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How ready are you?

August 06, 2017


May I first apologize to all you my esteemed readers for missing my article last week. Actually I did send it but unfortunately technology suffered amnesia and so instead of sending it when it was supposed to, it did so a day later. My sincere apologies for that. Having said this, I am glad that the editor of The Sunday Guardian was prepared and had a plan “B” because otherwise, it would have been very embarrassing for him if he didn’t have a way of filling in the gap left by my missing article.

This perfectly ties in with the message I had prepared for you last week; about preparedness. Now put your feet up and continue reading...

Life has a way of teaching one lessons that you cannot learn in class. For instance, the other day I happened to have had a chance to spend a whole day with some potential retirees who have been working in a certain organization for over a decade. Two had worked for the company they are about to leave for two decades! Can you imagine that? If that was a child she or he would be twenty years old now, and the parents would probably be pulling their hair wondering what to do with him or her, and how to safeguard him or her from making wrong choices in life. Well, that’s another story for another day. Back to my retirees.

So we got chatting and talking and after getting comfortable with each other, I asked them one question, the one question which I would say was the elephant in the room. The question was, “Are you prepared for retirement?” As candidly as each one of them could, they explained to me what their plans after retirement were but what I realized is that none of them came outright to say, “yes I am!”. What each was saying is that after retirement, that is the time they will go out to start doing some form of business or another.

Later on after parting ways, I couldn’t help but continue thinking about those retirees. The truth is, they are not alone. So many people are unprepared to face life after retirement or retrenchment or simply loss of a job. Many people start working in organizations and once they settle in there, they feel like they have reached and as a result, they never think of what “might happen”. What follows after that is that they even stop developing themselves. Reading academic materials becomes a thing of the past and even getting additional skills becomes a bother to them. After all, where will the time come from?

Until @$%^* happens and they face the reality of how cruel life can be. Listen people, don’t wait until “life happens” to you for you to be prepared to move on with life after you are out of employment for whatever reason. If we could borrow a leaf from Noah always remember this, “it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark”. I don’t know how many years it took him to build the ark but he did it anyway, even though there were no signs of flooding, and even though people thought he was nuts.

If you haven’t noticed, things are changing very fast today and job security is no longer a guarantee. You wake up every day and you hear of companies that are downsizing, or winding down. You wake up every day and see a list of companies that have run bankrupt. All those companies have employees who are definitely going to be affected. What will happen if you happen to be one of them?

If you are in employment don’t get too comfortable there. There is a wave that is coming that is going to destabilize very many companies; what you have seen so far is just an introduction to what is yet to come. I feel I need to clarify for anyone who might be thinking I’m specifically talking about Tanzania. No I am not. This is happening the world over and if you follow the world’s economy like I do, you will realize that there is an economic meltdown happening that is bound to affect every country on the planet. People better brace themselves for what is happening or about to happen. Businesses will definitely be affected which will cause a ripple effect i.e. people losing jobs.

So back to my point, let this be a wakeup call to everyone employed that unless you own the company, or you are a shareholder in the company you are working for, chances are very likely that there will be a shakeup right where you are. Hopefully, you will not be one of the “sacrifices” made at the alter of retrenchment or voluntary retirement. Forget being sacrificed, let’s hope you are not the one who will be doing the sacrificing!

So I pose this question to you, “how prepared are you for retirement/retrenchment/being fired? Some of us have learnt the hard way that lack of preparedness can be the difference between sanity and insanity for you and those around you. When you are not prepared and “sacrifices” happen, as a human being the first thing that happens is panic. The moment you panic you stop thinking logically and you might end up making the worst mistakes of you life.

To avoid all that, why not put together a plan that will help you one day when you have to step out of employment? And for those who are overly superstitious, being prepared does not mean that you are jinxing yourself and indirectly calling for your retrenchment. No. It means you are building an ark for yourself so that the day floods happen, you will not be drowned in them. To quote Mike Adams, “Every person who prepares is one less person who panics in a crisis”. Job loss should not be classified as a crisis, but when the person to whom the loss has happened was not prepared, then it is a crisis indeed. Trust me I know this firsthand.

To the young people who have just joined their first job or are under three years in employment and are currently high-flying, don’t get too comfortable in your position. Prepare your exit strategy now even if it will not happen for another decade like the retirees I was talking to. Don’t spend all your money in material things but invest it so that it grows every day. Don’t quit adding value to yourself for you never know what path life may lead you. The company may suddenly change their requirements in terms of qualifications for those who work for them, including existing staff. What will happen if you don’t meet those requirements? Keep adding value to yourself not because you want to keep your job, but because the more valuable you become the more opportunities you attract. Always ensure you do something every day that adds value to you otherwise, you will have wasted your day.

Cut down on every un-necessary spending you often engage in and instead put that money into some constructive use. Stop wasting hours before your TV unless you are watching something that is growing you. Instead, why not use that time to enroll in an online class and study something new that will help you one day when you are no longer someone’s employee? How about you learn a new skill that might help you when you least expect it?

I am pretty sure that since May, Arsenal, Chelsh*t Chelsea, Manure Man United, Liverfools Liver Pool and all those other teams have been preparing for the new season even though it hasn’t started yet. Why? Becaue they know the value of being prepared. Preparedness is very important if you are to ever jump the hurdles that life will definitely keep throwing your way.

To quote Spencer W. Kimball, “Preparedness when properly pursued is a way of life, and not a sudden spectacular program”. Make preparedness your lifestyle in all areas of your life and you will have less panic attacks in future.

Be Ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Be the best version of yourself you can ever be.


PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 6th August, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words". 





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