Before I started my current job, I worked in retail.
My level of responsibility was pretty low and although I still took my role seriously, at the end of the day, whatever had happened didn’t really matter, so I would go home stress free.
When I started my current job, however, realising the level of responsibility I now had and the fear of messing up my dream job started to take its toll on my mental health. Being an anxious perfectionist (the worst type), I was always worried that something was going to go wrong even though there was no evidence to suggest it.
I began to suffer and struggle to focus on my work because the fear of fucking up would make me go light headed and I felt a million miles away from my desk.
I know that a lot of people suffer from the same anxieties and stresses in their workplace so here are a few things I remind myself whenever I start feeling this way.
1. Remember it’s just a job, not your life
Yeah, this is hardly going to solve all your problems immediately, but hear me out. Because of the society we live in, we all think that having a job is the most important thing in the world.
When we’re sitting at our desks, we can get trapped in the environment and soon forget that there is a life outside the office. Your job is important, of course, it is, but giving up your mental health to get the job done isn’t good for anyone.
2. Remember you’re an employee in a company
Take pride in your work and strive to succeed, but don’t be a slave to your boss or be afraid to speak out. What you do at work does have an impact on the rest of the company and you should own it, but remember that you’re a cog in an overall machine. You can ask for help and you can speak up when you have a problem. Don’t let the fear of being seen as a failure keep you in your own head
3. Stop overthinking every single thing
Easier said than done, obviously. Personally, I used to really struggle with sending emails to people much higher up in the company than I was. I thought that they would think I’m being rude and get angry at me. Never has this ever happened.
I realised that the more I worried about it, the more polite and indirect my emails got. I wouldn’t ask for what I actually wanted and this slowed conversations down.
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get over your irrational thoughts because really, worrying isn’t going to stop something from happening.
4. Someone asking to ‘talk later’ doesn’t always mean something bad
I think this must stem from bad American dramas when a boss comes out and say ‘we need to talk in my office’ and then the sinister music comes on and the employee walks out crying because they’ve lost their job, house and family all in the space of 30 seconds.
You know what, sometimes things just can’t be spoken about in front of everyone else because of confidentiality. Even if the worst is spoken about, it’s not as bad as it is in your head.