How to deal with layoff anxiety

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Even people who absolutely love their job have to deal with at least occasional work-related stress and anxiety. And while many companies like to talk about prioritizing employee mental health and well-being, their actions often say otherwise, including maintaining an environment in which the threat of layoffs is constant.

Although there is not much that you, as an employee, can do to change that culture., there are strategies to help you cope with the anxiety resulting from being laid off. This is what you should know.

How the threat of layoffs can damage our mental health

living with prolonged uncertainty—whether in relation to our career or other aspects of our lives—can take a serious toll on our mental health. constant anxiety not good for our physical health any.

And let’s not forget that layoffs can take a variety of forms, beyond losing a full-time salaried job with benefits.

According a 2022 survey, about 36% of employed Americans are self-employed, drawing impromptu income from multiple sources, none of which are likely to have benefits. So even though they don’t have a full-time job to lose, the layoffs It can take the form of an employer cutting your hours or limiting your earnings in a way that results in a drop in your income.

How to Cope with Layoff Anxiety

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that American work culture will change to the point of eliminating layoff anxiety, but for now, here are a few ways they can help us get through it.

Have a backup plan

Even if having a financial safety net is not feasible, coming up with one Backup plan tedium some kind of control over your situation. The idea is to lay out the steps you need to take in case you lose your job. This could include everything from updating your resume, expanding your professional network, and knowing how and where you would look for a new job, if it came to that.

Talk to a career counselor or therapist

Work has a huge impact on our mental health, and luckily there are professionals and resources available to help. If it’s within your budget, consider booking a few sessions (or even just one) with a career counselor or therapist, as a fresh perspective from someone outside who also specializes in helping people deal with it can be helpful. that kind of anxiety. .

But even if you’re not in a position where you can afford counseling, you can still look for free or low-cost options, including support free career and job fairs in your area or virtually, and taking advantage of any public libraries in your region They offer free professional services (many do).

Channel your anxiety to learn new skills

As soon as you recognize that your layoff anxiety is getting out of control, deliberately shift your attention to something else, such as learning something new. Not only is it a distraction from caring about your job, but by learning a new skill or expanding your knowledge on a particular subject, you’re doing your future self a favor, regardless of what happens with your current position.