Surreal Business

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The New Year generally serves as an opportunity for people to set out goals and challenges, but the arrival of 2016 has revealed the ten biggest workplace fears that British professionals have – and the ten reactions they have when dealing with them.

Some workers become aggressive when facing their fears

Never one to stand still, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has put us all to shame with a challenge to replicate the advanced artificial intelligence technology found in Marvel's Iron Man films.

“I'll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home -- music, lights, temperature and so on. I'll teach it to let friends in by looking at their faces when they ring the doorbell,” he said.

With the theme of challenges in mind, job site CV-Library has revealed the top ten workplace challenges that British professionals fear. In fact, 26.2 per cent of workers said their career paths have been chosen to avoid

The ten biggest fears are:

1. Public speaking – 15.7 per cent
2. Presenting – 12.2 per cent
3. Cold calling – 11.5 per cent
4. Leading a meeting – 7.3 per cent
5. Missing targets – 6.7 per cent
6. Speaking on the phone – 6.4 per cent
7. Attending social events – 6 per cent
8. Managing budgets – 5.7 per cent
9. Liaising with senior staff – 4.8 per cent
10. Being away from home – 3.4 per cent

However, being confronted by these challenges doesn't always work out for the best, despite more than a quarter of people using the opportunity to tackle the fear face on.

Read more on workplace challenges:

Indeed, some people panic, call in sick and even become aggressive, the research found. Problems can be resolved with help though, as 51.7 per cent of professionals feel that training opportunities and managerial support would be beneficial.

The top ten reactions to the fears are:

1. Tackle it head on – 26.6 per cent
2. Use as an opportunity to grow – 15.6 per cent
3. Ignore it – 12.2 per cent
4. Avoid the situation for as long as possible – 9 per cent
5. Keep a low profile – 7.6 per cent
6. Panic – 4 per cent
7. Make up an excuse to get out of it – 2.2 per cent
8. Call in sick – 2 per cent
9. Take annual leave – 1 per cent
10. Become aggressive – 1 per cent

Lee Biggins, founder and MD of CV-Library, said: “While it’s discouraging to see that so many workers are closing themselves off to career opportunities as a result of their fears, it is positive to see that many are choosing to face their worries confidently.

“January is the perfect time for the nation’s professionals to overcome their anxieties. We urge businesses to encourage staff to face their career fears and open themselves up to a host of new career possibilities in 2016.

“Many workers would massively benefit from extra support from their employer. Businesses can help their staff address and overcome their anxieties by providing additional training and mentoring programmes.”


Image: Shutterstock

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