I think it was Babatunde Adegbemiro, one of my co ambassadors at the Nigeria International Model United Nations’ Conference who said, ‘In politics there are no permanent friends! There are only permanent interests!’ Since we are talking about surviving corporate politics I think it is also important for you to note carefully that there are no permanent friends! There are only permanent interests! How does this affect you in the corporate world or how does it affect your career? You will always think that someone in the HR department of your company is your friend until you find out that it is that person that has not done a proper documentation for you and now there is an issue and your file is nowhere to be found or no proper documentation was done for you in the HR department. If you work in any organization and there is no proper documentation for you even though you claim to have a written contract, you are as good as being close to the exit door and one sneeze from the top can blow you out of the company!
You must never joke with having proper records with any company that you work for and one of the things I like to do is to make sure that I have a copy of anything I am submitting to the company. Before I submit the document to the company I will always make my own copy and keep for myself so if the company says something that does not seem clear to me I can quickly refer to my copies of the documents!
Don’t be surprised to hear that there are people who have been fired just because they could not provide a document that they had initially sent in to the company. You may have heard of those who were fired because the company says their filed cannot be found! At that point you begin to wonder what happened to their files! This is even worse in the civil service! Some companies can be very funny. They may have asked you for a document and some months later or even years later they will ask you for the same document. If they dig into their files the documents they are asking you to go and bring will be there but they just want you to go and bring another copy of that document. If unfortunately you are dealing with very difficult people, they will know you have submitted that document and will insist you bring another one or forget about your job in that organization.
Let me say that the documentation in this case could come from two ends. The first is usually the HR department but there are so many young companies that do not have proper HR structures. Documentation issues can come up more often in those companies that do not have a proper HR structure and you are the one who must be careful to ensure that your documents are not just collected and thrown somewhere! And you should never forget to create copies of any document you are submitting to the company because you just can tell when you will be asked to submit the same document again.
Another thing you need to be very careful about when it comes to documentation is that you must ensure your documents do not contradict the information you have given to the company. You may have told someone you are 22 years old so that you can get a job! By the time you start sending in your documents, it is possible you have forgotten what you told the company and when they calculate the dates on your documents for schooling, the figures might just be confusing and someone will start suspecting that something is wrong somewhere! If you present a document to an organization today, it must never contradict any document you will present to them 20 years later.
In essence, documentation is key to your survival in the corporate world in that you must be consistent with all the documents you present and the facts on them and your organization must properly document your credentials as a staff.
Surviving the corporate politics requires some skills and one of them is to never make mistakes with documentation!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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