Layoff anxiety is officially a thing — and it can be crippling. Here are some ways to take control of your fears and get your career back on track.
Do you suffer from layoff anxiety or the fear of getting fired? With a recession on the horizon and waves of redundancies at big companies making the news, it’s understandable if you do. But while a certain amount of career anxiety keeps us on our toes, blowing those fears out of proportion can do unnecessary damage to your productivity, creativity and self-esteem. Here are some ways to stop those negative feelings in their tracks, figure out if your fears are real and find your way back to a happy and fulfilling career.
spot the danger signs
It could be you're not the only one suffering from layoff anxiety, so ask around. Are your colleagues also anxious about getting fired? Are there rumors of management changes or financial troubles? Have you been left out of meetings you’d usually attend or been handed fewer projects? If the answer is “yes” to more than one of the above, you may have cause for concern. But if it’s “no,” take a deep breath, forget about the things you can’t control and re-focus on the ones you can.
confront your fears
Now’s probably a good time to ask your manager for a one-on-one meeting to get a performance appraisal and discuss your prospects at the company. Ask what you need to do to advance your career, then agree on some milestones to measure progress toward those goals. The more proactive you are, the less powerless you will feel.
adopt a continuous learning mindset
Layoff anxiety is closely connected to career anxiety — the feeling that your professional development has stalled or that you’re failing to keep up with technological advances in your field. Committing (or re-committing) to continuous learning and development can do wonders for your confidence and generate a greater sense of job security. Ask your manager about in-house and external training opportunities and volunteer for stretch assignments that could open the door to enhanced responsibilities or promotion.
assess your work/life balance
You may find you can channel your layoff anxiety to positive effect during working hours. Perhaps a little stress helps you think more creatively or drives you to stay focused on the task at hand. But if work anxiety starts to dominate your personal life, that’s a flashing red warning sign for your mental health. Talk to your manager about reducing your workload or at least establishing clearer boundaries between your work and personal life.
Do you think that losing your job would be a career-defining catastrophe? If so, no wonder you’re anxious! But a quick scroll through your LinkedIn feed will almost certainly reveal contacts who have gone on to do amazing things after losing their jobs. Their ability to bounce back should give you confidence that you could do the same, taking the sting out of your anxiety and helping you refocus on your current responsibilities.
You can also prepare for the worst in more tangible ways, such as polishing your resume, expanding your professional network and sharpening your interview skills. Above all, remember that being let go is not the end of the world. It can be an opportunity to start fresh in a new role or pursue a different career path.
Whether you’re looking for a backup plan or a new challenge, Randstad USA has hundreds of opportunities for people like you. Scroll down our jobs board for the latest openings and sign up for personalized job alerts.