How do I keep my fear of losing a job at bay?
July 13, 2014 8:45 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep my fear of losing a job from interfering with other areas of life? as much as possible

I'm very glad I have a job right now. However, it is a temporary job and the pay is not great. I feel like I am living in permanent fear of losing my job, or rather, not having a job in a few weeks. It is like a constant shadow. Even though my situation is normal and much better compared to before, I still think about job-related things all the time.

I have a plan to go back to school so that even if I do lose my job, I still have classes to take (and I have saved some money for tuition.) I am also applying for permanent jobs. The times when I was unemployed felt so awful that I'm terrified of experiencing them again.

How can I minimize the fear of losing a job, so that I can socialize normally and not let it affect everything else? including how I eat, sleep, and do normal things?
posted by ichomp to Human Relations (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's not easy to do, but I'm not sure there are any tricks here. You just have to decide that it's outside of your control, and no amount of worrying changes anything.

You have a plan. You've saved. You're making other arrangements. You can decide you're doing everything you can, or you can decide to worry.

It's not easy, but there's no magic bullet.
posted by colin_l at 8:49 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

You have to remind yourself that if you do not eat, sleep, and do normal things, your worries will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you WILL lose your job. Taking care of yourself is the #1 way to keep your job, so don't hesitate to do so.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:53 PM on July 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

Part of this is also... Reasonable. This is objectively stressful; no one would find this situation comfortable. Take care of yourself in other ways and recognize that this part of your life is a little tough.

In particular, meditation teaches you to accept things as they are without overly worrying.
posted by samthemander at 9:16 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

You've got the long-term covered. For short-term survival -- did you get your current job through an agency? If so, have they indicated they'd send you out on other jobs? If not, sign up with a bunch of agencies. Additionally/alternatively, you could do catering to get by while you wait out your other possibilities -- a lot of companies are willing to hire and train people with no serving experience.

Anecdotally, I've known a couple of people who went big on post-employment personal projects (a blog; an event series), and it paid off for them. Not directly, but they succeeded in raising their profiles and making contacts that did lead to employment. Not everyone's up for something like that (I wasn't) but it's a strategy that can work for some, if they're lucky. Worst case, it's something to put on a resume if you do find yourself catering in the short-term, and a way of feeling you've got control over some aspect of life, when things are uncertain. I suspect even just that feeling of having control somewhere might have boosted my friends' other job-seeking efforts and helped them stay connected with people.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:32 PM on July 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I made some assumptions above; what are you most afraid of?

(Sorry if you've done things I suggested. What I was trying to get at is, I don't know what you tried the last time you were between jobs, but if it does happen again, maybe there are some different actions you can take that might change how it feels, a bit [within, of course, a margin. I've been there, it's not great, I know.])
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:56 PM on July 13, 2014

You build an emergency fund.
posted by devnull at 11:19 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have the same fear sometimes, so I create several different situations that I may be put in and create a backup plan for each situation. I find that this takes a weight off my shoulders.

I am also looking for other permanent work too, so that helps as well.
posted by sockpim at 11:29 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Get a second job if your schedule allows it. Did wonders for my state of mind in a similar position.
posted by salvia at 12:10 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Build an emergency fund.

Find a new job.

My last day is Friday. I just finished going through everything that I do so that the embryo that they hired to replace me can be up to speed on my work. (Wow. Just wow.)

Know that you're elegible for Unemployment, and figure all of that out BEFORE the end comes. Figure out your bills. Only a few things NEED to be paid, any unsecured debt can be blown off if need be.

I am now spending my time at work looking for new gigs, talking to HR recruiters and doing phone interviews.

Next week I plan to deep clean the house, cook a lot of yummy food, hang out at the pool and get some sewing done.

I KNOW that I'm going to be okay, because I've already applied for upwards of 65 jobs. If there are THAT many jobs out there, I know that one of them will be right for me!

Trazadone helps, so does Celexa. Just keepin' it real here.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:47 AM on July 14, 2014

Well, if its a temporary job, you don't have to fear the possibility of perhaps loosing it.

It's a certainty that you will have the job for only a short time. You don't need to fear that you'll do something to cause it to happen.

It sounds like you already have a plan in place "if" you lose your job -- just make it your plan for what happens AFTER your job instead.
posted by yohko at 1:16 PM on July 14, 2014

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