Why Is There So Much Fear In The Work Environment?

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future.

If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.

Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I recently worked in an environment that was quite unlike any other that I had worked in before.

It was an environment pervaded with extreme fear.

I walked into the job with high hopes, but I soon realized that there was something a bit off about the workplace. Everyone was fearful of losing their jobs.
Now I had worked in other companies before, where people were afraid of losing their job. But that was during a time of great recession in 2008, where companies were being forced to lay off huge parts of their workforce due to the worsening economy. It wasn’t like the companies wanted to lay off huge chunks of their workforce, but they were forced to, in order to stay lean, mean and profitable. The fear in those environments was tenable – you could tell the reason for it. You knew that people were afraid of losing their job because the company was openly laying off people that they couldn’t afford to keep on anymore.
But in this new environment in 2014, with no recession to speak of, I was still feeling a fear emanating from the employees of this company. What were they so afraid of? I wondered about this to myself. These were all intelligent, hard-working, highly employable individuals.

If they were kicked out of a position at this work, they were sure to find something similar or better somewhere else.

There was no need for them to be afraid. Then why were they still so fearful?
I didn’t understand it, until someone pointed something out to me. Most of my generation is used to moving from job to job. As I say, a company wouldn’t think twice about loyalty and my hard-work if they had to lay me off, so I need to go into every work situation with my best interests in mind. If I am going to get a higher-paying job somewhere else, I am going to take it, unless I really, really enjoy working at a particular place. This person told me that most of the individuals in this company had been working there for quite some time. In addition, most of them had been in their position for so long, that this was the only company they had worked for all of their working lives.
This paints a different picture entirely. In this new world, I feel like you need to keep your talents, abilities and capabilities fresh. If you work at one company for too long, you might get a Director or a VP role due to the length of your tenure, but you are basically digging your hole deeper and deeper. You have to be careful about that.
I recommend that you keep on improving yourself and your abilities, and do not stay at one company for too long. It stagnates your talents. You only know how to do things in one industry in one niche department. If that industry goes kaput, then your talents and all of your loyalty goes down the drain. Also, if you are able to get a job in different industries, not only are you widening your skill set, but you are giving yourself the signal that you are highly employable not only in one field, but in many.
It will make you feel better about your work life and your future.

You will not live in a constant state of fear, because this is the only company you have worked for, and the only industry that you know.

You will know that no matter what happens in the industry or in your workplace, you can walk out that door and find a new position in another company, with no issues whatsoever.

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