How to Overcome The Fear of Layoff
You may not see a layoff coming but if you notice warning signs at your organization, don’t wait until you’re handed a goodbye letter to start thinking about your next career move.
While some people can thrive at work under extreme pressure, it hinders others’ job performance at a time they actually need to excel because chronic stress impacts our cognitive abilities and people who experience fears about layoffs will struggle to concentrate at work, complete their duties to the best of their ability and in a timely manner and they may find it difficult to come up with creative and innovative solutions.
Such fears can also make it tougher to manage your moods, which may strain relationships with your colleagues as people who struggle to motivate themselves are more likely to attack co-workers or struggle to work with others generally.
You have to learn how to cope when you’re constantly worried about getting laid off because if you plan for the worse while you’re in the good, you’ll navigate rough waters.
Here are some ways you can overcome the fear of a layoff
Acknowledge your fear
With everything you’re reading in the news and what you’re hearing from people in your life who are jobless, it’s only natural for fears about losing your job to crop up. Instead of burying these disturbing emotions, take time to acknowledge them.
You can write your feelings down in a diary, talk to a trusted friend, loved one, or co-worker, or open up to a therapist. It may be comforting to find out you are not the only one feeling this way.
Ask your boss what you can do immediately
Talk to your supervisor about how you can be a better asset to the organization during this time. This will help you focus on things you can control instead of those you can’t.
You could ask your supervisor these questions: What deliverables would you like to get from me by the end of the month? What are those things I can do to increase my output this week?
Taking action in this manner is empowering and it is an antidote to the swirl of fear.
Try practicing radical acceptance
Radical acceptance is a skill that requires recognizing life events or circumstances that are beyond your control only for what they’re, rather than fighting against them.
For instance, you cannot control the large financial hit your company has taken because of the pandemic, which has triggered your fears of losing your job. If you try to fight reality in this case you could have thoughts like: why is this happening at my workplace? Or they can’t do this to me.
While radical acceptance doesn’t necessarily solve the potential issue, it brings you back to the present moment, which is a helpful place to be if the worst-case scenario does happen. It also puts you in a place to be more solution-oriented instead of fear-oriented.
Accomplish one task you’ve been avoiding every day
Challenge yourself to try to do something daily that moves your business, team, or family forward as that sense of accomplishment can create positive momentum at work and at home.
Remember checking a lingering task off your to-do list daily can set you up for success and fulfillment.
Figure out things that will help you land on your feet if you actually lose your job and then do them
Be proactive now so you are positioned as well as possible for an uncertain future, That might mean updating your résumé and LinkedIn profile, taking an online course to expand your skillset, checking out online job postings that excite you, or reaching out to a professional mentor.
Difficult times make resilient people create and innovate. There are always opportunities, so if you think about that rather than the fear of losing your job, you’re more likely to see those opportunities once they present themselves and you’ll be ready to cash in on them.
Remember when you’re dealing with anxiety about your job, set aside time to slow down.
Assess your next move
It is unnerving to come to work every day knowing that a layoff is looming. Help relieve a number of that tension by taking stock of your professional situation. Ask yourself:
1) If you had to change jobs quickly, would you go after the same role you have now?
2) Where would you focus your job search and how would you brand yourself for the subsequent projects?
3) What have you learned in your current job that would be beneficial in your next one?
Have a layoff backup plan in place
You should be so prepared for a possible job loss that if it were to happen, you automatically know what your first steps would be.
Here is something you should consider:
Have default entrepreneurship to fall back to. It may be helping out with the family business or volunteering somewhere as you want to avoid a lull in your resume. This has several benefits for you, including bridging your time from one opportunity to the next and keeping your skills sharp.
List yourself on a job site
In order for you to overcome the fear of losing a job, list yourself on a job site as it will help you find a suitable job. But, make sure you do not get duped by fake job sites.
Create a job-search strategy
To get serious about your job search; these are some strategies you can use: Use sites like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and Monster to look for opportunities and to ascertain what employers in your area are looking for.
Research your desired employers to see who’s working where, how these employers fare in their competitive areas and the skills companies are trying to look for as they grow their teams.
Once you discover the direction you would like your job search to take, test the waters by applying to jobs online. You should have different types of relevant roles that you could immediately apply for. Also, leverage your memberships in professional associations to build a bigger network in order to get work more quickly.
