We’re all human; we all have fears and worries, especially in terms of careers as working is what we spend most of our lives doing. But what are you afraid of when it comes to your career? New research from marketing recruiters Forward Role asked UK workers what their fears were, and five topics came out on top…

"You’re fired"

Unsurprisingly, 13% of respondents said they fear losing their job. This worry is especially prominent if you’re in a job you enjoy, one of a high position or one with the potential to move upwards. And of course, let’s not ignore the obvious; your job pays your bills, so losing it without a back-up source of income could be a big issue.


If you’re in a job you want to keep hold of, your fear could be focused on your performance and if it’s good enough; a further 13% said they fear failing at their job. Doing well, succeeding and impressing senior members of staff could just win you that promotion, but ‘failing’ at a task, a presentation, or your entire job all together could lead to embarrassment, low self-esteem and potentially unemployment (see above).

Managing director of Forward Role, Steve Thompson comments on this result with some handy advice:

‘We all have goals and dreams that we want to accomplish in our professional lives, but the fear of failure is often what holds us back from achieving those goals. We are so afraid to push the boundaries and reach for them because what if we don’t?

‘It’s all about your mindset. It won’t happen overnight, but learning to look at your ‘failures’ as a stepping stone towards success rather than a reason to give up will help you far more in the long run.’

Having too much on your plate

Keeping busy at work with a lengthy to-do list is great for increasing productivity and avoiding boredom. However, too many tasks could lead to stress, anxiety and workplace unhappiness; 10% of respondents from the Forward Role research said they fear being overworked and overwhelmed with too many tasks.


Everyone wants to work in a harmonious, happy workplace right? That explains why ‘confrontation’ makes the list of career fears, with 8% wanting to avoiding confrontation at all costs. This links to failure – if you fail, you could be confronted about it, which could cause even more fear; work’s starting to look like a scary place isn’t it?

While avoiding arguments or confrontation seems the best way to keep the peace, addressing issues formally and directly could solve them quietly and calmly without creating enemies.

Joining the crowd

Social fears are also very much relevant in the UK; 6% fear not fitting in or getting on with colleagues. Much like when you were making friends in school way-back-when, being left out isn’t a great feeling, and when you spend every day with your colleagues, feeling included and accepted into a group whilst at work is important for your overall happiness.

David Ingram, managing director of Bring Digital gives advice on colleague relations at work:

"Working with others is a fundamental part of any career, no matter what industry you are in. But your desire to be liked shouldn’t come above everything else; you’re here to do a job, after all. We’re not saying be aggressive and difficult to work with – that behaviour usually ends up getting you in trouble – but don’t be afraid to be assertive and get the job done. You’ll win more respect that way and progress further."

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with her love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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