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Untapping potential: Anxiety and the workplace

It can be a common misconception that the workplace is the cause of anxiety. Sure, it can cause stress, loss of sleep, or burnout, but what people don’t realize is that anxiety comes before the job even starts. In "Four ways your anxiety is ruining your career...and what to do about it," author Anastasia Strokova highlights this misconception.This article illustrates the ways in which anxiety can negatively affect workplace performance and success.

Those with anxiety tend to be less assertive and ask for promotions less often. This may occur after finding a comfortable position and fearing the adjustment that coincides with advancement. This fear could cost employees millions over the course of their careers if they allow it to control them. Anxiety also limits one’s power to network and build opportunities. In meetings, those with anxiety may be less apt to speak up and share thoughts. This leaves those individuals feeling unheard and underappreciated.

Mental illness is something that is eliciting more and more awareness, especially within the workplace, and articles like this are contributing to such conversations. People with anxiety can sometimes be known as rude, uninterested, or unmotivated. The reality is that they often struggle day to day juggling another full-time job of trying to manage their anxiety. It is important for companies to acknowledge this challenge and aid these individuals. In this way, organizations can utilize the untapped potential that some employees are holding back.


Conor Kennedy is a Graduate Assistant in the Graduate Programs in HRD at Villanova. He also serves as the Treasurer of the VU SHRM chapter. Learn more about him here & connect with him on LinkedIn!

Image by Nik Shuliahin.

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