Take these steps to put your worried mind to rest.
Are you struggling with job uncertainty? The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the best of us. Now, more than half of furloughed workers are worried about losing their jobs entirely, according to a 2021 YouGov review. Specifically, the report highlighted that workers between the ages of 25 and 44 were most prone to worry about being made redundant; 55-year-olds and over were less concerned.
To make matters worse, almost half of furloughed workers have had little or no communication with their boss since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. That silence is enough to make even the most confident workers feel a twinge of doubt that their role is secure.
If the above situation sounds familiar to you, it's time to take action to curb your anxiety. There's no doubt that worrying about losing your job can be tiring and stressful. However, the smartest thing you can do is focus on yourself ‒ what you can do about it, not what you can't. Whilst job uncertainty is something you can't control right now, you can control how you react to it.
Taking the time to support your own mental wellness and prepare for the future is the way to go. Here's what you should know.
Start practising mindfulness
Are you catastrophising the situation? It's human nature to presume the worst when we find ourselves in a sticky situation. You may feel as though everything is about to come crashing down around you, but do you actually have any evidence? If you've leapt to the conclusion that you're about to lose your job, you might need to pause and breathe for a moment.
Practising a little mindful meditation could help you come back down to earth. Focussing your attention on the present moment ‒ rather than thinking about an uncertain future ‒ could help lower your stress hormone levels, according to research from the University of California Davis. The study found that people who trained their minds to focus on their immediate experiences were less likely to think about the past or worry about the future. Why not try some meditation and unleash your inner zen?
Accept the things you can't control
Unfortunate reality check: You might lose your job. It could happen to the best of us. However, there are some things in life that we simply have no power over. You can be the best, most hard-working professional who always gets the job done, and something entirely out of your control (like say, a pandemic) could mess things up.
Ahead of getting your ducks in a row for what may come next, take a second to let go of any guilt or self-doubt that you're feeling. Ridding yourself of those negative emotions will help you move forward with confidence.
Consider your short- and long-term goals
Now that you've had a bit of time to clear your mind, think about your goals. If you are worried about losing your job, it's prudent to re-evaluate your short- and long-term goals. To help you get started and get those creative juices flowing, it's worth asking yourself the following direct questions:
Where do I see myself in five years?
What do I find fulfilling about my current role?
What do I find unfulfilling about my current role?
If I could start over, would I choose the same path?
Is there something else I would rather be doing?
When you have answered the above questions, you may have a clearer idea of what you want from your career. You can use that information to create a list of ideals ‒ short-term and long-term goals that you want to reach.
Think as big as possible. Imagine that nothing and no one could hold you back. The more freely you think, the better you'll understand what you really want to achieve.
Spruce up your LinkedIn page
Once you've got some goals in mind, turn your head towards the online networking hub that is LinkedIn. Chances are, you already have a profile (if you don't, go ahead and set one up right now!). However, there's always room for improvement. Set aside an afternoon to revamp this page and ensure that it shows you in the best possible light. Start by doing the following:
Ensure you have a professional profile picture
Update your educational experience
Update your work experience, including achievement-focussed descriptions
Ask your professional connections for testimonials
When you've done all of the above, kick things up a notch. Taking the time to post interesting content, such as news articles about your sector, could go a long way towards getting you noticed. Equally, you should take the time to engage in meaningful conversations about your industry. Make sure that you are following some hashtags surrounding your job role. The moment you see a thread that interests you, leap right in and share your professional opinion.
Take a free course online
If you're on furlough and figuratively twiddling your thumbs, cut it out. A far better use of your time would be to learn something new online. Doing something productive will help you work through any job uncertainty because you'll be prepared for the worst.
Since you have already laid out your goals, you should have an understanding of the types of courses you can take. For example, if you work in administration but see yourself more as an office manager, you may want to take a leadership course. There are plenty of free resources to help you learn in-demand skills online. Figure out which of them apply to you and get to work.
Give your CV a makeover
When was the last time you gave your CV some TLC?
If you've been working in the same role for a number of years, you may have had no reason to do so ‒ let's face it, we all get comfortable and forget to take care of this life admin.
It's always good practice to keep your CV up to date. However, it's crucially important if you think you may need to begin a job search. Take the time to work on this document sooner rather than later. If you're unsure where to start, check out our ultimate guide to CV writing here for some pointers.
Working through job uncertainty
The fear of losing your job is by no means easy to overcome. It's tough, it's scary and it's oh-so-real. However, that doesn't mean you should feel hopeless and pray it all goes away. Instead, take steps to take control of your future. The sooner you start making the right moves for you, the easier this period will be.
A strong CV can help put your worried mind at ease. Prepare for a job search by getting a free CV critique from TopCV.