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Is There Job Security Anywhere?



I recently got a call from my cousin who wanted to give me some good news. He had just gotten his employment letter from a bank in Lagos and was ecstatic. This was his second job, and to him, there was no better form of job security than working in a bank!

Fast forward to some weeks later, I was browsing the internet and stumbled upon news of one of the largest layoffs in the country in recent times. Access Bank that recently acquired Intercontinental Bank laid off 1,500 employees of Intercontinental Bank. I tried to imagine what could be going on in the minds of these 1,500 people and the effect the termination of their employment would have on 1,500 families or more and shuddered. And even weeks after that, still more news of people being laid off from the same bank via text messages and emails. I began to fear for my cousin.

This brings me to the question: What really is job security? Does job security actually exist? I have seen many people get what they call their ‘dream job’ only to lose it at such unexpected times, leaving them in total shock. Just when they were beginning to feel comfortable and bask in the comfort of what many would call a ‘steady and sure’ salary, they had the carpet dragged from under their feet. The annoying thing is that most of people who find themselves in such situations worked in these so-called ‘big’ companies – the banks, telecommunication companies to mention a few.  They were the ones who celebrated their employment the loudest, some even mounting the podium in their churches or mosques or parties to give their testimonies.

The biggest layoffs I have heard of have come from such companies that hundreds of thousands of unemployed and even employed people are still scrambling to enter. The Wema Bank sack of 500 workers in 2009, Airtel sack of 3000 workers in 2011, Oceanic bank sack of 1000 workers in 2009, First Bank sack of almost 500 workers in 2009 quickly come to mind when I think of recent layoffs. While these figures are unconfirmed, it is actually not news that there were layoffs and the figures were huge!

But those come under the list of unconfirmed news. Yesterday, news about Zenith bank sacking 300  IT Staff went viral across the internet. It also said that they sacked many of their marketers, including branch heads and some Assitant General Managers and General Managers. A friend of mine who is doing his Youth Service in this same bank actually confirmed the report saying that about three people in his branch have been affected.

So what do people really prefer then? A ‘steady and sure’ salary with the risk of losing it without a decent notice, or a ‘steady and sure’ employment, with no assurance of getting your salary paid regularly. It seems the numbers tilt more in favour of the steady and sure salary. However, people working in smaller companies seem to have more assurance of keeping their jobs – or maybe I’m wrong.

When I discussed this with another friend of mine, Tayo, she said that people who put in their very best on the job often make themselves indispensable and do not get laid off easily. She argued that a lot of people just put in mediocre effort in their jobs so it is easy to lay them off when the need arises. I disagreed with her citing myself as an example. I put in my very best in my last job only to get discharged when the company realized they couldn’t continue its unprofitable operations. Many of us saw it coming – months of unpaid salaries and expenses, resignations streaming in by the hour, and at the end, those of us that were left got letters saying our services were no longer needed and our salaries would be paid whenever…………long story sha.

So, again I ask, what is job security then? Can you really hold your job in your right hand and say it’s really yours? When can you have an assurance that you won’t lose your job unexpectedly? Why do people still clamour for jobs in the most ‘insecure’ companies? Is there job security anywhere?

Let’s discuss!

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. ify

    April 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Well, am happy my wicked branch head that introduces young girls to married men all in the name of getting deposits was sacked. She used to nominate marketers to be sacked and now she was sacked yesterday. Its so sad that she was sacked and thebranch bought cake and drinks to celebrate. It doesn’t pay to be mean to ur subordinates. For once in 3 years, am actually looking forward to going to work……Hehehehehehehehe…

    • adanma oma

      April 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

      how silly can you be to write this in public…..I guess you are next in line, just start looking for plan B rather than criticize your boss publicly, what happened to work ethics …..

    • Bewi

      April 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      And what happened to work ethics when they were using their staff for prostitution.I am sure Ify is smart enough not to use her real name.

    • ify

      April 27, 2012 at 6:42 am

      And if I may ask, where did she drop her own professionalism when she was sending young girls out to all sorts of men all in the name of deposits? Or is that not wrong in ur eyes? If not, then you are the silly one my dear. You are probably one of them, that’s why you are so pained. Either that or you are one of those wicked ladies that maltreat people in the in the office forgetting things might change tomorrow. Lol! Karma is a bitch baby! Treat people well and they will always support you and pray for you. Meanwhile, I did not mention names so I don’t know what the fuss is about.

