The following question comes to me from a reader interested in whether his feelings of anxiety in a turbulent workplace are normal. It follows Workplace Woes Part 1, in which another reader asked about how to best socialize at work as an introvert, and Part 2, in which a reader asks for advice convincing her colleagues of her point of view. The question is edited for clarity and published with permission:
I work for a corporation that has high turnover: When I first started, a woman I was working with was suddenly let go with no explanation. I took it as a one-off; maybe she didn’t get along with her manager, or something happened between them to suddenly be let go right before the holiday season. A few months later, another person was let go with no explanation, again. And recently, just a few more months later, two people from the same team were terminated in the exact same way. I worked closely with one of them. I enjoyed working with this colleague and he was someone I could count on. He must have had no idea that he was about to be let go. I can’t help but put myself in his shoes and think what that conversation was like, and what it would be like to receive that sort of news, especially in someone’s later years, because he was actively saving for retirement. I don’t have any of his personal information so I don’t know how to reach him or to ask how he’s doing. I am worried about job security (I’ve just purchased a home and my wife is pregnant with our first child), and the fact that anyone in the company could be let go at a moment’s notice without any forewarning. I asked a colleague how he was feeling, and his response was “business is business, they did what was best fo
r the company”. Given this, I’m wondering if my feelings are normal or if I should grow thicker skin. Any advice?