The reality: In an uncertain economy, employment is far from a sure thing, so it’s easy to wonder if your position may be eliminated.
You’re most vulnerable if: You’ve been laid off from a job before or someone close to you was fired unexpectedly.
What to do: Grounding yourself in day-to-day reality is a good way to avoid stressing. Try to keep a close eye on how your company is doing financially so you can gauge the likelihood of layoffs, says Barbara Gutek, Ph.D., professor of women and leadership at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Meet with your boss to learn what you can do to solidify your position. Discuss what projects you should be working on and which skills and responsibilities you should be developing. No matter what, it’s always smart to look ahead, whether that means thinking of your next move within your company or contemplating a larger career change, says Robert Leahy, Ph.D., author of The Worry Cure ($15, amazon.com).
It has gone too far when: You are constantly stressing over your job performance, despite multiple reassurances that your work is up to snuff. In this case, overly perfectionistic tendencies could be to blame, and you may want to discuss this issue with a therapist.