These workplace fears might be costing you sleep or forcing you to tiptoe around the office. Overcome these worries to get your day back.
It’s perfectly logical to cling to things we love. Most of us are not natural gamblers when it comes to taking risks with our safety, our future and our relationships. When we associate something with our sense of security, it can seem impossible to put that thing at risk — even if the potential harm might be minimal and the potential gains might be enormous.
If you’re so anxious about your job that you’re up all night tossing and turning, then it’s time for a little perspective. And if you’re tiptoeing around the office like your job is made of glass, it’s time to recognize your fears may be exaggerated. Overcoming them can actually help your career, not ruin it. (Click here to tweet this thought.)
Here are three common workplace fears and a few tips that can help you push them aside.
1. You’re afraid of getting fired
From an early age, most of us are taught that getting fired is the worst, most humiliating thing that can ever happen to a person. Worse yet, the firing ends up on your “permanent record.” If you’re fired, you may never be able to land another job ever, ever again.
Employers want you to believe these things, since this attitude helps workers self-regulate and work harder in exchange for less. But here’s some good news: You don’t have a permanent record. Getting fired won’t ruin your life. And as it happens, about 70 percent of all professional adults have lost at least one job by the time they’re 35. This is the best-kept secret in the corporate world: Getting fired happens to everyone.
If you want to overcome this fear, start by building a strong social network. With that in hand, you’ll have the most reliable form of job security you’ll ever need. Meanwhile, remember that job loss is a nearly universal experience — an experience that won’t hurt your future as long as you learn something from it.
2. You’re afraid to ask for a raise
Again, employers want you to feel embarrassed about asking for pay increases. As long as you believe it’s a privilege to work here, you won’t raise your voice and ask for more. But here’s another secret of the professional world: Your worth isn’t just decided by your employers. You also have a say in how much you should be paid. And if it isn’t enough, you have a right to ask for more.
To get past this fear, be calm and persistent. Ignore the feeling that asking for a raise means you aren’t a “team player” or that you’re somehow selfish for requesting a rate that reflects your contributions. And as you negotiate, remember you have plenty of other options outside of this company.
3. You’re afraid the higher ups with ignore your ideas
You’ve come up with a great idea. But you’re afraid to bring it up in your next team meeting because you haven’t yet worked out all the kinks and there may be flaws in your suggestion that you can’t yet see.
If you speak, you might be shut down. What’s worse, the next time you have something to say, those around you will be less likely to listen. Being ignored too often can mean the death of your career.
Instead of shelving your idea, get over your fear by keeping a few things in mind. If you speak with conviction, you won’t be ignored. And even if you are, this isn’t personal. It’s not about you. Do what’s right for your company, put your ego aside and speak up. Then sleep soundly knowing you took a risk for your team and you gave your all, regardless of the outcome.
Jenny Treanor is a career advisor and job search expert who provides consultation for staffing firms, hiring managers and job seekers across every industry. Her blogs and articles appear regularly on LiveCareer, home of America’s #1 Resume Builder.