People all over the world are coming to terms with a new reality – the new normal – following the pandemic sweeping the planet. Because of the uncertainty, jobs everywhere are threatened and this is a source of anxiety for many, many people. If you are one of the lucky ones who has managed to keep your role, how are you feeling? You may feel happy, but also quite unsure about which way things are heading, and even if you’ll manage to continue in your role. We spoke to Jaclyn, an Anxiety Coach to tell us how we can cope with job insecurity during the pandemic.
1. “My job performance hasn’t been that good and my manager doesn’t really like me. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I got laid off. I’m so scared of losing my job… I have to repay my debt and pay rent by end of each month. What if it happens to me?”
Jaclyn: First off, it is so important to acknowledge your fear. This is a valid concern and something many people are experiencing for the first time. But it can be an uncomfortable emotion & you may have an urge to avoid it altogether. Make space to honor & validate these feelings – talk it out with a friend, journal to reflect, etc.
I would also like to challenge you on the belief that your manager “doesn’t really like me” – do you have proof of this or is this simply a negative thought cycle? Has your boss ever said the words, “I don’t really like you” or is this a story you’re telling yourself because you are aware that you aren’t putting forth your best effort at work right now?
2. “I’m grateful I still have a full-time job, but I also feel stressed because of the unemployment rate is at the peak…the vibe induced by the virus is pretty negative. What should I do?”
Jaclyn: I love hearing that you have gratitude for your job AND I want to validate that despite this, it is still a stressful time of unknowns. Remember, you are only in control of you – meaning, other people and their negative energy are beyond your control. Think about the ways you can increase the vibe and energy in your own life – movement, play, laughter, etc.
3. “The second lockdown is now approaching… I feel extremely insecure about my job, because my boss thinks I’m pretty dumb. What should I do if I think I’m going to lose my job because of the Coronavirus?”
Jaclyn: My first question would be: do you have proof that your boss thinks are you are “pretty dumb” or is this a negative thought pattern? Because you have every right to feel insecure about your job right now given the state of things, so it sounds like your negative self-talk may be taking advantage of your current fears and telling you untrue/unhelpful stories to keep you stuck.
I would encourage you to challenge these thoughts, so you can avoid engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy. It might sound something like, “I feel insecure about my job because of the virus and I’m going to focus on what I can control.”
In this particular situation, as is true of most anxiety provoking situations, I would highly encourage you to take action. Your fear is keeping you from speaking up & vocalising your concerns. In order to take action, you do the opposite. You go to your boss & express your worries. This way you will either receive reassurance that your job is secure or you’ll have a more solid answer on whether or not you need to start seeking alternative work.
4. “I hate my job! It’s mainly because I have an annoying manager who fools around with me all the time. I feel helpless since I know I can’t find a new job that easily during the pandemic…”
Jaclyn: Finding a new job can be extremely challenging, even when we aren’t in a pandemic. This is a completely valid concern.
However, I am hearing you set yourself up to fail by saying you “know” you couldn’t find a new job right now. This mindset is going to keep you stuck in the negative thought pattern that you simply must endure life at your current job because you have no other possible solution. Instead, start exploring and see what else is out there. It doesn’t hurt to look & even submit an application to a few places.
Action is the opposite of anxiety. Take that first step in just looking at potential options & you will immediately notice a sense of relief because you’re finally interrupting the anxious thought spiral.
If you’re feeling anxious about your life, feel free to reach Jaclyn via Instagram.