What happens when you look around your workplace, and everyone is gone? How do you feel? What do you do? That’s the story of Adeoluwa (name changed).
Meet Adeoluwa, a Product Manager at one of Nigeria’s banks. He is part of a team of five PMs. First, his team lead switched jobs, and then three of his colleagues relocated for school and work. At one point, Adeoluwa made up the entire team.
He recalls a mass exodus being flagged in September 2021 when the bank was hit with over 30 resignations between the close of business one day and the start of business the following day. Resignations began to trigger others as ex-employees showed their colleagues ‘the way’. In a bid not to be left behind, Adeoluwa started his school application process, but a transcript delay from his University stalled his plans. When he found out the entire team was relocating, he had a panic attack imagining the workload as the last man standing.
Since working as a one-man team, he has had to take his laptop home to complete additional tasks without an addition to his salary. His hopes of getting reinforcement in the team were dashed when the bank replaced the experienced roles with graduate trainees to save costs and gain early loyalty.
The graduate trainees assigned to him need to be trained by him while doubling down on his role. In his words, ‘I didn’t need people whose hands I had to hold. I needed people who could hit the ground running’. He decided to change his mentality, learning everything to fill in the gaps left by his ex-colleagues. He has since included these additional skills (training included) on his CV and LinkedIn. Now all he has to do is wait for these to translate into a higher-paying remote role.
We can all relate to Adeoluwa’s plight, with people relocating around us. There’s a chance to feel as though you are being left behind and missing out on opportunities. If you didn’t already have plans to relocate, you may feel pressured to do so. Before you cave into pressure, ask yourself:
Am I satisfied with my current job? Or am I uninspired and unmotivated?
Is there something else that excites me more than my job?
If you can resolve your dissatisfaction in your current job with your employer, awesome! Otherwise, it may be time to job hunt.
Whether stay or quit, here are some tips to make the most of Work Japa:
Upskill: Expand your abilities and minimise your skill gaps. Just like Adeoluwa, pursue growth and mastery.
Put yourself out there: Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Talk/Write about your experiences, skills, and learnings. Be visible.
Be Bold: Boldly put yourself out there. Be assertive and confident. Confidence increases your chances of getting more opportunities.
Ask for more: As the saying goes, closed mouths don’t get fed. Now is a great time to re-evaluate and negotiate a new job title, salary increase, and flexible work arrangement as you take on more or varied responsibilities.
Try not to burn out: As more responsibilities drop on you, be realistic about what you can do, communicate and take time out.
We are rooting for you!