Strategies for Staying Calm and Resilient When Facing Job Insecurity

Job insecurity

Looking at today’s volatile labor market, in which both technology and AI are playing the game, many companies on a global basis are facing hardship, reconstruction, or even closing. In my country, Sweden, as many as 36% of companies closed in March compared to last year. It’s a vast number. So, how can you cope with negative information on social media and news while staying calm? In fact, it’s not necessarily easy, and it’s understandable. I belong to a generation that has coped with a recession twice in my life, one in the 90s and the financial crisis in early 2000. Today, we most likely are approaching another one, but this time, I am not being employed by a company but running my own company as a coach. Am I nervous? Yes, but with the difference. I sleep well at night as I have learned along the way that there’s no point worrying about things I can’t impact but instead focus on the ones I can impact. So, I keep myself busy sticking to my strategy, collaborating with my team, and keeping an open mind about the future. In all changes, there are always new opportunities to look forward to.

In my daily job, I meet clients who proactively worry about the future or feel lost, not knowing exactly what to do. They ask for advice on their problems, a so-called quick fix. But is there really a quick fix? Yes, I would say, but I can’t promise you it’s the one you’re looking for in the long term.

I wrote in an earlier article about the famous Ingemar Stenmark athlete who was confronted with the question: How come you have so much luck? He answered: Funny — the harder I train, the more luck I have. I hope his comment inspires you to build and skill yourself with the future mindset of resilience, GRIT, and hope to cope with the turbulent, most likely a future we are approaching.

Below, I share some tips and tricks on how to cope with three different situations involving uncertainty, anxiety, and stressful moments in the workplace. These situations can put you at risk of making the wrong decision and putting you in a situation where you regret your choice instead of staying calm and using the moment to move on in your career and life with a feeling of success.

‍Recognizing the Signs: Understanding When Your Job Might Be at Risk:

Suddenly, you feel your manager is starting to follow up on your activities more frequently than before. You’re starting to feel micromanaged and more frustrated, not like when you started your job when you had the freedom to make decisions and felt you were part of the winning team. It might have started gradually, but you are getting more and more of a feeling that your manager wants to eliminate you. Could it be that you’re imagining? Absolutely, it could be a normal process to follow up more when every penny costs in a company, but it could also be a sign your position is at risk. Some signs could be — micromanagement, frequently following you up on your KPIs, being excluded from meetings, and not getting the challenging projects. So, what can you do? I say — Stay Calm and start investigating your options and alternatives. Because when you get to know your job is at risk, you tend to be very reactive, lose your temper in feedback situations, or, in general, be anxious. When such a situation occurs, it would be wise to ask for help to navigate this situation as it’s coachable. Below are some tips on what you can start doing:

Communication Strategies: Effectively Addressing Concerns with Your Manager:

If you have a manager, you can communicate with and feel comfortable communicating your concerns, this is a good start. Share what you feel and wait for your manager’s comments. If you feel your position is at risk, ask what your options are and take the discussion from there. In many cases, your manager doesn’t know either, as his position might be at risk or further information hasn’t been communicated to him from the executive level. Use empathy and try to figure out on what level you both can communicate. Hence, you get the most out of the dialogue. Stick to facts, be constructive, and give your manager room for learning. Remember, you have to be open-minded to new solutions and ideas.

Upskilling and Networking: Investing in Your Future Regardless of the Outcome:

Start as soon as possible to investigate your network, talk with people in the field about the situations in their companies, and see how they look at the general situation of the labor market, not specific to your job situation. This is important! Never call around and discuss your current job situation and possible problems; instead, stay focused on the future and learn about other companies and trends in the market. Start growing your network, connecting with new people in new fields, reading newspapers, listening to podcasts, TED talks, and YouTube channels connected to the future market. It’s time to gather information so you can evaluate your options.

Exploring Alternative Opportunities: Keeping Your Options Open:

Keeping your options open is easier if you stay calm. One of the most common mistakes is being too fast! Since you’re afraid of NOT signing a new contract or losing your job, you basically sign any agreement to secure a job. In most cases, this is not a very good strategy. Keeping your options open means you talk with people to learn, not just to get the information you want. Ultimately, you never know who will refer you to a job. So, stay calm and keep your doors open by being open-minded and talking with a broad range of people.

Self-Care Practices: Prioritizing Your Well-being During Times of Uncertainty:

To feel strong and in control, your mind must be FIT. That means you need to incorporate physical and mental activities and exercises. Choose an activity that gives you energy and relaxes your mind, making you sleep heavily during the night. Try to get 6/8 hours of sleep per night as it is during the night your body is reloaded and prepares you for the next day. F.I.T means focusing on staying positive, incorporating mental training and exercises, and thinking of gratitude.

Seeking Support: Leveraging Resources Within and Outside the Company:

Do you have a friend you can trust and rely on listening to you? This is a gold mine but use it wisely because if misused, you can lose them. When you need to talk about what you feel and have experienced, looking for people willing to listen to you without judging you or seeking professional help is wise. Remember, we coaches are trained to help you move ahead in your career & life.

Planning for the Worst: Creating a Contingency Plan for Job Loss:

Something I ask my clients to look at is: What will happen if they fire you? Your situation will look different depending on where you live in the US, UK, EU, Asia, and India. But some very good questions to ask are:

  1. How much money do I need per month to survive?
  2. What is my insurance level?
  3. If you’re married — Will we survive on one salary?
  4. How long will I survive without a salary or on my insurance?
  5. Am I prepared to take any job to survive?
  6. Am I prepared to move to another country?
  7. Can I work remotely?
  8. If I wasn’t dependent on any money — What would I do?

Embracing Change: Finding Opportunities for Growth Amidst Adversity:

Whatever comes that will change your world is a new opportunity, and it is all up to you how you take it! Never forget that most changes are for the good; only your mindset can change that feeling. So, training your mindset might be the most significant investment in your career, if not everything…

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