What It Means to Dream About Getting Fired

If your dreams contain stressful work-related situations, like getting fired, it's time to think about your insecurities.

The last thing you probably want to dream about after a long, hard day at work…is work. The stress factor feels similar to dreams about being back in school, and the fear factor is almost as strong as dreams about falling or being chased. And one of the worst work-related dream scenarios is as much of a nightmare in your head as it is in real life: getting fired.

According to HealthySleep, over half of the people who participated in a recent survey responded that they had experienced a work-related nightmare. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your occupation is, either; the brand found that over 46% of low-stress (or stress-free) workers said they had experienced work-related nightmares, too.

To learn more about the meaning behind stressful work-related dreams, we spoke with Nicole Eichelberger, a BSM-certified sleep expert specializing in insomnia, apnea, and circadian rhythm disorders, and a consultant at Mattressive.

“Dreaming about work is quite common, as work often occupies a significant portion of our waking hours,” Eichelberger emphasizes. “Dreams about work can reflect our feelings and experiences related to our job, including feelings of stress, frustration, accomplishment, or fulfillment.”

Here’s what she had to say about how you can interpret dreams about getting fired specifically.

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What does it mean when you dream about getting fired?

woman getting fired carrying box

“Dreaming about getting fired can symbolize a feeling of insecurity or fear about losing control over some aspect of your life,” Eichelberger explains to Hello Giggles. “It can also reflect anxieties about your job performance or worries about financial stability.”

While these dreams can feel very real and very relevant depending on your situation, keep in mind that dream interpretations are highly personal, and what’s happening in your head versus what is happening in real life can vary greatly (especially if you’re dreaming about bugs crawling all over you, for example.

If you’re dreaming that you’ll get fired, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be — but if you’re really that worried about it, it could be a good time to set up a touch base or performance review with your manager.

What should you consider after you dream about getting fired?

A good night’s sleep is important for helping you stay focused and productive during the day, and dreaming about getting fired can throw everything off balance.

Eichelberger suggests taking time to reflect on your emotions once you wake up from these kinds of dreams, and consider what the dream may be trying to tell you.

This process could provide insight about your thoughts and feelings toward your job or life, in general. “If the dream is causing you stress or anxiety, try to identify the source of these feelings and address them in a healthy and productive way,” she adds.

How can you switch your brain off from stressful work issues that may pop up in your dreams?

woman getting fired

While it’s difficult to control what we dream about, there are a few ways you can trick your brain into feeling more calm, in general, before you hit the hay.

Eichelberger advises relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, engaging in physical activity to release pent-up energy, writing down your thoughts and worries in a journal, or reading a book to take your mind off of work.

“Additionally, developing a consistent sleep routine and avoiding screens for a few hours before bed can also help you fall asleep more easily and sleep more restfully,” she adds. Because the last thing you really want to see before you close your eyes is an inbox full of work emails.

Katka Lapelosova
Kat is a born and raised New Yorker exploring the world as she writes, eats, and everything in between. Read more
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