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by Vault Careers | October 26, 2010

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When it comes to being scared at work, nothing compares to having to justify your employability and continued existence. In a recent Vault homepage poll, 31 percent of respondents indicated that interviewing was the most frightening work-related task they faced. And the concept of asking for more money had a quarter of poll-takers quaking in their boots.

Proving that the recession has taken a lasting toll on the psyche of the average worker, some 29 percent of respondents reported that an unexpected summons from HR was uniquely terrifying. That underlines just how much the threat of layoffs has seeped into the day-to-day lives of people: just a couple of short years ago, someone getting a random call from HR may have wondered if they were being promoted, rather than immediately assuming the worst.

All told, fully 85 percent of respondents selected options that indicate their greatest fears lie with the act of finding, keeping or being fairly compensated at a job. Given the current climate, that's not surprising. But it does suggest that employers have a long way to go to establish the sort of trust among employees that will encourage them to take risks—exactly the sort of risks that will be required if companies are going to innovate and invent their way out of this slump.

scary workplace issues poll

--Phil Stott, Vault.com

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Filed Under: Workplace Issues
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