My sister contacted me on the night Mr. President announced the extension of the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states. She said her live-in nanny was getting fidgety about the lockdown extension. According to my sister, her nanny believed that COVID-19 cases in Abuja must be getting out of hand and that is why the extension became necessary. All efforts to make her relax did not work. So when her family members added to the pressure for her “release” from Abuja, my sister had to let her go. She left for her village on Wednesday 15th April 2020.
But luckily for my sister, one of her former nannies that left to pick up a better paying job in a crèche contacted her on Monday to check up on them. She used that opportunity to tell my sister that the lockdown affected her job and so she wasn’t expecting April salary from anywhere. Being that she was a good employee when she worked for my sister, she was offered her job back immediately when the current nanny left. So this lady now has a job despite the bite of the Coronavirus.
This lady’s luck may seem trivial to a lot of people because it is “just a nanny work”, but a deeper look into her story may reveal two essential things – she was a good employer and she called to ask for a favour/job.
One thing we are sure of right now is COVID-19 is going to affect a lot of things. Changes are going to be witnessed in many sectors. New job opportunities will open and some old ones will close. Remote jobs will be on the increase and professionals that worked hard to develop themselves will pick up the jobs while those still struggling will struggle the most in their bid to find something to do. Post-corona era will indeed favour a lot of people and still be hard on many. This is why there is a need for the vulnerable ones to ask for favours right now.
- Contact those that hold you in high esteem
The thing about calling in favours is that the person being approached must see reasons to help out. For instance, my sister re-employed her former nanny because she, the nanny, did her job well then. If the nanny was the type of employee that employers couldn’t wait to get rid of, of course she would have remained unemployed today. This is why we should be our best wherever we find ourselves because we never can tell what will happen in the future.
- Go to where your services are needed
Next thing is that the nanny went to where she was needed. She knew my sister employs nannies so she indirectly asked for a job – if there is any. Some people will ask for favour from people who do not need their services. This will automatically turn their request into begging and them into beggars. The best thing to do is find out if someone really needs your “help” so that he will not think he’s doing you a favour.
Another thing this lady did that earned her a job was speaking out. She did not hide her problem nor waited for my sister to call her first. She obviously knew that many domestic workers were running back to their villages because they wanted to avoid COVID-19 that is “killing Big People” in the cities so she calling my sister a day after the lockdown extension broadcast was not a coincidence. But the good thing here is that she was bold enough to voice out her needs. Most of us find it difficult to ask for favours, jobs or even our money. Maybe it’s high time we revisited that part of us and made some changes to it. Remember, the other person will not know what you’re passing through unless you told him.
- Ask for the right thing
We may also notice that this lady did not ask for financial help. Obviously she’s in need of money but she decided to ask for a job because she knew that her job will guarantee her a good salary, accommodation, feeding and some other essentials. The mistake some of us make is that we approach people to ask for money instead of a job (when we are not looking for a business capital). A friend of mine got a job into a good establishment because he met the CEO and asked for a freelance or a contract job. Luckily for him, his service was needed then and the CEO later offered him a permanent job. If this young man had met this Big Man and asked for money, it is possible he wouldn’t get the money or the job. In other words, be mindful of the favour you ask for.
- Maintain social contact
Finally this lady has been in touch with my sister after her resignation. From what I gathered, she calls my sister every now and then to ask about the child she babysat. So when she called on Monday, my sister saw it as nothing unusual. It would have been awkward if all of a sudden she called and then asked for a job. By then it will be that she called because she was in need and maybe she may not get the job. This is just to let us know that we need to keep in touch with people that have impacted positively in our lives because we may need their favours any time soon.
We cannot pretend as if we don’t know that people will lose their jobs within this period. It is possible that some employers may decide to drop some employees in order to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. As it is now, entrepreneurs are passing through a lot and will therefore not want to accrue much financial responsibilities. To avoid being dislodged when all these are over, it is time for the majority of us to find our contact lists and start placing those important calls. Remember, you can never tell what the answer will be unless you try.