Job Uncertainty and Your Mental Health

Job uncertainty can cause anxiety and be detrimental to your mental health and well being. Find out how you can deal with this challenge!

Isn’t it funny how life can seem like it is finally perfect and then BAM! 2 weeks ago I found out that my job is on the line and I may be made redundant in the coming weeks. This was a massive shock as earlier that week

my boss said that I was doing well at my job, was about to receive a pay rise, had more clients then ever and things seemed to be on the up. And to make it worse, I was so confident that it was all going well that I just got back from another expensive holiday in Europe! I thought my job in finance was certain as last year my employer paid for me to complete my Masters Degree in Financial Planning – meaning that they would want me to stay for a while to make things fair – so this potential redundancy truly came out of nowhere.

I was totally shocked when I found out the news. The worst part was that the business isn’t even sure if they are going to make everyone redundant or not – meaning that we are left in limbo for the next few weeks while they decide whether we will have a job or not. Previously this would have sent me into a spin and left me feeling anxious, uncertain, scared, unwanted, disappointed, discouraged, ashamed, pissed-off and cheated. Instead I have cultivated thoughts of opportunity, positivity, acceptance, encouragement and at times even excitement! Read on to find out more about how I have embraced this challenge of uncertainty for the first time in my life.

Accept any feelings of uncertainty or anxiety

Ok, you have to try and be cool and let these feelings of uncertainty and anxiety come and go. Ruminating and replaying them over and over is not going to solve anything, so just accept that you are feeling this way and do not try to block out these feelings. Read more on how to beat anxiety to find out more on how to deal with this one. You are probably going to go through all the emotions (just like I did), so accept that you are going to be mad, sad, disappointed, uncertain and anxious. Just don’t give these emotions any power and just accept them for what they are.

Do NOT Jump to Any Conclusions

So even if you do lose your job, how do you KNOW that this will be a bad thing? Maybe you will find another job right away that pays you more money, or even better it may be more enjoyable! Maybe you will end up in a position that you couldn’t have imagined was possible if losing your job never happened. Whenever I tell someone about it, they immediately ‘feel sorry for me’, and I ask them what are they sorry for?! How do we know that this isn’t the best thing that ever happened to me? Let’s wait to see the big picture before we can say if this is good, bad or indifferent.

Plan, Plan, and Plan by Making a Plan A, B, C and D

Ok so hopefully you had a plan B before any of this happened – but if you are like me you most likely thought that everything was all good and there was no need for a plan B. So now that you may be losing your job, it is time to make plan B, C and D. Get yourself out there. I have heard of people that put in 200 job applications only to receive 1 phone call, which ended up being the start of an established career! No one is going to hand you a new job or new path; you have to go out and find it. Be open to different experiences and different paths as you keep all your options open with your planning.

Maintain the Other Areas of Your Life

This is MASSIVELY important! Just because your job might not be going well; it doesn’t mean that you have to mope around at home and not enjoy your free time! Keep up with your hobbies, go out with your friends, and stay close with family. At the end of the day you go to work to help pay for your happy experiences outside of work – so don’t let work ruin the other parts of your life that are way more important.

Get Moving and Exercise

It is crucial to keep the exercise levels up – and if you don’t exercise regularly, now is the best time to start! Research proves that exercise will help reduce the chance (or severity) of any potential depressive states – so why wouldn’t you get out and go for a run? Find a sport that you like or just go and have a kick of the footy – anything to get the blood moving. Read more on how to SMASH depression by checking out my special post with hints and tips.

Smile and Have a Laugh

Sometimes in life we just have to laugh at ourselves. If this happened in a movie or a comedy TV show, you would probably laugh at the guy who is down and out. So why don’t we laugh at ourselves? Don’t take life too seriously and remember that this won’t be the first time someone has lost their job and it definitely will not be the last! Smile and remember that you have so much other good stuff going for you that this is just a small bump in the road.

Look at the Positives

If losing your job is the negative, what are the positives? Maybe getting a fresh start? A new opportunity? A chance to do something different? Maybe less overtime and the opportunity for more time on your hobbies or with your friends? Maybe you won’t have to deal with that crappy manager anymore? Maybe you might learn something new? Maybe you might meet someone new? Anything could happen but the focus is about looking at the positives and not dwelling on the negatives.

TALK to Someone

It is so important to talk and get things off your chest. Bottling up everything inside is just going to make it worse – and you would be amazed at how much better you feel once you let it all out and a good friend or a good listener hears all about it. Don’t be scared or ashamed to talk about it because you are not alone and at the end of the day no one actually cares whether someone has a good job or not. Things like R U OK day are a great way for people to understand that it is ok not to be ok – so be kind to yourself and get things off of your chest.

And how about we think about the last person you dated (or are dating now).. Did you choose them because of their job? I hope not! Maybe you need to read why Tinder is bad for your love life…

Is it really that Bad?

So your job is uncertain; which I know this is tough but is it really that bad? I mean what about our grandparents dealing with their challenges back in the day? What about those who have to run from their homes to escape war? What about those that were diagnosed with a sickness today? Or those that died today? I am sure someone else has it a lot tougher than we do, so we can ask ourselves if it really is that bad. IF we still think that it is that bad – would you swap your problem with whoever was dealt the worst card in the world on that same day? I doubt it!

Time to Face and Embrace the Uncertainty!

Ok wow that felt good to get it off of my chest! Haha remember that uncertainty is a major part of life and even though we think that our jobs and lives are usually settled and routine – the fact is that things can change just like that. Read more about dealing with change by checking out an old post of mine here… With any uncertainties we face in life we can use these principles to help us deal with the challenge, look at the positives and grow as a person. I wish you all the best with your challenge of uncertainty – as for me I am off for now to go and update my résumé just in case I need it… LOL

PS: I wrote this while I was in the midst of my job uncertainty. I honestly have no idea if I will have a job this time next week and this is why I wanted to put this post up NOW – to help you believe that you can see the positives and move forward – even when you don’t know which direction or what it is you are moving into!

About the author – Stef – Positive Living and Mental Health Advocate

Stef is a positive living and mental health advocate who dedicates much of his free time to improving his own and others mental health. Never miss a post by subscribing to the blog for free. Just pop your email address into the form on this page to claim your free membership!

3 thoughts on “Job Uncertainty and Your Mental Health

  1. Anca-Debora Balint

    I loved this post! I chose take a year out of university for financial and mental health reasons and job uncertainty is playing a big part in how I’m structuring my 2019. Thank you for the tips and insight into what to think about when facing job uncertainty. I’m looking forward to more posts from you 😊


  2. Pingback: Dealing with Uncertainty and the Corona Virus | Redesign Your Mind - The Mental Health Blog

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