How to Deal With the Fear of Being Fired in the Workplace

Avoid finger pointing or other petty games that can make you a target for firing.

Avoid finger pointing or other petty games that can make you a target for firing.

When you're in a work environment where your job security is threatened, getting up for your job every day can be really difficult. While it's tough no matter what, it can be helpful to know that there are actions you can take to try to remedy the situation; and barring that, to move on to a more positive workplace. After all, life is too short to work at a place that causes so much stress.

Review your job description and employee handbook to look for ways you can improve your performance. Some employers may be looking to fire people as a way to cut down on their employment numbers, and will look for any reason to sack workers. By doing what is expected of you -- or perhaps even going the extra mile -- you'll at least know your job performance will not be the reason you were fired, and you can comfort yourself knowing that you did your best in the job. This may not help overcome personality conflicts or other issues managers may have with you, but you've at least done what you can to do the best job possible.

Talk with your human resources manager or supervisor. If there are rumors of firings or layoffs happening in your workplace, being up front and asking the right questions may at least give you some warning about what's happening. Ask your supervisor whether there is anything you can do better in your job. Ask the human resources manager what your work record looks like, and whether any changes in staffing are on the horizon. It's possible that neither person reveals any helpful information, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Polish your resume and start looking for another job. This puts you in the best position possible for moving on. It may ease your mind to see what other possibilities are out there. Check out classifieds and online postings, and network with other colleagues, friends and associates to find out what possibilities are on the horizon.

Find ways to relax. Job insecurity can affect your health, according to a study published in 2012 by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In the study, workers who were insecure about their jobs were more likely to experience anxiety and depression. If you've done your best at your job and have taken steps to look for another job, the only thing left to do is to work to decrease your stress level. Try a yoga or exercise class, talking with a counselor or taking more time for activities that you enjoy as ways to reduce your stress level during this difficult time.

 

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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