Job Search Paralysis Thanks to Fear of Inability to Prevent Layoff From Next Job
February 17, 2010 3:56 AM Subscribe
I've been, for a while, what economists would call a discouraged worker; in most ways I gave up trying. Lately, I'm trying to marshal my spirit, resolve and grit together and get back out onto the job market. One of the biggest emotional problems I'm having is a fear of being let go again within a few months of this hypothetical new hire. It's really demotivating me and sapping the energy out of my efforts.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Months ago, the realization first came to me that people were being hired and then laid off months later, and such a circumstance has been a background anxiety in my mind since first hearing of it.
This is probably in part due to my layoff being one that was solely one of economic purpose. At my last employer, I was fairly beloved and consistently received high reviews, but their central office dictated specific layoffs (this number of people in this department in order of least senior) and despite having been there for quite a while, I didn't make that cut.
It had nothing to do with my performance, and I think that THAT is what haunts me ... that you can do a great job, that you can make yourself very valuable to a company, and that such things can end up mattering not one whit. It puts the issue of preventing a future layoff completely out of my hands. I can go into that job determined to be the best employee I can be, make them go, "My God, I'm sure glad we hired Anonymous!", and get my walking papers the next day, with their local management equally as regretful as I.
I don't know how to prevent being traumatized by this again. This was a fucked-up thing to happen me – although one I admit was hardly unique to me – and I don't know how to prevent its reoccurrence, or even what to do to contribute against its reoccurrence -- if one can be great at a job and still have faceless bureaucrats in another city ruin your life, what the hell do you do?
I don't know if I could handle all this again -- or maybe even a worse state of affairs than "all this", since I might only able to rebuild my economic circumstances partially before a new fall would occur. You say "save, save, save"? I'm with you there: I have methodical plans for efficient use of a future paycheck in recreating an emergency fund, but I can't see that fund being able to take another unemployment hit until at the very least a good nine to twelve months of savings goes by. And what with "claim years", I don't know as I'd have much new unemployment coming in after such a future layoff.
How do I get over this fear, so that I can launch myself into my job search with no -- or far less -- trepidation? It's humiliating to admit, but, honestly, I'm just outright batshit scared. The batshit-scaredness is taking up way too much headspace inside my skull, and I'm sick of that -- it's counterproductive and not fun to boot.