Tag Archives: Skill

7 Steps to Earning More Without Leaving Your Job.

Employee trying to work to earn more.
Image Source: unsplash.com

Why do we keep looking for more money? Will salary increase make us have all our needs met? How much will you be earning to stop looking for more money?

She’s been my friend for a while. I know she loves what she does. Banking has been a dream for her since secondary school. Finally, she graduated and started working in a bank in Lagos.

As we had our normal chat that morning, her face was glummy. So I asked her, “What’s the matter?” She looked at me and said we had to sit down to discuss this.

Source of Image: kilimanjaro.com

So we got into Kilimanjaro – the restaurant that’s teaching Africans how to be at home with foreign dishes and other local spices.

Bimbo was earning about ₦90,000. Yet, for a while, she’s not been promoted but Deji, who came in with her just got promoted few weeks ago and the babe is looking for a way to earn more.

Although, she told me, “Chuks, I don’t want to leave this job. I love banking. But I want more money.”

So, we conversed over a meal. First, I told her:

1. Learn to manage the money you have now.

See what Erik Wecks said in his book How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any

Financial stability is much more about doing the best with what you have and not about achieving a certain level of income.

She looked at me and was like, “I don’t get. I said I need more and you’re….” So I continued.

I told her that when I got my first job, I was earning about ₦15,000 or so. In my mind I thought if I had an increase I’d stop borrowing money before the month runs out. (And this is the mindset of many folks.) After few months, I had another job paying me 30,000.

Guess what happened?

Exactly what my economics teacher told me in class – Parkinson’s law of increase income = increase expenses.

Same thing happened when it rose to ₦45,000. As I progressed, I learnt the bitter lesson.

At this point, Bimbo was like, she never knew this was happening to others. That is – increase salary brings about increase in expenses. So, she asked me a more critical question, “Where do I start from?”

Employee making a salary budget
Salary Budget

2. Create a budget for your salary. As I explained, she sat down and took a sip of Coke drink at the restaurant where we were having lunch together as paddies on a Saturday morning. “So what next”, she asked. I answered, “Do you have a budget for your salary currently?”

Most employees don’t think having a budget for their salary is important. Yet, there’s this “DEVIL” that comes on the 27th of April and every other month, when that credit alert beeps on your Samsung phone. Suddenly, your mind is just on Jumia, Konga, SPAR, Game and Kilimanjaro.

When I asked the question, she bowed her head down and I felt the pain of regret from her because I’m also there. I’m not out yet but on the journey to be out. So I asked her to see these 6 reasons why you need a budget and how to budget money.

Bimbo looked at me and was like, “Is it possible to budget 90k?” I just laughed. (90k is like someone’s 6 months salary.)

At that point I knew that she would need to decide to do it and not just someone advising her to. And the same with you, if you don’t have a budget.

(Budgets are not meant to control you but to bring about a consciousness of how and why you spend your money.)

3. Save to invest not to spend. I learnt this from Robert Kiyosaki. In fact, he proposes that savers are losers. Although I agree to this from one perspective and disagree from another perspective. Yet, I told my friend to try it. (She turned her phone and showed me the new shoes she was about ordering from Jumia… the money? From her last savings!)

The normal culture we have is that of saving to buy a new car or borrowing to get a new bag. Why? It feels easier. Maybe, you might need to listen to Kiyosaki himself.

4. Start a side business. “What if you sell female bags to your colleagues in the bank?”, I asked her, “What about female suits or female corporate shirts?” Her eyes glowed immediately!

For me, I’d always advice, sell things you have special care for but make sure it’s needed where you are. Check businesses you can start as an employee in Nigeria.

Employee using her hair making and make up skill.
Image Source: unsplash.com

5. Monetize your skill. At this time, I had to remind her that she plaited my fiancee’s hair and made her up the other day and it was nice.

“So, what if you plait hair of two ladies only or do make up for four ladies only every weekend?”, I proposed to her again.

