POSTED: December 30 2016
Workplace fears affecting career progression for UK workers

Workplace fears affecting career progression for UK workers

Nearly half (47.8%) of UK professionals admit to having fears in the workplace, with a further 87.3% believing that those who don’t address their fears could be risking their career development. This is according to new research from the UK’s leading independent job site CV-Library.

The study, which surveyed over 1,600 professionals, found that of those affected, one third (35.7%) believe that these fears have impacted their career, while 34.5% have suffered with anxiety. Other responses included; not applying for certain roles (20.5%) turning down job offers (19.9%) and leaving companies (17.1%), all to avoid facing their fears. When asked to share their biggest anxieties, workers cited the following:

1. Making a mistake (20.1%)
2. Public speaking (18.4%)
3. Not meeting deadlines (13%)
4. Not being skilled enough (11.7%)
5. Having to say ‘no’ (10%)
6. Leading a meeting (6%)
7. Speaking on the phone (4.9%)
8. Talking to senior staff (3.1%)
9. Managing a big project (2.5%)
10. Managing a team (2.4%)

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “It’s concerning to learn that so many of the nation’s professionals are being affected by workplace fears, and that these are having a negative impact on their career progression. The fact that workers are turning down good opportunities, or perhaps not even applying in the first place is alarming. It’s important to be able to identify when you’re letting your fears slow down your career progression, and address the situation to ensure you get the support you need: thus avoiding letting your anxieties have a negative impact on your current and future job prospects.”

Despite many being affected by workplace anxieties, the majority (47.8%) of workers said they would tackle the problem head on by facing their fears and getting on with it or by approaching their manager or colleagues for help (24.5%). That said, others admitted that they wouldn’t cope so well, with some workers saying they would become stressed and irritable (10.2%), ignore it altogether (5.7%) or get upset (2.4%).

Furthermore, the research also explored what workers felt they needed to help overcome their fears; with the majority (44.5%) agreeing that support from their managers or colleagues would be beneficial, and 19.4% believing that additional training could be the key. Worryingly, one in 10 said that nothing could help them to face up to their fears.

Biggins concludes: “It’s great to see that the majority of workers would step up and take control of their fears, and approach their co-workers for help. It is, however, sad to learn that a proportion of the nation’s workers feel like nothing can be done to help them. Even when you believe that nothing will help you to overcome your anxieties, talking to colleagues or a manager could have a surprising result. As the New Year approaches, January is the perfect time to address your fears so you can ensure that your career keeps driving forward in 2017.”

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