Problem solved – visiting clients

I have to visit clients in areas where I don’t feel safe. I don’t want to complain and appear weak, but it is making me very anxious and unhappy

It is weak to hide your fears because you are apprehensive about the reactions of others. Be brave and acknowledge the fact that you feel frightened. You’ll find it’s less stressful too. Trying to suppress your concerns will cause you more anguish than it’s worth. Apart from all that, there is of course the fact that this anxiety is probably well founded.

Trust your instincts and then start collating reasons about why you feel uneasy. Look at comparative crime statistics and find out how colleagues and acquaintances feel. Others may share your worries and be just as wary as you are about making them known, but a group approach could be very effective.

Employment legislation in many countries includes a duty of care to provide a safe working environment. Even if there isn’t a legal obligation, there is a moral one. To look at it in purely commercial terms, if you’re not feeling safe your work will suffer so it’s in your employer’s interest to tackle the problem. In jobs where risk is inherent – such a police work or fire-fighting – training, equipment and backup to minimise danger are routinely provided. This is unlikely to happen unless you ask for it in jobs where danger is not an everyday factor. Precede or follow up any discussion with a letter so it’s documented.

Possible solutions could include going in with a partner or at a different time of day, carrying a personal alarm, not appearing different through the way you dress, the equipment you carry, or the car you drive. Consider using a taxi or a company driver. If no one else will drive to this area that more than justifies your concern. Don’t settle for half a solution, hang out for the one that makes you feel safe.

"Trust your instincts and then start collating reasons about why you feel uneasy"