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#IamEssential: Chiamaka got Laid Off due to #COVID19 & This is How she’s Navigating the Situation



Millions of people around the world have lost their jobs amid the current COVID-19 crisis, businesses across the country are shutting their doors, cutting back on operations at an unprecedented rate.

Are you one of those who have been affected by this? Has your employment or income been affected by the pandemic? Have you struggled with keeping up with bills or making ends meet?

You’re not alone.

The team at Casava kicked off a project because they’ll like to hear you share your COVID-19 unemployment experience. Chiamaka a Telesales rep in Lagos was laid off in April, now she’s sharing her experience after losing her job and how she’s navigating the situation.

Read excerpts from the interview:

About herself

I used to work at a Lending Financial Institution in Lagos. I worked in Telesales, where leads that are generated from online adverts are assigned to me. When I get these leads, my job was to follow up with these potential clients via emails, calls, or Whatsapp to get them to process their loan applications. At this place, I equally served as a customer service rep.

On how she managed her finances before the pandemic

I spent mostly on transportation, feeding, self-care, my daughter’s education, our health, and household bills like gas, electricity, and internet. It’s harder to describe this in percentages because my salary was tied to performance. Like this; every month I get a 60% basic, this was my standard pay and the remaining 40% was strictly calculated based on my performance. How many loans I was able to sell determined my performance for the month.

Her unemployment story

My company shut down a week before the President declared the lockdown. Before that, we were already asked to indicate if we could and are willing to work from home. It is a company of about 35 staff but my director was not taking chances. The company equally decided to stop giving out loans till we know what exactly is going on which was the right step in ensuring we make fewer losses. This meant that those of us in sales had little or nothing to do. Top management decided to redeploy us to the recovery/collection department for the time being for us to earn our pay. I was grateful for this. Sadly no one mentioned training us.

We closed that same day and went home. There were conditions for our redeployment which included a redeployment target that was outrageous especially during a pandemic and lockdown where the methods of recovering loans were limited. They were also going to prorate our salary, just us the redeployed staff. One of my colleagues did not accept these terms and was sacked. I accepted and two weeks later management sent a mail that I was not recovering as much as I should and that they are forced to terminate my contract. People were losing their jobs or not getting paid so I half expected this.

The biggest takeaway from losing her job

Working in a structured company is very important. That way you are guaranteed of your benefits and treated better even when your contract is being terminated. I also learnt not to accept terms I do not find suitable for a position and this includes what I consider a poor salary. This is the first time I am losing my job, so job insecurity is something that can hit anyone at any time.

What she’s looking forward to

I look forward to more stability in my career. The pandemic has messed up the economy and with peoples’ plans and jobs.

Read the full interview here.

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