Majority of us happen to be employees (even as entrepreneurs of small businesses) because we live in a world where capitalism reigns supreme and every penny counts. Twitter NG exploded on Monday because of a certain company mistreating their employees. That is the inspiration behind this post.
Nigeria is a fairly good place to work, so not everyone may have experienced the negative side of the coin. However, some employers take advantage of the lawlessness embedded in the fabric of our society to exploit hardworking Nigerians.
This is not even a subjective conversation. I met up with old high school mates and guess what dominated our conversation after 9 years of not seeing each other, “horrible working conditions in Nigeria”. A former employer is still owing me for 2 months while another found loopholes in the contract to extort my salary. Based on my experience, I’ll be highlighting some boss tips that can help you before take your next employment offer.
Always have a written contract: this is different from the offer letter, where your employment is offered and the salary stated. Have a contract that clearly states the terms and conditions of working and your entitlements as an employee. One of the reasons my former employer could get away with not paying me was because there was no proper written contract.
Read the contract thoroughly: the boss who extorted my money used “monthly salary”. Instead of paying me half (11 days) of 22 working days or half (15 days) of a month (30 or 31 days). He calculated half as 11 working days over a month, despite I worked weekends. Understand everything, what does monthly salary mean? The whole month or 22 working days? If weekends are included without compensation, can I decline any weekend or opt-out entirely without any consequences? etc.
Work hard: yes, this is a tip. Even if your boss tries to cheat you, you can fight knowing your work can speak for itself.
Be honest: especially if you have access to company funds. This also includes signing in the actual time you came to work. I had a former employer who looked out for good behaviour and rewarded it. Most importantly, you would want the same if it was your business.
Do not be controlled by fear: Once upon a time, I stumbled upon a place where the workers were maltreated and they refused to leave because they were afraid of not getting another job if they leave. A lot of employers thrive on the unemployment situation and the ease of cheap labor in the country to abuse their staffs but you don’t have to be one of them. Work hard, be good and pray, God will take care of you. Don’t give anyone the permission to mess up your mental health.
Build yourself: The best way to attract better offers is to constantly build and improve on yourself daily even if you have a good job. While there is no guarantee, the chances of getting a good place of employment become higher.
Don’t ignore the warnings signs: like in every relationship. For example, when a company calls you for a phone interview without scheduling a call or telling you when to expect it, the probability of them disrespecting you and your time is high.