Living with a lack of job security can be stressful, but did you know it’s also bad for your health? Job insecurity increases the odds of poor health by 50 percent, according to researchers from Harvard Business School and Stanford University.
This hits home for me. In my career, I’ve been an employee who’s worked for a company that frequently downsized, restructured and laid off employees. Working in that type of environment, I never knew if I was going to be the next one to lose my job. That stress was mentally and physically draining and caused me many headaches and sleeplessness nights.
And I’m not alone in this feeling. The majority of Americans are worried about paying for retirement, affording health care and losing their job, according to a new poll.
If you are like the many others who have work and money insecurities, here are some practical steps you can take to decrease your stress and increase your good health.
The more prepared you are for a job loss, the less anxiety you will have. Every day you should aim to learn new things in your field and keep up-to-date with relevant current events and news. There are many ways to stay current: some of my favorites include reading the newspaper and industry publications, attending networking opportunities, and subscribing to applicable e-mail newsletters.
Also, you should continuously keep your resume and social media platforms current. Doing so will give yourself a confidence boost and allow you to apply for a new position in a moment’s notice.
Strive to be a memorable high-performer. Doing so will open new doors for you, reduce your chances of getting laid off, and help you create strong relationships that could be beneficial in the future.
Forbes contributor Amy Rees Anderson said it best:
“Standing out is the secret to gaining peace of mind that your job is secure. Whether you stay employed with the same company you are with today, or whether another company picks you up, your future is bright when you make the effort to be that person who can’t be overlooked.”
To stand out amongst the crowd, know your stuff, be passionate, and always demonstrate a hard work ethic.
Consider creating new income streams for yourself and your family. By not putting all of your eggs in one basket, you can minimize your financial worries. Some ideas include creating and selling your own e-book or e-course, freelancing, starting your own home business, offering consultation services or getting a part-time job.
Managing your money more effectively and putting together a detailed savings plan will also help relieve some of your anxiety.
Look after yourself
If you are stressed about losing your job, working longer hours won’t help—it will just cause burnout, make you less effective, and possibly result in health problems, thus creating more stress. Be sure to take care of yourself by exercising, eating and sleeping regularly. Be sure to also stay connected to your friends and family.
Remember, jobs will come and go, but you only have one you.
Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.