Feeling insecure is a constant struggle for many employees. But, it’s also a huge obstacle to being able to achieve your goals and do your job to the best of your ability.
How can you realise your full potential if you’re constantly holding yourself back worrying about small things and being anxious about matters you can’t control? It’s time to get over it!
Here are some of the most common workplace insecurities, and some advice on how to push past the panic.
1. Feeling like you are not talented enough Today’s labour market is competitive, and it’s natural to feel like your peers are more talented and capable than you are. There’s always going to be someone who can work more efficiently, smarter and quicker than you, but it doesn’t mean your skills aren’t good enough. People work in teams because everyone has different - complementary - skill sets. Your skills matter!
2. Feeling like you don’t earn enough Money troubles can really weigh on your mind, especially if you feel (or know) that someone else on your team is getting paid more than you. Or perhaps your salary is aligned to your colleagues’ but you feel as though you deserve more. Or, you feel trapped in a career where you’ve hit a bit of a salary ceiling, and you’re not sure where to go next. Most of these concerns can be addressed by talking with your manager, or bringing them up at your review. Don’t be afraid to talk about money - you are allowed to!
3. Feeling scared to ask for a promotion This is a common anxiety. Fear of rejection holds a lot of people back from requesting for more responsibilities, a bigger title, or a bigger salary - but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you feel you are deserving of more, you need to make a case to your employer. If you have enough information, facts and examples to back up why you deserve a bump, then you are armed with the right kind of ammo to start this conversation.
4. Feeling social anxiety around your work peersIf you often feel insecure outside the office in social situations, chances are you feel the same around your colleagues or management. Start small. Offer to help others with work tasks, and begin conversations that way. Then, you might feel comfortable asking colleagues what they’re doing for lunch, and suggest you all go to the same hawker centre together. Break down barrier by doing some home baking or bringing in treats for your colleagues to share.
5. Feeling scared of losing your jobIf you’re concerned about all the above, you’re probably also worried about whether you are performing well enough to keep your job. If you’re a good employee who has always had great reviews, you need to kick this idea right out of your head. If you’re not performing, now is the time to sit with your manager and recognise where you need to improve - and do it quickly. If you can show a turnaround in your abilities or behaviour, there should be no reason you will lose your job.
No matter what insecurities you might have at work, most can be dealt with by following these steps:
● Ask questions and get feedback: This is the fastest way to find out of your concerns and worries are warranted.
● Keep learning: If you’re concerned about not doing enough at work, or not being good enough at your job, you can always boost your skills with additional courses and online classes. Work might even pay for you to learn a new skill if it directly correlates to your career path plan.
● Get a mentor: Everyone needs someone to bounce ideas and worries off. It doesn’t need to be your boss - in fact, it doesn’t even need to be someone at your work. Find someone experienced and open to helping you, and try to catch up with them regularly. If your company has a mentorship programme, join it!
● Recognise it’s okay to make mistakes: Nobody's perfect, not even your fantastic boss. Everyone makes mistakes - it’s what you learn from the mistakes that matter, and how you take your next steps forward. Understanding that mistakes are part of the learning journey is a huge step to overcoming insecurity at work.
● Celebrate yourself! You are awesome! It’s easy to forget your good qualities when you constantly focus on the negative, but remember - there’s a reason you were hired and why they thought you were the perfect person for the job. Celebrate small wins and give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. You’ve earned it.