Tips for Survival in a Distressed Economy

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 11-13

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respects of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12

In this era of a distressed economy such as ours, the need for people, especially believers, to engage in meaningful means of livelihood and to be hardworking cannot be over emphasised. The Holy Scripture is very explicit on the need for everyone to work for a living – See 2 Thessalonians 3: 10-11. Our opening text is a message of Apostle Paul to the brethren in Philippi and Thessalonica in which, he encouraged them (brethren) to involve themselves in productive activities. Apostle Paul’s message to the churches in these two cities can be summarised as follows.

  • God commands us to work.
  • Laziness is not a good testimony for Christ.
  • Productive activities stop idleness and gossiping.
  • Don’t let unbelievers laugh at your poverty and ask you, “where is your God?”
  • Believers are not to depend on others for their daily survival.
  • We should remember that the Bible says “if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

The demography of church is often a reflection of the local population as the church is called out from the people. For the purpose of this essay, four categories of people we find within and outside the church will be discussed, as follows:

  • Those in the line of education
  • without jobs (applicants).
  • The salary earners.
  • Those in business line.

Irrespective of the category you may find yourself in, the following advice remains inevitable before any meaningful success in life can be attained.

  • We should always place God first in anything we want to do. We must seek God’s face. We cannot do anything unless he takes the lead or shows us the way.
  • We must recognise the importance of education in our life. Education is the bedrock of many life endeavours.
  • Hard work, dedication, a total commitment backed up with prayers is the key to success.
  • We must plan for the future such as building up the family in future, comfortable accommodation, raising children and other necessities of life.


  • The main ingredient necessary for the survival of those that are still in school, be it primary, secondary or tertiary institutions can be summarised as follows:

    • Recognise your academic talents as a person. You should be able to know if you are capable of pursuing an academic career or not.
    • Study always. Students should read their notebooks and other useful materials always. No one can pass examination without constant reading.
    • Use timetables and syllabuses all the time. Make sure you stick to your timetable and use the syllabus wisely to ensure success.
    • Attend lessons regularly be it in a normal classroom situation or outside a school setting.
    • Seek the advice of a guidance or career counsellor when you want to choose your subjects or future career.
    • Choose the right course to study. Do not imitate others.
    • Develop a positive attitude that you can do well. Those who are medical doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, engineers, etc, have one head. Tell yourself that you can do it as well or even better.
    • Always improve yourself academically. Do not be too satisfied or comfortable with your present qualification. Acquire more certificates, diplomas and degrees.
    • Remember that education is never too late. Forget about your age. Try best your best and tell yourself that you can still read and achieve something.
  • The following are useful hints on how you can overcome the problem of joblessness:

    • Your qualification matters. If you do not have good academic qualifications, it is always very difficult to get a good job. Try and acquire better qualifications.
    • The course you read matters. Certain courses are hot cakes in the market, e.g. medicine, pharmacy, engineering, architecture, accounting, etc., while others are not selling at all. The choice is yours.
    • Find something to manage. Do not just fold your hands and remain hungry. Find something to do to keep life going.
    • Relate well with people and let them know that you have a problem. Make sure you do not disturb them with your problem.
    • Render assistance to some people in their place of work and by so doing they will at least give you something in return to enable you to get on.
    • Write applications to companies which you feel may need your services; you can never tell – some may pay off.
    • Read newspaper always, e.g. The Guardian Newspaper on Tuesday for adverts on job vacancies.
    • Never give up. Failure will start from the day you stop to try.
  • The following are useful hints on how you can survive as a salary earner:

    • What is your academic background? Are you a School Certificate, Ordinary National Diploma, first degree, or MBA holder? You are more likely to survive if you have a better qualification.
    • Are you on gainful employment? Does your pay or salary give you satisfaction? If no; you had better begin to find a solution on the next line of action that will give you better pay or remuneration.
    • What happens if retrenchment comes? Any hope for another job? Is you labour mobile? Can you move from one place of work to another with ease? If no; you had better begin to find a solution on how to improve yourself academically while you are still working.
    • What happens if retirement comes? Can you survive the situation? Is your gratuity enough to take care of you? If no, you better begin to find ways by which you can conveniently take care of your old age while you are still young.
    • Always make your budget before your salary comes so that you know how to allocate scarce resources to your numerous wants.
    • Improve yourself academically on a continuous basis. Remember that academic activities are NEVER too late. Good academics background enhances good pay and mobility of labour.
  • The following are useful hints on how one can survive, especially for those that are having a business outfit or are still planning to set up one.

    • Recognise what you can do. What you can do in the area of a business relates to what you have acquired either in school or during training. You must have a wide idea or knowledge on how to do your work or job very well.
    • Carry out feasibility studies. You must carry out feasibility studies in any venture you hope to invest into. By so doing, it will give you an insight into the cost, expenses and whether the business will yield profits or not.
    • Do your current job very well. There is no job that is bad. The way you do it and what you get out of it is what counts. This should be your focus.
    • Have the ability to diversify to other fields. You should not die with your business. Rather, try and diversify to others fields which might be more lucrative than your present job.
    • Source for funds. Funds are an important factor in businesses. The more the funds accessible to you, the better for your business. You can gather money by personal savings, borrowing from friends or relatives, financial houses or co-operative societies. For some who may start from their personal savings, you have to put in extra effort to do other jobs to enable you to save. Better still, join reliable and trusted cooperative outfits that can easily give a loan to start your business.
    • Engage yourself in joint business proposals. You can join hands with a brother or a friend and execute a business and thereafter share the profit according to an agreed ratio.
    • Associate yourself with successful businessmen or women on the same field with you. You have a lot to gain from each other.
    • Always show gratitude or appreciation. When you show appreciation to someone who has given you a contract, you have at the same time prepared the ground to receive another contract next time.
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