7 Workplace Fears

Scared of getting fired or fainting in the hallway? Fear a coworker rampage or a stuck elevator?


It's not just horror movies that give folks the willies. From natural disasters to a floundering economy, there's no shortage of workplace fears. Since going to the office is such an integral part of our lives, and an anxiety-provoking one at that, I think it would be interesting to discuss common work terrors.

Here are a few common ones that have hit the Jobacle inbox over the years. Check them out and please tell the U.S. News community what freaks you out in the comments section below.

GETTING FIRED: The economic downturn has certainly added fuel to the fire. How will you break the news to your family? Pay the mortgage? Find another job? This is the powder keg of panic, potentially leading to a bevy of unpleasant, catastrophic thoughts.

PUBLIC HUMILIATION: Whether you stumble during a presentation, spill coffee on your pants, or drop an F-bomb within earshot of your boss, no one wants to be embarrassed—especially in front of people you are forced to see on a daily basis.

GETTING STUCK: Feeling trapped is a state of mind. From never-ending meetings to jammed elevators to extreme weather, the thought of having to spend an extra minute in that dimly lit office, against your will, is nauseating.

BEING ATTACKED: The terror attacks of 9/11 changed the way the world thinks. Even though the office is generally a "safe" place, it's hard not to think about all of those disgruntled workers who are even less balanced than you are. Sitting in a cube—without any sense of who, or what, is coming up behind you—can be a scary proposition.

FALLING ILL: Hopefully you're not a magnet for people who faint. Feeling that you're at your most vulnerable in front of Valerie from the accounting department is not a bonus for most people. Plus, that whole ambulance thing leads back to the public humiliation.

GETTING REPRIMANDED: From the time we're little children, we are scolded by our parents. By the ripe old age of 2, we learn to resent the feeling of a "correctional lecture." When you add to that the fact that many bosses reprimand just because they can, you're looking at enough psychological issues to keep your local mental health professional quite busy.

FIGHTING: One minute you're typing, the next you're slugging it out Fight Club style. This fear belongs mostly to males, worried they'll lose their temper, lose control, and spend the night in the clink.

Perhaps you obsess over one of the aforementioned workplace fears. Or maybe you cycle through each one on any given day. Get over your fear of commenting on blogs and tell us what workplace apprehension keeps you awake at night.

After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle.com, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.

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