Revive your resume
An effective resume draws a smooth line between your background and the roles you’re targeting in your job search. If a layoff is imminent at your company, you have to rewrite your resume to focus on the relevance of your previous jobs in relation to the jobs you’re pursuing now.
For example, if you’ve spent several years in administration, but prefer human resources, you need to point out that aspect of your skillset under your current job functions and showcase the human resources-related work you’ve done.
Update or create your LinkedIn profile
New users should get comfortable with LinkedIn.com, which is a social networking site targeted toward professionals, by joining a group, answering questions on LinkedIn Answers, and using the search capabilities of the site’s database.
Update your LinkedIn profile with details about your current job, making sure to include keywords for the industry you’re targeting in your search. Update your picture and try to create some new connections while you’re at it. This is a way of overcoming your fear.
Expand your network
Most employed people which include entrepreneurs don’t network nearly as much as they should and they forget that your network is your net worth. It is very important to improve your network if you are afraid of losing your job. You can improve your professional network on sites like LinkedIn and have some people that can vouch for your skills and/or provide valuable contacts. Try contacting people at jobs you’ll have turned down in the past.
Get to know a respected recruiter
Every job seeker needs a recruiter in their corner. If you do not have one already in your industry, make friends with people who fit that description. You can meet them through friends or online and initiate contact.
Recruiters are ready to provide you with feedback regarding your resume, let you know what your background is probably going to fetch in the job market, and tell you about organizations with open positions in your field. As long as you respect their time and remember that job seekers don’t pay their salary you will find a search partner who will be a valuable ally.
Determine your value
Most people who’ve been employed at one organization for several years do not have any clue what they’re worth in the current job market. You’ll need to get the correct information from job sites that have the salary range for different jobs when a hiring manager asks what you would like to earn.
Don’t be afraid to ask
If you do learn that your position will be eliminated, immediately discuss critical details, such as severance pay and health benefits coverage, with your manager. Determine whether the terms are negotiable. Keep your cool during this conversation, but demand complete answers. If your supervisor can’t give them, ask them who can. While getting laid off is a confusing time, it can be made even worse if you fail to ask questions and take the necessary steps.
Take care of yourself and treat yourself to something that creates you cheerful
The pressure to keep your job may have you working extremely hard day in day out. But if you continue going at this pace, you’re going to burn out.
Carve out time even for just 15 or 20 minutes each day for self-care. Do things that get you out of your head and keep you in the best physical, mental, and emotional shape you can be because it will make you feel more grounded. It’ll also lift your spirits and neutralize the negative emotions surrounding your situation.
Be financially prepared for a job loss and save for rainy days
If you eventually get laid off, it may take some time to find a paying position and when you have some income saved, you’re allowing yourself the luxury of not being too desperate. You’ll have options and you can take some time to think through your choices and not take the first available job that comes along.
Also, you have to start building an emergency fund before getting laid off. The main purpose of building this fund is to provide financial security in any emergency situation, for instance, a layoff. You can save money for rainy days either in liquid funds or fixed deposits.
Invest in yourself
Invest in yourself and improve your skills to overcome the fear of a layoff as one of the important factors considered by employers while hiring is a relevant skillset.
Stay away from quick money–making schemes
In the greed of having quick money, don’t fall for schemes that claim to give high returns in a very short time. Many people lose their money by falling for such schemes.
Avoid making high-value purchases
If you’re unsure about the safety of your job in the current organization where you’re working, you want to avoid making high-value purchases as it’ll be a burden just in case you lose your job.
Have a health insurance
It is very important to have a health insurance plan as medical expenses are increasing each day. If you just depend on the health insurance provided by your employer, you will be left uninsured in case you lose your job. So, make sure you have health insurance as a backup, in case you lose your job.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks
If you are investing money in the stock market, make sure you do not invest in stocks of small companies as they are extremely volatile. It is advisable to invest in stocks of large organizations as they are less risky.
Do not increase borrowings if you are not sure about the safety of your current job. Before borrowing, you must keep one thing in mind. You have to repay loans with interest.
Turn a layoff into a positive occasion
It’s hard to hear that you no longer have a job but knowing ahead of time the steps you’ll take when you’re faced with this loss makes all the difference.
So learn to neutralize your emotions with the celebration of various new opportunities. Build your financial emergency fund and engage actively with the strategies that will get you on the path to your new job quickly as getting laid off can be the stepping stone you didn’t know you needed to propel your career forward.