In today’s business world, living with job insecurity is a reality for many. But it doesn’t have to be stressful and negative.
Preparing yourself for change is a great way to feel better about the situation. Take control by ensuring that your company knows how great you are, and invest time in keeping your skills up to date. And save some money, so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills if you do lose your job.
If you’ve got a case of the workplace jitters, here’s my advice:
Hide Your Fears
Avoid showing any signs of insecurity or fear at work. While you may be tempted to have a meeting with your manager to discuss your job security, it may just make you seem weak, as opposed to cautious. Instead, show through your hard work, actions and leadership that you are committed to your job. You want to give 110% and initiate new responsibilities. Particularly if you’re an older worker concerned about losing your job due to age bias, consider taking on the role of mentor to the younger employees to show your bosses that you are an asset.
Of course, as Bolles would say, it’s still no guarantee that your company won’t have to downsize at some point and need to eliminate positions (including yours). But even if you do get laid off, at least the great momentum you’ve built in the run-up should help you land your next job — and ensure you’ll be able to use your boss as a reference.
Develop an Additional Income Stream
What you’ll need most in the event of a layoff is cold, hard cash to help pay the bills. See if you can develop some of your strengths into a side gig on the evenings and weekends that can serve as an extra income stream — perhaps tutoring, graphic design, personal training or freelance writing.
Websites like Upwork.com ,Guru.com, freelanceswitch.com, freelancer.com and good old Craigslist are handy channels for advertising your part-time services. And an extra revenue stream not only helps to supplement your income, boost savings and provide an extra layer of security in your life: It could turn into a robust side business, and may end up becoming a true entrepreneurial venture where you call the shots.
Start Saving More
If you still have a job but have yet to create that 9- to 10-month rainy day account, make this a priority. It currently takes the average unemployed American about 10 months to find a job, according to the Labor Department. So you want to save enough today to cover you if you are suddenly looking for new work.
The job market is extremely tight: For every job opening there are approximately 5 unemployed workers, according to Bloomberg. With ample savings, you’ll be able to keep paying your bills and feeding your family. That way you can focus on finding a job that you truly want — not one that you desperately need.
If you do get laid off, remember that the world is full of opportunities. Changing your mindset can go a long way toward reducing your stress. Look at this change as an adventure and as the chance to try something new. Focus on the positive, not on doubt and uncertainty. Remember, your life is what you make of it!