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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Before you take up the extra job

Before you take up the extra job

Words by Francis Kahihu: kahihucareers@gmail.com

When Jesse lost his elder brother, he never knew the challenges that awaited him. Barely a week after the burial, his parents called for a family meeting that was attended by both the nuclear and a part of the close extended family members. As the agenda of the meeting had been kept secret, Jesse waited with bated breath for the discussions. True to his anxious thoughts, it was indicated that the family members had to consider plans of bearing the burden of educating and meeting the daily needs of the widow and the children.

As the meeting progressed, it was clear that most of the action points were terminated at Jesse. Being the only family member with a relatively stable source of income, it was decided that he takes over the education budget of the children as the other members raise resources to meet the subsistence needs for the late brother’s family. When the meeting dispersed, it was clear to Jesse that he would have to readjust his monthly budget to cater for the new budget line.

As the months rolled on, Jesse realized he could not manage the budget by relying on his monthly salary. With this, he decided to seek for other job engagements on the side. Within a week, he got an invitation to lecture at a local college. This was a highly welcome move as he negotiated with the management to have him take up evening classes. This was a great relief to his struggling budget as he was now able to comfortably meet all the expenses and had some balance for saving.

It was not all rosy though for his mainstream job. Due to the ever rising demands of the evening classes, with lessons to prepare, CATs to mark and exams to set and supervise, his energies started to dwindle. He realized a sharp decline in his performance due to the fatigue he was perpetually experiencing. He would report to work late and delay in meeting important deadlines. His supervisor noticed this trend and decided to have a chat with him on the probable cause of the decline in the quality of his output. Jesse was forthright and told the boss the truth about his extra engagement which was out rightly against the company policy. He received his first warning letter and promised to withdraw his services from the college.

Jesses’ experience mirrors what many workers go through today. With the rising rate of inflation and the feet-dragging salary review processes, many workers get motivated to seek for an extra source of income. Many prefer taking up evening duties when they are done with their main job. This can be a real challenge as the demands are never lesser than the demands of their mainstream engagement. It is an even bigger challenge when people take up such extra tasks without clearly appreciating the length and breadth of the responsibilities.

An appreciation of the level of investment in terms of time at the extra job could influence the decision made prior to taking up extra tasks. You would not to jeopardize your mainstream job as you pursue an aside engagement. Your main source of livelihood should always be granted the priority it. In cases where it does not meet all your demands, a job change could be better than burdening yourself with more work than you can handle. Another alternative would be to take up an engagement that you can delegate to someone else.

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