This is not the first time a company had embarked on a retrenchment exercise, but the reality is that most people refuse to learn from history. George Satayan once said, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In other words, those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
Before we talk about the lessons, let us first start by looking at the whole story from the beginning so you can see what really went on.
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I was employed as a contract worker after I had served six months’ on probation. I worked as a mechanical operator on a Rotary Screen Printing (RSP) Machine. My duties included testing, operating and troubleshooting machine problems to determine faults and keeping managers updated on production works.
As I said earlier, I loved what I was doing and things were moving as planned. However, at this early stage of my career, I had a duty and a family commitment to take care of at home. So, I usually stayed over and worked extra hours each day to cover up on bills and other expenses, and this continued for two years.
By May 2014, I had become sick, so sick that I had to stay away from work for three months. The situation was difficult and I began battling for my life. I visited so many hospitals and did several tests but to no avail. To regain my health back I had to seek counsel from natural healers, herbalist and medical practitioners some of whom advised me on good eating habits, proper exercising, good sleeping rituals as well as techniques for managing stress. In July that year while still sick, I decided to report back to work.
My boss after talking to me suggested I see the company doctor. Though I refused initially, upon the insistence of my supervisor and some other colleagues, I agreed to go and that was what turned the situation around. Having heard my story and knowing from the background from which I came , Dr Sarkodie, the company doctor, took me in as his son and began to nurture me. I am truly grateful to God for that period of my life. Many hands tutored me, many hands nurtured me, and am grateful to all of them.
By the end of that same year I was totally healed and I returned to work again.
By this time, I had been moved from being an operator to the office to work as an administrator. My job schedule included data entry, report writing and record analysis. After two years working at this position, things began to return to normalcy and I was again enjoying the job that I was doing.
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. With the slowing of the Ghanaian economy and the increase in the pirating of fake textiles into the country,, many textile companies started focusing on survival instead of expansion.,
The textile industry took huge hit. Because of the poor sales, production was severely curtailed. . Well -known textile firms like Akosombo Textiles and Juapong Textiles were closed down and others were laying off people by the truck load, so the outlook for our company wasn’t good.
By the end of September, the local union had called for several emergency meetings and we were often told that the state of the company wasn’t good and that management together with the local union were deciding on reducing the workforce so to allow the company to survive.
The whole situation felt like a really sick reality TV show. By the mid-November, letters began to fly out and people were getting laid off and you often wondered if you were next.
Eventually on November 28, my time came and I was invited to my boss office. He gave me probably the best review I have ever received from anyone about my work, but it was obvious where it was headed – I was getting laid off.
Luckily (sort of) I didn’t have to pack my things that day, or even that month. I still had up to the end of the year to finish up on some project. My boss was very courteous and sympathetic. He actually encouraged me to go out and find another job quickly, or even go back to school to have my degree because he saw something good in me, which I thought was nice, but at that point I wasn’t in the right mindset to really do anything except to think and reflect on the situation.
Mild panic attacks, scenarios playing in my head about how my family will react or what the future was going to be like occupied my time, I even freaked out and started calling and dropping CVs at most companies I knew to see if there were any openings for me.
Fortunately, when I told my family about it they took it well. Besides my family, the only spot I had was the encouragement from Dr Sarkodie and his family. As usual they counseled me and even gave me leads to where I could possibly find jobs.
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My body was still going into the office normally as I used to but my mind was always on finding employment and learning all about what I could possibly do to earn an income. That is when this book came to mind.
In my mind, I was already laid off.
I had a few weeks left on payroll, plus a small severance package and some emergency savings if I needed to use it – so I figured I had maybe 8-10 months to make an income.
As far as I was concerned, I had no other option but to make an income either from working or doing something different on my own.
Finally, Finally, December 31st was here and my contract with the company ended. But the experience I had, has taught me great lessons in life. Lessons that can transform you and your children’s life for a better future. Maybe you are a student still in school but searching for a part time job, a graduate with no job, an employee looking for new ways of making a living or better still you may be release from your job.
No matter what you are doing now with your life, no matter the career or business you are involved in, this book will be a guide for you.
I wouldn’t have taken the pain to go through all of this story just for the fun of it. Nope, but I did that because I know that you care, and that your family and friends do matter to you. I did that because I know that in the years to come, thousands and even millions of people who are still working or even are yet to be employed may go through similar situations, if not the same, and may need a guide like this.
The unemployment rate in our country and even the world over is increasing. The economy and policies of government cannot be predicted. It is therefore important to get ourselves prepared for the inevitable circumstances of life before they begin to hit us..
With these lessons, people can now begin to work smarter instead of working harder, more financial options could now be open to people and more opportunities can now be created rather than depending on luck.
All said and done there are five main lessons learnt and that is what this book is all about. These lessons are not meant to be answers but guide posts. Guide posts that will assist you and your family to survive no matter what happens in the world of increasing change and uncertainty.
This post is an excerpt of my new book “Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before Working.”
The material is from (CHAPTER ONE). I’d love to know what you think of this sample. Feel free to leave a comment below.
(Optional): If you’d like to get your own copy of the book and change your future, then click here.. Get a copy NOW! You will be glad you did.