I'm discovering the anxiety that accompanies job insecurity.
Over the recent months, I've read plenty of news stories and annecdotes on people who have already lost their jobs and the pain and heartache they are going through trying to find another job. I've empathised with them and I feel sorry for them, but in many ways, my feelings for them are rather detached because I have always been employed.
Now, those articles are taking on an increased relevance to me.
Ironically, my job position has never been stronger. I work for a major worldwide IT company, am a team leader, and recently scored (as in 2 weeks ago) an impressive 25% pay rise above and beyond the normal annual pay review. From the outside, I would have to be crazy to be complaining about my job ...
... and yet, it's from my privileged team lead position that I can look to the horizon and see dark clouds brewing. The number of systems that I administer (I'm a system administrator) has recently halved due to systems being de-commissioned. The number of systems will be halved again by the middle of next year due to further de-commissioning of systems. This virtually makes my team redundant. And there are rumours that my team will be folded next year and all the work transferred to another team in another state.
In the current climate of terrorist attacks and a rapidly worsening economy ... it's not a good time to be looking for a job ....
Of course, I've still got several months to go, and it's very likely that I'll simply be deployed to another account or team within my company which will be more than fine.
It's simple the uncertainty which is affecting me. I've got a gnawing anxiety sitting in the pit of my stomach which I can't get rid of no matter how many happy thoughts I think. As one of co-workers said today, 'It's hard to get motivated when you're anxious about your future.'
This is very true.