Fear of losing a job: coping strategies

The work environment is one of the areas of life that is most easily transformed into a source of stress and anxiety.. The fact is that the great majority of working people experience, to a greater or lesser extent, a friction between their abilities and their knowledge, on the one hand, and the daily or weekly objectives to be achieved, on the other.

But in addition to this we must add another element that, although not constantly expressed in the daily work of professionals, is almost always implicit: the fact that at some point you can lose your job , or at least the role it plays in the organization. And it is that we do not work in an abstract world where everything is static, but in a very changing environment because the economy is not always stable and the demands change.

Therefore, in this article we will look at a number of coping strategies when faced with fear of losing a job, With instructions on what to do to combat it.

    Coping strategies for fear of losing your job

    What do we mean by fear of losing our job? It is an emotional state associated with anxiety and intrusive thoughts in which, in most cases, we anticipate and imagine situations which, in our opinion, could arise in the medium or short term and which would lead to being excluded from a professional position that we want to preserve.

    These types of forward-looking thoughts (that is, projected into the future in the form of a prediction of what will happen) are not experienced as mere verbalizable information, but have a great emotional charge that causes us discomfort. This way, thinking about these things, a vicious cycle of anxiety is generated … unless we do something to prevent it.

    Below are various coping strategies for fear of losing your job, but remember that trying to apply them on your own on a daily basis is much less effective than seeing a psychologist., And in some cases, the last option will be the only one that will work.

    1. Don’t try to eliminate your fear completely.

    remember this your goal is to prevent fear from taking control of you and significantly damaging your sanity, not rooting it out; the latter is impossible, and in addition, a certain amount of anxiety or fear can be adaptive and helpful. After all, “unpleasant” emotions are one of the motivators that keep us from taking a passive role in which we cannot prepare to act on time when faced with danger signs.

    One of the keys to avoiding the fear of losing your job, then, is to accept that this discomfort is present in you to some extent, that you cannot block it completely or make it go away at will. That way, you won’t obsess over his existence or inadvertently feed him.

    2. Examine the sources of fear

    One of the first things to do is distinguish between unfounded fears and those real vulnerabilities that could really cause you to lose your job. To do this, it is advisable to take with you a small notebook in which you will write down, as they cross your mind, the thoughts associated with this fear. At the end of the day (although preferably not a few hours before bedtime) sort them by how reasonable they seem and fit for purpose, and when a week has passed, review everything. which is noted for detecting trends. In this way, you will detect thoughts that you have already recognized as clearly biased towards pessimism.

    3. Use fear to identify priorities

    What aspects of your job do you most associate with fear of losing your job? This emotion can serve as a compass for you to know which need is the first thing you must answer. at all times, intervening in areas where you feel most unprotected or unprotected. Once you start channeling this fear to translate it into sequences of specific actions and short-term goals, you will be very limited and stop paying attention, as your mind will be busy in the chain. of tasks you already have. initiated.

    4. Include breaks and exercise sessions in your daily routine.

    It is important to know how to disconnect from workAnd that’s why it’s best to make our schedule “force” us to do this. In other words, print out a detailed schedule of everything you need to do for the day, including no-skip breaks, as well as two or three sessions of moderate exercise of at least 40 minutes. Specifically, aerobic exercise has great de-stressing potential.

      5. Use pictures to think of alternate lives

      Another key to tackling the fear of losing your job is suppose even if this scenario happened it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The loss of a professional position is not a sudden interruption, but opens the door to other possibilities; scientific research shows that human beings have an extraordinary capacity for resilience, and we are able to adapt and be happy in situations that years ago, seen “from the outside”, we would have considered the end of. a life.

      Therefore, at specific, pre-set times in your schedule, lasting around four or five minutes, head to a quiet place, close your eyes, and imagine simple but satisfying lifestyles that you could aspire if the responsibilities of your current job did not allow it. tie you up. Not as what’s going to happen, but as a mental experience in which we see that even assuming that financially we will experience a crisis (which should not happen or that we would be unemployed tomorrow), we could surely be just as happy. that way.

      Are you looking for psychological help?

      If you are considering turning to professional psychologists to overcome any form of discomfort that is affecting you, contact me. I am a psychologist with many years of experience in offering my services to individuals and businesses, and I specialize in the cognitive-behavioral model, one of the most effective and versatile forms of psychological intervention. You can count on my professional support both in person during my consultation in Madrid and online. On this page are my contact details.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association -APA- (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
      • Arce, EA (2000). The man of the 21st century: anxiety or fullness? Buenos Aires: Editorial Argenta Sarlep.
      • Kasper, S .; Boer, JA and Sitsen, JMA (2003). Handbook of Depression and Anxiety. New York: M. Dekker.
      • Otte, C. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of the evidence. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 13 (4): 413-421.
      • Rynn, MA; Brawman-Mintzer, O. (2004). Generalized anxiety disorder: acute and chronic treatment. CNS spectra. 9 (10): pages 716-723.
      • Stephan WG, Stephan CW (1985). Anxiety between groups. Journal of Social Affairs.

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