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4 Ways to Deal with Layoff Anxiety

The Great Resignation” saw many employees voluntarily resign from their jobs en masse. Now, employees are starting to worry about getting laid off as more companies are either already reducing headcount or considering it. Since August 2022, over 39,000 employees have been laid off from US tech companies, including Netflix, Shopify, and Peloton.

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Regardless of the industry, fear of job termination can be felt across workforces globally. This Pacific Prime article looks at 4 ways to deal with layoff anxiety. When finished with this article, check out what you need to know about layoff insurance. 

What is layoff anxiety?

Employees with layoff anxiety have this feeling that they could be fired at any moment. They may check their email in the morning and wonder if their login credentials will still work.

Likewise, they may work harder and longer just to show that they’re worthy of their role. With recession concerns looming, job security is a growing concern for employees. But worrying about being laid off isn’t just upsetting, it can also be harmful to your health and well-being.

According to studies, job insecurity can hinder your motivation and concentration. It can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. But what’s most concerning is that anxiety around being fired could make matters worse.

For example, those who feel helpless may have a hard time performing at work, thereby making them more likely to be let go.

Conversely, insecurities could cause some employees to behave in ways that make them stand out for the wrong reasons. An employee who is scared of losing their job may work harder, but also be more scattered.

This could make it seem as though they don’t know how to manage themselves or they don’t know how to prioritize their work.

How to confront your layoff anxiety

Concerns about being laid off that cause your brain to go into overdrive can have adverse effects. The best way to stop your fears from ruling your life is to look at your layoff anxiety head-on. Here’s how.

1. Focus on fact rather than fiction

The stories we tell ourselves aren’t always based on fact, so it’s imperative to watch your thoughts. You may be surprised to find that you tend to jump to conclusions. For example, what do you think if you’re chatting with your team leader and they take longer than usual to reply? Do you start to believe that you’re not a valued employee anymore or that you’re not important enough to reply to promptly?

Recognize that your thoughts are interpretations of a person’s behavior rather than fact. Look at the evidence in front of you to determine whether you’re overreacting. Some questions worth asking include:

  • Do you have less work to do than normal?
  • Has your manager asked you to reduce expenses where possible?
  • Have sales been down for a while now?
  • Has your employer stopped hiring?

You probably don’t have to worry if you answered “no” to most of these questions. But if your mind is still getting the better of you, try relaxation techniques like breathwork and meditation.

Further reading: How to practice mindfulness at the workplace

2. Do what you can

If you think you could be getting fired, you need to find out more and evaluate your options. Does your work generate revenue or are you working on high-priority projects? Are you involved in things that senior leaders value? If not, talk to your employer about how you can more effectively manage your workload. Additionally, keep listening for news about restructurings and other things that could impact your position.

At the same time, there’s no harm in reconnecting with old managers and colleagues or joining networking events. Knowing that you have options and that there are people to support you can make a big difference. Take some time to polish your resume and portfolio, as well as update your LinkedIn profile. It’s comforting to know there are other opportunities, whether or not layoffs occur.

3. Picture the worst-case scenario

While you don’t want to imagine being laid off so much that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, there are ways that you can make the most out of worrying. Picture what your next step would be if you were fired. Go through your plan in as much detail as possible. Think about how you’d go about looking for a new job, manage your finances, and so on.

This exercise may not leave you feeling the happiest, but it can be effective. Mentally preparing for the worst-case scenario can help you get a grip on the anxiety surrounding it rather than letting it affect you. Having a plan of action for the potential situation gives you a sense of control in a situation where you may feel like you have none.

4. Remember what you’ve overcome

You’ve already overcome many obstacles to get to where you are today. Even though being laid off may not be ideal, that doesn’t mean that you can’t handle it. It can be helpful to remind yourself of all the things that you’ve made it through, and how you’ve come out on top despite it all. A study found that individuals who reflect on how they’ve conquered life’s challenges displayed higher levels of well-being.

When have you been hurt or disappointed? What have you suffered that you never thought you’d make it through? Then from there, ask yourself: what strengths helped me through those times? What opportunities were presented to me after? This exercise is a powerful reminder of how far you have come and how much further you can go.

Don’t let layoff anxiety get the better of you. If you can learn to manage your mind and take the right steps, you’ll find that you can handle whatever happens next in a healthy way.

For further reading, check out our article on employee medical insurance.

Get in touch with Pacific Prime today!

One of the best ways to take charge of your health is to secure a comprehensive health insurance plan. That way, you have the peace of mind of knowing you can access quality medical care anytime, anywhere – without having to pay hefty hospital fees out of pocket. Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance, international health insurance, or anything in between, Pacific Prime is here to help.

As a global health insurance brokerage and employee benefits specialist with over 20 years of industry experience, Pacific Prime has the knowledge and expertise to help you find the right plan for your needs and budget.

Contact us for impartial insurance advice and a free plan comparison today!

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs
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