Within the uncertainty of COVID-19 and detachment felt by many remote working employees, fighting through the fear of being fired is a common anxiety making work much more difficult for employees. Operating under this fear can be detrimental to daily job performance and mental health. It does not discriminate against rank, location, or industry. Similar to stress (and often inducing stress), fear drives us to a poor work-life balance and career burnout.
The first step towards seeing change is acknowledging your thoughts and accepting that they are not your reality. Initially revealed by Susie Moore, we break down five specific reasons you can and should push back against the fear of losing your job.
#1 The Fear Creates a Standstill in Creativity
“Our best ideas and moments of inspiration come to us when we are in an optimistic mindset.”
Your work environment and daily mindset should place you in a position to thrive, not one aimed to survive. An increasing fear of being fired puts you on edge and gives way to a fear of failure. When you walk through your workdays afraid of messing up or asking a dumb question, creativity is halted.
“When people feel confident in themselves and safe in their surroundings, they’re primed to lean into creative problem solving and innovation. No one should feel like they’re going to be shut down or interrupted for offering their take on things.” – Brandon Rodman, CEO of Weave.
So, what can you do? Beware the signs of a toxic work culture. Vanquish the thought of your next challenge or assignment being another opportunity to fail but rather an opportunity to experiment and grow. You never know where any potential ‘mistakes’ may lead you.
#2 The Fear Keeps Us From Doing Our Best Work
“The Ancient Greeks defined happiness as the joy of striving towards our potential. When we are busy with fearful feelings, there is limited joy and limited striving. Fear not only stops the flow of creative ideas; it rears its ugly head in all aspects of their actualization.”
Set the tone for a productive workday by controlling your environment. Set boundaries to limit your time spent on social apps or unproductive conversations. When working remotely, make an effort to remove the clutter from your workspace, follow a consistent workflow, and promote self-care through a healthier form of distraction. Key examples include morning work-outs or yoga, walks in the neighborhood, or grabbing coffee with a friend.
What evidence do you have to fear getting fired? You have likely cultivated the experience that leads to valued insight. Remember that you are a part of the team for a reason. Your expertise and skill-set got you here, so speak confidently and enthusiastically. You can go as far as your belief in your ability to learn and grow will take you, but if you feel you are not in an environment where you feel psychologically safe, it may be time to move on.
Still unsure of the evidence against your departure? Here are five signs your employer may be preparing to let you go via wikiHow:
- Your workload subsides.
- There’s new management that wants to take the company in a new direction.
- Your manager is suddenly avoiding you.
- You’re no longer asked to attend important meetings.
- Your boss is hyper-critical of your work.
#3 The Fear is Exaggerated & #4 The Fear Deludes You From Better Things Ahead
“The event of losing a job is often much more bearable than the months, even years of fear that precede it. There is an excellent chance that something much better and more suitable is waiting for you. It will become clear with time.”
In the unlikely scenario that you do get fired, don’t lose perspective of what lies ahead. Frequently, getting fired is the only way many professionals get out of toxic work environments and escape their unhealthy career mindset. In a recent piece for The Muse, Marketing & BD Coordinator Virginia Watson revealed how getting ‘let go’ from her previous role was the best thing that ever happened to her. It pushed her to be honest about the hard facts she ignored and provided perspective to the bigger picture.
We do not have the ability to see why things happen when they do, but any failures we experience are just a stepping stone to something greater. Turn your fear into motivation and take ownership of your career by expanding your current skill-set and taking a proactive approach to a future job search. Open yourself to new networking opportunities, connect with new people on LinkedIn, and make a choice to no longer remain stagnant in your career.
There is no reason to feel embarrassed to part ways with a company, as proven through these 21 most famous post-firing success stories. Getting fired has often proven to be the extra motivation these individuals needed and the only practical method for their timely departure.
*BONUS* Courtesy of the career experts at EndThrive, here are 12 specific reasons that losing your job is not a mark of shame but rather a sign that great things lie ahead!
#5 The Fear Gives Way To ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ Thinking
The thought of losing your job can be scary, but choosing to operate under that fear will create a burden too large to bear. From a career standpoint, this pessimistic outlook consists of taking ordinary situations and imagining the worse. Don’t allow fear to paralyze your career. Unless you have heard management reveal their concerns or impending layoffs, your concern is unjustified. If you ever do happen to get fired throughout your career, what is actually different? Suzie Moore states, “You remain the same person, same IQ, same personality, same friends, same health. A job can be replaced.”
Get your career on track by gathering inspiration from Success Consciousness’s 30 Positive Daily Affirmations For Success, Happiness, and Improvement.