  2. [email protected]

    April 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

    There is no such thing as “job security”. Think of doing something for urself and forget about all these rat race, survival moves.

  3. Sir Farouk

    April 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

    It seems the only Job security in the country is being self employed but that carries with it a lot of risks. The reason that there does not seem to be job security anywhere is that there are so many unemployed people out there that companies can sack people with impunity and always find other people to replace them. Perhaps we need to look at creating labor laws that give protection or some level of security to employees.

    • ij

      April 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

      no job security anywhere but at least some countries have and take their employment right acts very seriously

  4. Joy Uju

    April 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Well said, no job security anywhere and its not about the kind of effort one put in that guarrantees one’s satay in a company. I worked with heart and soul dedicating 11yrs of my life to a coy but was laid of on 20th of April 2012 on basis of the company not making profit. God sees our heart.

  5. janie

    April 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Adeola Adeyemo is a very very confused, all-over-the-place & misinformed/uninformed writer. His/her articles are not engaging at all

    • pretty

      April 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Eewo,which one u fit write?

    • molarah

      April 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      omo, see confused, all-over-the-place and misinformed/uninformed beef oh! If you are giving criticism you have to spell out specifics, and not just spew out english.

    • SOBIX

      April 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      @ jane,there is absolute sense in what the writer wrote and l totally agree with DFD. Federal govt work is more secured but u need connection to get one.What is the outcome of the NNPC job interview we went for in Abuja,or the NAFDAC,INEC jobs we applied for? .BEG, MAY GOD HELP US ALL.

    • Z!

      April 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      FG job secure….really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wat happened to NITEL staff after sweating out in there for over 12yrs and they stiill hvnt been paid pension completely…….abeggi, no job security anywahere.

    • Swthrt

      April 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Janie,really? what would she/he have done better?

  6. LPS

    April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

    So rty @ Sir Farouk

  7. DFD

    April 26, 2012 at 10:41 am

    D only (almost) secured job is Federal Govt. jobs. D advice here is that we should not be too comfortable wit private jobs cos u ll b given d red card at an unplanned time. One should at least in anyway develop him/herself skillfully while workin (wikends ll do) and search 4 Govt. jobs or any1 hu can link u up. Na so i see am oh!

  8. StraitTwistedMe

    April 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

    No, no security anywhere. I was opportuned to meet with the MD of Skye bank, and he lectured me on this. The key is for every1 to have a skill you can rely on.

  9. ms pretty

    April 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    for realy ify???
    4 once am dancing disco wt u guys
    there’s no point being mean – d sky is wide enough, let her enjoy her lay-off – boss lady

  10. Nwaoma

    April 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    A good question indeed. No job security anywhere. I have always believe that and will continue to make plan for alternative income apart from working for someone.

  11. some where in abuja

    April 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    What i have is to say is that while working in those private companies is to try to develop your skills so you can use the skills to do something for your life,targeting the right crowd.I learnt a skill while working then in my company,presently i am using the acquired skills to chop.

  12. Bewi

    April 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    So proud that Bella Naija is publishing so many informative articles that push young people to actually think of the future. I don’t think there is job security anywhere.We all need skills we can fall back on so that in the case of termination we have something to support us while we look for something else.

    Also, one thing i have realized is that many young people in Nigeria do not save.Once they start earning money, they start traveling abroad to shop, buying expensive things and eating at the most expensive places.We have to learn to save for the rainy day.

  13. mobe

    April 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @janie: u are a no body seeker for attention,write ur own and lets see,yeye fowl.
    as per the job security thingy,there ain’t no job security anywhere no matter how important you are in that coy. just do ur best in any coy u find urself and try to get one or two skills to empower yourself.

  14. mo

    April 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Yes there is job security as long as its a government job and you are doing your own hustle on the side! Civil Service for life…. lol

  15. kemi

    April 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I think the real issue is not job security is having the right skill that employers want you. Working in a Nigerian bank, of course you are sure it is not going to be forever. So it is best to venture into other areas.

  16. Gideon adejoh

    July 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I’ll be glad if i can be given an opportunity to work as a cashier or marketer in any bank. I have Ordinary Diploma in Mathematics and Statistics. Pls help me as my good God will bless u in Jesus name (amen)

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