Advice column: hidden away, working from home, I feel nervous about my future
Dear Ash,

The lockdown has resulted in less interaction in my role with colleagues, and this is making me nervous about my future. Although I have been working really hard and putting in the expected hours, I am concerned that I may essentially be hidden away and not as visible to senior management; and I’m concerned that this will result in my being potentially earmarked for future redundancy. I experienced redundancy through the previous financial crisis and this is therefore making me even more nervous and anxious, but I’m not sure how to deal with these feelings.

Ash replies:

The lockdown is resulting in much widespread anxiety about current and indeed future issues, especially in regard to financial matters. Therefore you are not alone in feeling this way. Your previous experience is most likely just heightening your fears, which is understandable in the circumstances.

However, you are still attending to your work obligations and are being kept busy; therefore the work is clearly still flowing through to you and this will be clear to management too.

Nevertheless, it is important that you are able to talk through any concerns with your line manager and to get some reassurance for your own piece of mind. The current crisis has already caused much instability for many people; however, on the upside you seem to be one of the fortunate ones who still have a form of income and the ability to work from home.

Try to stay positive for now and focus on what you do have control over – i.e. make sure you meet work deadlines and continue to take pride in your work. You could also look to join some social Zoom meetings in order to allow you to interact with others and to feel more visible and share concerns. There is uncertainty for everyone at the moment, but there will be light at the end of the tunnel – we all just have to continue to be patient and strong. Try to take steps to improve your mental health: for example, go for a walk or talk to friends; but most of all try not to worry. Keep safe.

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and other legal professionals, which can be put to her via the editor: peter@connectcommunications.co.uk, or mail to Suite 6b, 1 Carmichael Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PH. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. Email legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk or phone 0131 226 7411 (select option 3).

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