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  3. Top tips for coping with career anxiety. Plus how to overcome it!
Top tips for coping with career anxiety. Plus how to overcome it!

Top tips for coping with career anxiety. Plus how to overcome it!

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What is career anxiety and what causes it?
  • Top tips for dealing with career anxiety
  • How do I get rid of career anxiety?
  • Best jobs for people with anxiety
  • Key takeaways

Worry, apprehension, fear, and isolation are never words you want to associate with your career. If you are tired of living with career anxiety, this article can help you find ways to overcome it.

It isn’t uncommon for people to experience anxiety concerning their careers. However, when this anxiety becomes debilitating and prevents you from making moves that improve your career, it needs to be addressed. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, there are ways to cope with your career anxiety and overcome it.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the things you can do to reduce and eliminate your career anxiety so that you can focus on your goals. Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • What is career anxiety and what causes it?

  • Top tips for dealing with career anxiety

  • How do I get rid of my career anxiety?

  • Best jobs for people with anxiety

What is career anxiety and what causes it?

It can be difficult to determine whether you are dealing with career anxiety or with another issue altogether. Career anxiety involves having an unnatural fear or worry related to your job, career path, and other areas of your career. People who experience career anxiety often find themselves missing work, excessively worrying about work, and overreacting when they face problems on the job.

When you are struggling with career anxiety, your job performance as a whole may suffer. The relationships with your coworkers and supervisors may also be negatively affected, which can lead to feelings of isolation. Ultimately, if you aren’t able to cope with these problems, you may even lose your job in the process.

Learning how to cope with career anxiety is crucial to your success. If you determine you’re experiencing career anxiety, you should figure out what’s causing it. Here are four factors that could be contributing to it:

1. Workplace culture. If you are subjected to a toxic workplace or experience workplace bullying, you are more likely to develop career anxiety. Other issues that may create anxiety include being subjected to unrealistic expectations, a highly competitive industry, or unpredictable work hours with lots of overtime.

2. Inability to perform tasks. You may experience career anxiety if you feel you aren’t able to complete your tasks properly. This could stem from not being educated or trained for your role or from having too much work to do within the time you are allotted.

3. Public speaking. Being tasked with speaking in front of a group may also cause career anxiety. If you aren’t experienced in public speaking or aren’t comfortable being the center of attention, speaking at a meeting or being an active participant in discussions can be especially challenging.

4. Personal values and morals. Every person has their own set of morals and values, and if you feel you’re being asked to put those to the side for the sake of your job, it’s only natural for career anxiety to surface. This can occur if you’re asked to prioritize work over family or are expected to do something unethical for the sake of your company.

Top tips for dealing with career anxiety

Now that we’ve learned more about what career anxiety is and what causes it, let's take a closer look at some of the ways you can deal with it. It’s important to note that coping with career anxiety will look different for each person. However, these tips can help you discover effective strategies for your situation:

  • Find a career counselor or mentor who can help you identify legitimate concerns about your career.

  • Set short-term goals that are specifically geared toward helping you address the areas of your career that cause you the most anxiety.

  • Don’t focus on setbacks for too long, but look for ways you can learn from them.

  • Acknowledge your successes and be proud of them.

  • Clearly express your concerns  in the workplace, and address any behavior that prevents you from being effective in your role.

How do I get rid of career anxiety?

While completely eliminating career anxiety might not be an option, there are ways to prevent it from negatively affecting your ability to do your job or reach your career goals. When dealing with any type of anxiety, here are some of the changes you can make to make things a lot easier.

Diet and exercise

When you feel better about your health and are getting the right types of nutrients, it’s easier to reduce or eliminate stress and anxiety. Exercising has been shown to increase serotonin, which can naturally help eliminate anxiety. It also gives you a distraction that can prevent you from focusing so much of your energy on your anxiety.

Likewise, your diet can help give you more energy and make you feel better overall, which are also great tools that can help you remove career anxiety from your life. Along with this, try eliminating alcohol and cigarettes and lowering the amount of caffeine you take in. All of these items have been shown to increase anxiety and make it harder to deal with.

Get enough sleep

Fighting anxiety becomes that much harder when you are tired. Adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, according to the CDC, so sleep should be a big priority to you.

If you struggle to get the right amount of sleep, try making the room darker and colder before you go to bed as this has been shown to improve sleep. You should also avoid caffeine before bed, avoid watching television up until the moment you go to bed, and ensure you go to bed at the same time each night.

Talk to your employer

If portions of your job are causing your career anxiety, it may be wise to talk to your employer about the issue. Your manager or HR department should be able to offer accommodations for many issues that could be affecting your job performance, such as workplace bullying or a toxic environment.

Speaking with your employer may come with anxiety of its own, but it’s important to remember that getting through certain tasks will only help make it easier to deal with your anxiety. To make things easier, plan out and write down what you want to say before the meeting. You should also practice saying your initial comments aloud so that you get used to hearing yourself talk about the issues you are experiencing.

Best jobs for people with anxiety

If you are someone who experiences an uncontrollable amount of anxiety, some careers may be better for you than others. Take a look at this list to see our suggestions.

  • Freelancer/Self-employed. One great option for those who regularly deal with anxiety is working a job where you can be in charge of your career and schedule.

  • Accountant. In most entry-level accounting positions, employees aren’t tasked with working with the public much and don’t face a huge amount of stress. Tasks are also structured and detailed, so you will always know what to expect from one day to the next.

  • Data entry. This type of job doesn’t require extensive training or skills that are complicated to obtain. The work is also rather repetitive, which can be perfect for those who deal with a lot of anxiety.

  • Graphic designer. One great thing about becoming a graphic designer is that it is a position that allows you to express your creativity. You also have quite a bit of control over the finished project, which can help make it easier to fight your anxiety.

Regardless of how you decide to tackle your career anxiety, we are here to help make your journey along your career path easier. Stop by our services page today to learn how we can help you reach all of your goals.

Key takeaways

  1. Career anxiety can be caused by a toxic workplace, a lack of knowledge or training, and unreasonable expectations that are placed upon you.

  2. When career anxiety isn’t addressed, it can adversely affect your job performance and interactions with coworkers. 

  3. Setting realistic goals, working with a mentor, and talking to your employer about job-related concerns are a few ways you can reduce career anxiety.

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