Fear of losing your job because of the pandemic

Fear of losing your job because of the pandemic

We live in a time of great uncertainty and one of the dimensions we have to deal with is the fear of losing your job. It is a fear that we must address without losing sight of the real priority: protecting our health and containing the spread of Covid-19.

Fear of losing your job because of the pandemic

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Among the many dimensions to be addressed at this time, there is the fear of losing one's job as an effect of Covid-19. It is certainly not an irrational thought and it is not about being catastrophic or too negative. It is a possibility, a tsunami that engulfs the whole world. What can we do in the face of this situation?

The International Labor Organization (ILO) announced a few days ago that the current crisis could cause the unemployment of 25 million people worldwide. 

Faced with an emergency of this magnitude, there is only one response that could cushion the damage: coordinated, decisive and immediate action by all states. At present, all countries are taking measures to provide social protection. Apparently, however, that may not be enough.

In an article published in the New York Times, it is feared that, continuing with current strategies, our economy will die of Coronavirus. It is therefore urged to act in a concerted and rapid way to shape the universal basic income (which could also be applied by the government of Donald Trump). The second step is to formulate a plan to revitalize the economy and curb the bleeding of layoffs.

However, as Paul Romer, Nobel laureate in economics 2018, and Alan M. Garber, medical economist and rector of Harvard University underline, all this passes, first of all, through our ability to curb the advance of the Coronavirus.

How? Through the known formula: confinement, protective devices for healthcare workers and the study of a vaccine to be released as soon as possible.

Fear of losing your job due to the pandemic. What to do?

Many are living this quarantine period in fear of losing their jobs due to the pandemic. He is certainly not a good roommate. Fear, worry, can take on enormous dimensions and become the epicenter of our days.

If we add work anxiety to the fear of getting sick or the worry of already struggling with the disease, the psychological impact becomes difficult to bear. It is therefore necessary to know some strategies or food for thought.

Remember priorities right now

The fear of being unemployed due to Covid is not unfounded. Some of us have access to work protection mechanisms or have had, even if among a thousand uncertainties, the possibility of accessing smart working.

These are understandable fears. At this time, however, it is worth remembering what our priorities are.

  • Using a very common expression, the priority right now is to protect ourselves from disease. Social distancing and taking preventive measures every time we leave the house must be our main goal.
  • Being constantly worried leads us to let our guard down and expose ourselves and others to greater risk.
  • We must stay focused on the immediate reality and on what is required of us from time to time. Losing your job is worrying, of course, but we cannot therefore divert attention from our loved ones, from our elderly, from our children ...

Constructive concern and negativist concern

We have the right to be afraid of losing our jobs, to worry, to let this shadow occupy our mind from time to time. It is comprensible. There are, however, two types of concern, but only one can help in this circumstance.

The negativist worry is useless in this moment: it blocks us and feeds the fire of anxiety. Don't feed it. It pops up in our minds with ideas like: "This crisis will leave us all on the ground". “When this ends, nothing will be the same, we will all be out of work”. "We will never get out of it, it's a worldwide disaster."

Constructive concern, on the other hand, has a more constructive and strategic focus. He does not state, he asks questions:

  • What is the likelihood of losing my job? Will it be a temporary or definitive stop?
  • In my industry, will I still be needed when we come out of quarantine?
  • I am a person with a long experience. Do I have to be afraid that they will fire me or that no one will hire me anymore? Is it a well-founded fear?
  • What did they tell me at work? What objective possibilities do I have of being reconfirmed?
  • If I lose my job, what can I do? It could be an opportunity to improve my situation?

Fear of losing your job: beware of sources that feed stress

Keeping sources of stress in check is an essential way to reduce this fear. For example, workgroups on WhatsApp can be the focus of a good amount of anxiety right now. Worry is contagious and erroneous or oversized information often circulates that we tend to filter through our alarmist and negative side.

We identify which situations, sources or people intensify our concern. It is important to maintain a realistic attitude without falling into catastrophism. We learn to worry in a constructive and non-defeatist way. In situations of difficulty and uncertainty, our mind must always be our best ally.

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