How Does Job Insecurity Affect Your Health?

February 11, 2019
Job insecurity has obvious financial implications and can make it difficult to make ends meet. But what about its effects on your health? Job insecurity can cause stress and anxiety, which significantly impact your well-being.

In recent years, there have been many recessions in many countries. One of the most common results of a recession is job insecurity. Fewer stable jobs and more part-time jobs or contract work affect those who are at the highest and lowest ends of the age spectrum. The first group is discriminated against because of their age and the second due to lack of experience.

Job insecurity means instability. It often means that people don’t develop professionally as they’d like or that they have to wait longer to have kids, buy a house, or take a trip, among other things. In most cases, the frustration that job insecurity causes affects your physical and mental health.

What are some of the consequents of job insecurity?

Job insecurity can cause a myriad of problems. Low salaries can make it difficult to satisfy basic needs. That means that you feel stressed every time you have to spend money. The relationship between a job and an employee’s interests is also important. If you’ve studied to be in a particular field and you have to work another job for economic reasons, you won’t be satisfied. Bad working conditions (short-term contracts, not enough hours, etc.) can also cause significant anxiety.

A stressed woman at her desk.

Anxiety is the result of overexposure to stress or too many negative expectations about the future. This happens when your blood cortisol levels increase significantly for a prolonged period of time. High cortisol levels can lead to all types of illnesses, sleep disorders, and other health problems.

On the other hand, unsafe working environments can also cause stress and anxiety. Construction jobs still have a relatively high mortality rate, which puts stress on construction workers. They’re exposed to heavy machinery, chemicals, and sometimes even to very hot materials. The structures they work on are also quite dangerous because most workers don’t wear safety harnesses. Mines are also extremely dangerous workplaces since miners are exposed to toxic gasses and sometimes don’t have enough oxygen.

What can you do about job insecurity?

As individuals, we don’t have a whole lot of influence on the economy. Consequently, the only actions we can take are individual or as a collective. As a collective, the best thing to do is rally a group of people who have common workplace-improving goals. On an individual level, we can deal with any stress or anxiety we’re experiencing in a healthy way.

  • Identify the cause of the insecurity: As we’ve seen, job insecurity is caused by different factors. You might work with dangerous machinery or have to deal with toxic coworkers or even workplace harassment. Before taking action, you need to identify the cause of your anxiety because that will determine what kind of solution will be effective.
  • Set priorities: People who experience job insecurity have higher stress levels than others. Thus, you should try to avoid situations that will cause unnecessary stress. There are plenty of things, situations, and even people that can affect your quality of life. Staying away from them can improve your stress levels.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself: Your work results often depend on things you can’t control. Don’t be a perfectionist and accept that you’ll make mistakes. That’ll help you relax. Remember that sometimes you’re your own worst critic.
A woman happy with her work.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Positive thoughts can help you face stressful work situations. If you know how to control and manage your stress, you’ll be able to deal with it. However, if you find yourself in an extreme situation, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you need professional help. Take charge of your health and happiness. Dare to change!