Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, was fired for not qualifying Nigeria for the World Cup in 2011. Nkiru Sylvanus was forced to return to Nollywood after she was relieved of her job as Special Assistant by Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.
In June 2012 alone, Sterling Bank sacked 400 staff; while Mainstreet Bank also discharged over 650 of its workforce. Less than a week, First Bank joined in the ‘sack race’ by laying off over 600
of its junior staff.
This brings the total number of bank employees across the country to 5,600 who were sacked for no fault of theirs within the period under review. The sad part in most cases is that most of the affected staff were those who had put in between 25 and 30 years of service.
To be frank, though, the issue of hire-and-fire is not new in the business world. It is what everybody being appointed or contracted for an employment should consider while picking up the agreement letter.
According to a report by the International Labour Organisation, more than 197 million people globally are out of work. This connotes that about six per cent of the world’s workforce were without job in 2012 alone.
In truth, having no job or a means of livelihood can be quite humiliating. Imagine what happens when, as early as 5.00am, you see people hitting the road in search of their daily bread, while you are still struggling to get something doing or probably just recovering from the shock of losing your only source of income.
But guess what?
The fact that you no longer have a job shouldn’t reduce you to an angry, bitter or hopeless person.
Let me mimick Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”
The loss of a job can cause stress on a multitude of levels, depending on the individual. For many people, especially men, their job is their identity. Therefore the loss of such is the loss of their identity.
The loss of a job can also mean the loss of structure in a person’s life and many people find a life without clear-cut goals and objectives a very stressful one. The loss of a job can signal the loss of one’s ability to financially support oneself and other family members. Again, this type of loss can cause great distress. Job loss carries with it a loss of self-respect for many people and this compounds their stress. In fact, many people view the loss of a job in much the same way that they view the death of a loved one.
With the loss of job comes depression and hopelessness for many people which only exacerbate the problem, making the finding of another job all the more difficult.
Following job loss, some people are known to contemplate suicide; others allow their wives to take full responsibility as breadwinners, while they concentrate on house-keeping; still, a handful of others just sit around the house all day, watching television programmes and movies with the vague hope of somebody hooking them up for a new appointment.
For those who stay in “Face-Me-I-Slap-You” apartments, the challenge assumes an even more embarrassing dimension. There have been cases where fellow tenants knock on the door of an out-of-job man to drop keys for their spouses to pick up later, probably when they return from work or business. What other humiliation can be worse than this!
I once lived with a 56-year-old neighbour – Mr John – who many saw as being too nice to a fault. Being a senior employee of a government-owned company, Mr John was always trying to please everybody. If he was not buying drinks for friends today, it would be agreeing to personally fund repairs of public taps or electric poles in the area.
So ‘nice’ was he that some so-called less privileged people even besiege him for financial help.
Trouble however came calling one day when John, along with some other members of staff, was summarily dismissed from his place of work over allegations of malpractice. He could not believe it. Neither could many of us who thought being a senior staffer connotes immunity.
The recovery rate of shock from losing one’s job cannot be said to be the same from individual to individual. While some quickly pick themselves up within a week, others spend close to a month or two – or even a year – depending on the individual’s resilience level.
In the case of John, being a man past his prime, the shock was quite devastating. To while away his time, he usually frequents news stand to read papers in the morning, played the game of draughts with retired or fellow jobless men throughout the afternoon and stayed glued to the television to watch news and other programme of interests at night. All efforts by his wife and brothers to ensure he got another means of livelihood were rebuffed. Obviously, our dear John had given up hopes of getting a new job and starting all over again at 56!
Poor Johnny! He soon lost relevance and became a source of reference whenever parents wanted to warn their children, or women, their men on the danger of being jobless. Sad, pathetic, distressing, heart-rending… you name it!
The question is, what can you do to avoid ending up like Mr. John?
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