Can’t Do The Job You’re Hired For? Here Are 3 Tips To Help You Escape A Sack Letter


Now you’ve gotten the offer, retaining it is a different ball-game entirely. I have seen people who didn’t get their appointments confirmed after the six months probation period. I have also met those who got relieved of their jobs within a few weeks or days of receiving their appointment letters. The reason is obvious – They could not do the job!

Most recruitment processes involve submitting of applications, screening of applicants, writing of aptitude tests and oral interviews. Hence, it’s almost impossible for an employer to select the ideal candidate for the advertised position. Landing a job is all about presentation. If you have the skills, qualifications and experience to do a job but unable to present your CV as such, you don’t get shortlisted. If you can do the job but fail to convince the employer of your abilities at the interview, a less qualified candidate with better persuasive skills will take the job instead of you.

So, it’s very possible for you to land an offer for a position you know nothing about. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, these few tips could be your saving grace:

1. Do your research.

Every job comes with a set of responsibilities. So, yours shouldn’t be any different. The first thing you should do is to find-out the duties you’re expected to perform on that position. For example, if you are employed as an Accountant, you are expected to record the company’s financial transactions, maintain the day books (also known as prime books or books of original entry), maintain the ledgers, prepare trading, profit and loss account and balance sheet, amongst others.

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From the job description, note the ones you can do effectively, the ones you can fairly discharge and the ones you know nothing about. Then, start with the ones you know nothing about. Go to the internet and search for resources that’ll help you get them done. Don’t use just any resource you see, but the ones you can master in a few hours. In case you do not know, some resources are more reader friendly than others. They also have different objectives. With some, you can learn a skill in 4 weeks. With a different resource, you can learn the same skill in one day. Yes, you heard me right. What took Mr. A one full month to learn, you can learn it in one day, it all depends on the resources at your disposal.

Let me use myself as an example: Most people close to me know me to be an Excel guru. Some of them have been learning for months now and are still not better than me. What they do not know is that it took me less than 24 hours to master Excel. How did it happen? I was given a task that involves a lot of Excel to execute. I called a friend to help, but he was too busy at that time. So I had no choice than to do it myself. I went to the internet to search for resources. Luckily for me, I found some very reader friendly Excel video tutorials on Youtube. Each of the videos cover a topic, so I downloaded all the videos and started learning. The videos come with links to workbooks that you can use in practicing, so I leveraged on that too. That very day, in addition to solving my initial Excel problem, I used the knowledge I learnt to create several other Excel templates. I believe anyone can do same.

When you’re done with the ones you had no idea about, it’s time to move on to the areas where you have a fair knowledge. Do the same there.

2. Get help.

Sincerely speaking, it’s a very difficult thing to do. You don’t want your colleagues, especially your subordinates to know that you’re not competent. But here you don’t have a better option. Or would you prefer not to ask for help and mess up the task – putting your job on the line? If you ask me, there’s no shame in it. After all, nobody knows it all.

You don’t have to limit yourself to your work colleagues. You can put a call across to a course mate who you know can do the job, and ask for help. If it’s not urgent, you can go to forums like Nairaland and ask for help. People are always willing to help, provided you’re genuine and don’t sound arrogant.


3. Speak your mind

Before assigning a task to you, your superior may ask if you can do it. If he does, lucky for you. Just be sincere to yourself and to him by telling him that you don’t know how to do it, but will seek help in getting it done. Even if he doesn’t, there’s still a way you can make him understand that the task is outside your core competencies. By so doing, you’re already on the safe side.

If you end-up doing a not-so-good job, chances are, you won’t receive the full weight of the hammer.

I hope it helps.

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About Professional CV Writer

Patrick Okunima is a professional CV writer with over a decade's experience. He's the Founder of CV Wizards (The first Nigerian company to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC as a CV, resume and cover letter writing firm). Patrick, through his CV writing services has helped more than 3,000 job seekers secure interviews with high-paying companies, including Banks, Consulting Firms, Multinationals, Telecommunications, and Oil and Gas Companies. Need professional help with your CV? Kindly reach Patrick on 08104502652 or via email at