Ibiam: Get training, be prepared for jobs loss
FESTUS UKOH IBIAM is the National Coordinator of Unique Empowerment and Employment Institute, Lagos. He spoke to OMIKO AWA on how people out of jobs could be trained to make them business owners and employers of labour.
What would you tell people out of jobs to do to earn a living?
HERBERT‘S law of negativity says, ‘nothing is good and nothing is bad;’ so when one looses a job, he/she should move ahead to the next level. However, because of the unpleasant situation some people take to drinking, engage in different maladjusted behaviours and even commit suicide, yet there are very many people that through the situation become Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of their companies. Though, there is a difference between retirement and job loss because one plans for retirement, while job loss is never planned for. Even with this, most retirees exhaust their money two years after leaving service because they plan to save their money and not invest it.
What is the difference between saving and investing?
It is like comparing the rich and the wealthy. A rich man has money, but a wealthy man creates money. A rich man has a lot of money to spend, so he spends based on what he has. Anybody can save money, but it takes people who are creative to create money. The entrepreneur creates a system where people make money and to create money one must first create a system; so entrepreneurs create systems, while school train people to fix into systems. Somebody like Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, employed first class graduates to work for him because he created a system and people are trained in schools to fix into that system. Nigerians, especially those without jobs should get training and begin small, be self-employed and not wait for the big jobs. Generally, worker should not be caught unawares with job loss; they should be prepared for it, by getting training and investing in small cottage outfits, instead of saving money for retirement. They should create a sustainable system and not prepare people to fit into already existing system.
When is it appropriate to invest?
It all depends on individuals. For some it is when they lose their jobs, while for others it is when they have the money. However, it is proper to set out time for the rainy day; make out time and go for seminars on entrepreneurship, how to invest and also to acquire skills that would keep you going when not in any employment. We should begin to teach our children to own businesses right from when they are in school; teach them how to invest instead of depending on paid employment. With this, the fear of job loss will be over.
While doing my youth service, I promised myself I would not work for more than five years before I starting my company. Fortunately for me, I worked only for four months and was able to save up N350, 000, so, I set off and even employed two Corpers that we both served in the same state. By so doing, I created a system that is working for me. It is the mindset, you have to develop it; first think about it because everything you see on earth is a product of thought. Think to have a system; once it is in your thought, it is in your heart.
Nigerians depend so much on government, how can this help investment?
Government has no business being in business. It should only create the enabling environment for business to thrive. Mind you, even from the primary school, if a child starts having the knowledge of how to invest, he/she would begin on time to invest, identify the needful such as paying taxes and know the importance of money. People prefer to save money in banks, rather investing it in productive processes. There are machines that could aid small scales production in different ways. Through this means, laid off workers can be in the productive sector and even employ others. Government should encourage investment by providing platforms for those leaving service to learn skills; they should be empowered with some capital with a unit interest to invest in the economy. Set monitoring teams to mentor and monitor their activities and before long, you will see a pool of businessmen and women emerging from the country.
Despite this, people that have just lost their jobs should not give up. They should rather emulate Colonel Harland David Sanders, an American businessman, who at 60 and in his retirement founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), a fast food restaurant. He created a system that is in different parts of the world. So, either in retirement or job loss, one can still invest. What is needed is the right training; prepare their minds regarding what is to come and pay them on time to start off something new.
But for anyone that wants to go into productive venture, he should first decide on what to do, his/her area of interest and develop it. He/she should either learn by attending seminars, reading books or meeting people that would mentor him. Abraham Lincoln, said, “I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.”