If you have a skill that you’re not using effectively, that could be a source of income for you now. What about freelance writing and all the other freelancing? Check these sites for freelancing options.

Asking for increase in pay
Image by pixabay.

6. Ask for a pay rise if you think you deserve it. “What?”, Bimbo yelled and laughed at the same time. At this point, we had spent close to thirty minutes talking. “Yes”, I answered.

However, you need to be cautious here. Each organization has a rule for pay rise. If there is, check it and see if you’re qualified. If there is none, check yourself by yourself. You know what you’ve been doing. If you’re not, then, give yourself a target of three months, do some extra work and demand for it.

(I’ll advise you also talk with a senior colleague, who has you at heart, to direct you.)

7. Keep developing yourself. There’s a special energy the average Nigerian employee has but the focus is usually work and get paid and spend, and little place for personal development.

I’m sorry, but how many people set aside money for personal training or buy a book or do a course online?

Jim Rohn, before he died, talked about the importance of personal development more than anyone I know. See his quote:

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job, you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself, you’ll make a fortune.

You can read more on personal development here.

In summary:

I’m in a Job that Does not Really Use my Skills. What Should I do?

I make welcome Mr. Oseumeke Nnaemeke. He’s the Digital Communications Officer for EEDC, a brand enthusiast and CEO of Viral Media Concept. Follow him @osemekennaemeke on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Guest: Thanks for having me

Me: So, as an employee, what does it feel like? What’s… What’s the vibe like?

Guest: It feels great, especially when you are doing what you love and you can see how relevant your work is in the aspect of building a viable brand that customers can relate with.

Me: Doing what you love… Hmmmm… I understand this because I have same experience. But then…, from your personal observation, do you think most young Nigerian workers enjoy what they do?

Guest: Well, there’s a fine mix of people who love what they do and are committed to adding value and a vast majority slumming it living for the weekend and the paycheck 💰.

Me: Yeah. I agree with you. Can be sad, really. I had a job like that before and I was just so scared of leaving it because I needed the pay.

OooKay! Right into the space for today’s topic.

Emmm… Imagine an employee complaining to you or a friend telling you that he or she feels weird because her skill or his skill is not being used at the work place. Mekus, what would you say to the person? Like… What would be your response?

Guest: Find a place for your skill in the office. Most offices are bereft of people who are truly there to add value. Most employees are in it for the money so anyone with ideas or skills that can add value to the company will be highly welcomed.

That said, be very subtle how you deploy this because of a possible backlash from employees who aren’t happy with the few people who want to move up and do more.

Me: Wow! Emmm… Are you saying, like if the individual could write 📝 and she’s not asked to write but then there’s a department that’s in charge of content development, she can approach someone there?

Guest: Yes! The key should be to offer value upfront and not ask first. Too many people want others to do stuff for them first without providing value. When you offer value first and your work is remarkable, people will make moves to bring you onboard.

Me: Hmmm… This is quite revealing. And then you also mentioned being careful due to backlash from some folks who are maybe insecure… 😂

Guest: Yes! To be frank, people who are not adding value are defensive when they see someone truly trying to get work done.

Me: I agree… Especially in our system. Folks like more money with less work. So, if you’re trying to work more with no increase in cash, you’ll be seen as ‘I To Know’ like ‘na you sabi pass?’ 😂

Guest: Yes… Personally, in my last place of work, everyone was so inundated that any idea you brought was frowned at.

Me: … ‘Some pipu sef!’ So, what other ways can the person get on being productive?

Guest: One of the best possible ways I’ve found is to deliver excellently on your current assignment or designation. Results attract favour and access. Delivering proficiently on your current duties will create the avenue needed to solicit a change.

Me: Hmmm…

Thirdly, you need to get clear on what you want. Is the job offering you a clear cut path to growth in your career of choice?

Me: … So even if I’m not using my gold in the job, you think I should still give my best and perform excellently?

