How to succeed as a contract staff in nigerian banks – Contract staff or support staff are the category of workforce in Nigerian banks who are insourced from consulting firms. They are employees of these outsourcing firms but their services is seconded to a designated bank. The bank pay their salaries on an agreed commission with their employers.
Working in the bank as a contract staff is a very challenging job, to buttress my points the following facts can be associated with contract staff as it relates to banking:
- There is no pre-determined tenor even though the word “contract” is used
- Contract staff form above 70% of entire workforce in Nigerian banks
- They earn between N40,000 – N150,000 depending on the bank
- They are not promoted the same way with the banks’ staff
- They are not entitled to any retirement benefit from the bank
- Their qualifications are mostly OND and HND
- They usually serve as tellers, marketers and sometimes customer service officers
In recent times, there has been a lot of clamor to abolish “contract staffing” in the system because of the above facts and some other reasons. The truth is that no matter what anybody says or does outsourcing is a legitimate business and it can never be ended by any judicial, legislative or executive directive. It is a practice that has international backing because is obtainable globally.
The bank through insourcing have created jobs for thousands of Nigerians and they take steps further by training and duly equipping their workforce in order to beat the competition in the labor market. Working in the banking environment regardless of your category brings out the best in you.
But what should be the proper orientation for those who are contract staff? I have done a research as well as attended some orientation programs organized by the major outsourcing firms in Nigeria; coupled with my personal experience the following points can rightly position support staff with positive mindset towards the job:
- ACCEPT THE TERMS OF YOUR SERVICE: Before assuming duty as a contract staff in any bank, there is an offer letter in place, take out ample time to read and understand the terms of your engagement and truly accept it. Doing this will place you where you belong and save you the stress of a “failed expectation and disappointment”. Do not try to understand the terms of your service from what other people said, find out yourself and act accordingly.
- DEFINE HOW LONG YOU WILL STAY ON THE JOB FROM THE BEGINNING: This is one fact that can be easily go unnoticed as a result of the excitements that comes with “I got a new job”. Even though the terms of service did not specify any fixed tenor of contract expiration, you should set it for yourself according to your goals and objectives. This is because your disposition in your first and second year changes when you enter year three, four ……… and so on. Experience has shown that those who complain about being contract staff are the ones who have spent more than five years on the job. Stagnancy stinks, and when that sets in it means time to walk away.
- SET GOALS AND TARGETS FOR YOURSELF: I don’t know of anybody who wish to be a contract staff forever, the human nature is created with the desire to move from one level to another. Most contract staff aspire to someday be professional staff. If you are using OND the right goal is to upgrade to a higher degree, thankfully all Nigerian banks encourage continuous learning and education. If your target is not furthering education make sure there is a business plan in motion. Your set goals should be able to come through within the time limit you set for yourself.
- STOP COMPLAINING: Yes there is always the temptation of complaining about injustice or maltreatment in the system, the truth is that everyone has their place in life. Joining the bandwagon in complaining about everything will do more harm than good. Accept your place and aspire higher.
- SAVE FOR THE FUTURE: The biggest challenge as a contract staff is saving. This is an environment with a lot of influences and attitudes which can easily derail people from saving. In banking anything can happen, and the only way to prepare for this is to save for the future.
- OBEY ALL SUPERVISORS: Maybe your supervisor is your age mate or even younger, and you feel there is no need to submit to him or her. Insubordination can terminate your appointment quicker than any other thing. The best attitude is to accept your supervisor as your boss. Always know that your boss is always right.
- DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN PILFERING: Once in a while the temptation comes, one out of 100 notes; who will notice you may ask. But when you are caught you will be fired and the impact on your reputation is massive. Be contented with what you earn.
These are just a few of the winning formula for surviving as a contract staff in any Nigerian bank, having this orientation will save you from a lot of headache. I also want to note that being a contract staff does not mean you cannot be part of the banks’ core in the future. There are some banks that have started converting those with degree, although the conversion rate is low for now. With time it should improve as the industry become more viable and strong.
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