As layoffs continue globally, know 10 ways to overcome fear of losing your job

Layoffs have been rampant in January 2024. Are you thinking if you'll be next? Here's how to overcome the fear of losing a job.
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Overcome the fear of losing job. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 7 Feb 2024, 03:45 pm IST
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The year 2024 didn’t start on a great note for many due to widespread layoffs and job cuts, particularly in the tech sector. According to media reports, around 32,000 tech employees lost their jobs in January this year, and multiple companies across sectors are continuing to cut down jobs. The abrupt loss of a job can significantly damage mental well-being, leading to self-doubt and negative impacts on self-esteem during a layoff. Amid the wave of layoffs hitting various companies, there is stress, and people may also have fear of losing their jobs. This fear can affect mental health as well as work performance. Read on to know how to overcome the fear of losing job.

How does the fear of losing job affect mental health?

Major global organisations are in news for laying off employees, contributing to an overall reduction in the workforce post-pandemic. This often results in heightened stress and diminished self-worth due to the disruption of regular work routines and societal stigma linked to unemployment, along with financial difficulties, says clinical psychologist Dr Rituparna Ghosh.

Women at work
It is common to have fear of losing job amid layoffs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Job insecurity not only affects immediate job concerns, but also influences future performance. Employees facing such fears may encounter challenges in maintaining productivity and job satisfaction.

The fear of losing job and the potential consequences of long-term unemployment significantly impact a person’s mental health. The uncertainty surrounding employment status triggers stress and anxiety, as people grapple with an unknown future and financial instability, says the expert.

The stress of job insecurity can manifest in physical symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Heightened cortisol levels

These can potentially contribute to severe mental health issues with prolonged exposure.

What are the ways to overcome the fear of losing job?

While it may not be uncommon to have fear of losing your job amid layoffs, you should know how to overcome it. Here are some tips –

1. Identify and challenge negative thoughts

Acknowledge and challenge irrational fears and negative thoughts related to job loss. Cognitive-behavioural techniques can help in reframing these thoughts, promoting a more balanced perspective, says the expert.

2. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques

You can try deep breathing and mindfulness meditation, as these practices can help manage anxiety. They can also help improve focus, and enhance overall emotional well-being.

3. Cultivate a growth mindset

Embrace a growth mindset by viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and personal development. This perspective fosters resilience and reduces the fear of failure.

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4. Set realistic expectations

Establish realistic expectations for yourself. Recognise that setbacks and uncertainties are a normal part of a career journey, and they do not define your worth or potential.

5. Build a support system

You should be around a supportive network of family, friends or even colleagues. Sharing concerns and receiving emotional support can alleviate stress and reinforce a sense of security.

6. Focus on what you can control

Concentrate on aspects of your career and life that you can control. Channelling energy into actionable steps and small goals can empower you and reduce feelings of helplessness.

7. Develop coping strategies

Identify healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress. This could include engaging in hobbies, exercise, or spending quality time with loved ones to maintain emotional balance, suggests Dr Ghosh.

Woman thinking
Try healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress. Image courtesy: Freepik

8. Celebrate achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate your professional achievements, no matter how small. Reflecting on past successes can boost confidence and provide a positive outlook.

9. Visualise positive outcomes

Practice visualisation techniques to imagine positive outcomes in your career. This can help shift focus from fear to a more optimistic perspective, fostering a proactive mindset.

10. Embrace flexibility and adaptability

Develop a mindset of flexibility and adaptability. Recognise that change is a natural part of professional life, and the ability to adapt enhances resilience in the face of uncertainties, says the expert.

You can also consult with a psychologist or counselor to explore and address underlying fears. Don’t be hesitant in taking professional guidance, as it can provide coping strategies and tools to navigate emotional challenges.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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