The Most Common Workplace Worries And How To Get Over Them

Work can be stressful. It’s where you spend the majority of your week and ideally a place you’d like to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, work and anxiety can often go hand in hand, and for many of us, no matter what we do we can’t seem to shake the sinking feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Joan Kingsley is a consultant clinical and organisational therapist and has spent 25 years researching workplace psychology, co-authoring the book, The Fear Free Organisation: Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture. During her research she has identified the top workplace worries, and how to go about remedying them. Here are some of her discoveries.


The Fear Of Being Fired

The fear of unexpectedly getting the sack takes out the #1 spot on Joan’s list. At one point in our lives, we have all had an irrational fear of being randomly called into our manager’s office and being told we’re out.

Whether it’s due to the fact that you love your job and just don’t want to lose it, or you are truly terrified of your boss, the struggle is real. Joan also comments on how this fear plays a massive role in one’s ability to perform at work. “In a fearful environment people stop being creative, it becomes more about surviving than thriving”.


How To Deal With It:

Joan told The Independent, “If you trust your boss, talk to them about your fears”. If you’re genuinely concerned about your position, have a chat with your superior. If you lay all your concerns on the table, at least you’re going to get an immediate answer, and whether it good or bad at least you are no longer holding on to all that self-doubt.


The Fear Of Not Making It:

Common among those with their first grad job post-uni, the fear of not making it can be super discouraging. “Young people who have come into an organisation from university find themselves disappointed with their day-to-day life”, Joan says.

Especially in professions like the legal or business scene, newbies have to start from the bottom and hustle for a while before they can begin to live any kind of glamorous lifestyle, and they’re not cool with this.

How To Deal With It:

It’s important to take your new role with a grain of salt. Sure you aren’t living the highlife yet, but you’re learning all that it takes to do so, and that’s pretty exciting. Joan says, “When you start working you know nothing, so it’s more important how you approach the world of work and what your attitude is”.

It’s all about using your time as constructively as possible, and finding the value in every task you perform, because while you may consider it pointless now, it could pay dividends in the future.



The Fear Of Being Yelled At:

Nobody likes being yelled at. It’s unnecessary, loud and infuriating. But, some of our bosses aren’t partial to letting out their built up internal anger on their chosen target.

Some of us don’t handle this verbal confrontation very well, and being yelled at can conjure up a colourful array of emotions. Keep your cool, because Joan has come through with the goods once again with a helpful tip.


How To Deal With It:

“Generally the best way to deal with anger is acknowledge it”, Joan says. “Look at the person and say that you can see that they are angry and that you want to talk about it”.

It’s best to keep your cool, because if you do, the yeller doesn’t have much more ammo to work with. If you counteract his or her actions the result will be a screaming match, which nobody ever truly wins at.


The Fear Of Being Overlooked For A Promotion:

If you’ve worked your guts out, have good company relations and are an asset to your workplace, being overlooked for a promotion it can be heartbreaking. It especially sucks when you feel that the one they chose didn’t deserve it.


How To Deal With It:

Joan says the key to getting that promotion is to never turn down an opportunity to network: “Find a common interest with colleagues and start to build networks.” These groups could be as simple as finding some people to go for a morning walk or coffee.

Creating relationships and networks within the workplace is essential. Now that you’re in with the coffee clique you’ll be in the know of what new opportunities may be coming up.


The Fear Of Being Seen As Lazy: 

Getting coined the lazy one in your building isn’t a badge to wear with pride. But even if you are tirelessly working and stop for half an hour to grab lunch you can sometimes feel you’re being looked at with scrutiny.

“This new culture of people being afraid to take a break is unhealthy”, Joan tells us. “There is a new culture that has recognised the importance of taking breaks and fostering a healthy work schedule”. So, you shouldn’t feel bad about taking breaks, you’re entitled to them.



How To Deal With It:

Most managers are pretty reasonable people, and they want everyone to work in harmony, so you’re maybe being a tad delusional. Besides, if you truly were being lazy it’d be in their best interest to address it with you.

If you are in a slump, or feeling uninspired, Joan suggests to “approach projects with curiosity and you might be surprised at what you can do to change the way you’re feeling”. Not only will this inspire you, but also it’ll allow you to see work as a challenge rather than a threat.

So, there you have it. If you’re anxiety-ridden over work, hopefully you feel a little better now. Just remember to save yourself the stress and that the best solution is to communicate with your employer and get to the bottom of it.


[h/t The Independent]