Guest: Yes. Personally, when I started at the defunct Diamond bank, I was the least performing salesperson… Remember at this point, I was still in the process of learning sales/marketing so even though the atmosphere at work was toxic I endured for two reasons:

1. I wanted to gain a skill that could put food on my table even outside the industry.

2. I didn’t quit because if I did then my record at that company would be that of an underachiever… I didn’t want to leave as someone who couldn’t make the grade. I left two years later as a high flyer having mastered the skill and gained the results to back it up.

Me: Really?! So even though you were there, the thing was not connecting with you but you had to deliver… And finally, you left on a brighter note?!

And I’m sure your pedigree there stands strong especially amongst your peers…

Guest: Yes. I opened an average of 40 accounts monthly and had a volume base of 10 million quarterly.

Me: Hmmm… Guys, are we here?! So, whether they are using my skill well or not, underperformance should be a no for me…

Am I correct sir?

Guest: Yes

Me: Hmmm… OK. This is where the icing is for me. I call it the ‘what do you want?’ question.

Can you explain this further. Please… (Thirdly, you need to get clear on what you want. Is the job offering you a clear cut path to growth in your career of choice?)

Guest: Self Awareness is key. You need to get crystal clear 👓 on what you want work to be like for you down to the bare grimy details.

In 2011, I had the privilege of working with the World Health Organization Enumeration team. We canvassed local governments in Rivers state collecting data of pharmacies, local chiefs, and health centers. This was targeted at having quality data with which to distribute free mosquito nets and A.C.T drugs.

It lasted for two weeks but the experience made me discover that I loathed desk jobs… I desired work that would give me the freedom to work outside the confines of an office building… Hence, my career in marketing. I have a ritual of writing (my list) which comprises the job I want, colleagues/industry I want to operate in, salary scale and all the details that would make the job enjoyable. When am done, I take it to God in prayer.

Me: Hmmm…

Guest: As far back as 2013, I knew I wanted a job that paid 6 figures. I didn’t get one but I persisted on the vision while doing my best where I worked for peanuts but kept adding value to myself and that dream became a reality last year.

Me: Real! Real!! Real!!!… So real! So hot! You know, I like the fact you have personal stories to back these principles up. Gary Vaynerchuk said in one his quotes:

Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life?’

(So, Self Awareness is key. You need to get crystal clear on what you…)

Guest: Yeah, it’s very important. The worst thing in life anyone can do is settle.

Me: I like the 6 figure dream and how it has materialized. So no excuse. That’s what you’re saying?! Give value. Find where to add value and give it excellently?! Right?

Guest: Yes.

Me: oookay!

Guest: What this does for you as a person is you get to wear many caps in your firm; by caps I mean responsibility. Responsibility and competence births influence.

Me: Hmmm… I’m almost speechless. You just revealed certain things to me that I never knew. So guys, stay there in that office and give all you’ve got while you keep working on your career vision.

Before I let you go… I heard you insisting on career vision… like it should be the driving force while delivering value with the skill one has at the work place?

Guest: Yes

Me: Noted.

Guest: Goals are important but I’ve achieved goals and still felt empty… Vision should be the driving force to achieve goals. We all need a picture of our destination. What this does is that it gives you the fortitude to persist through today’s challenges 👊.

Me: Yeah. I agree. You can check this site https://bit.ly/2QvGg9q to understand how to create a career vision.

👏👏 So awesome to have you sir. We look forward to more time. I’ll take this as your final words… Responsibility and competence births influence.

Guest: Yeah, thanks for having me

Me: Wow! Well, for me these are my takeaways:

  • Get to give value with the skill you have. Find a vacuum and use that skill to fill it.
  • Perform in your current assignment excellently with the skill you have – whether it’s cool or not. Just give your best.
  • Have a career vision and let it direct your decisions.

Two other interviews will be coming up soon. So, just stay connected so you can enjoy the thrill. Before I run off:

Can you give your best to an organization where people can indict you for trying to be excellent?

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