Transitioning to a new career or simply changing jobs can evoke a variety of fears – even for confident people. Whether your fear centers on potential failure, meeting new people, loss of income, or a myriad of other fears connected to a professional change, you are not alone. Though fears pertaining to our work are not one-size-fits-all, they are still common to all.
The fact is, on average, each American will work for ten different employers, hold each job for about four years, and change careers three times prior to retiring. Because most people tie their self-esteem to their surroundings, it’s natural to feel threatened and/or fearful.
While your fears are perfectly normal and it’s okay to be afraid, it’s still important to develop techniques to handle the rough patches. This is particularly true if your fears stop you from following a dream that can ultimately improve your life personally and financially.
Consider the steps below as a way to face the fear and embrace the unknown as you move through a job or career transition process.
Navigating a job transition process
- Fear is all in your mind…literally. Set aside some time for thinking and planning.
Instead of viewing fear as an opponent, view it as an ally – a great motivator from which you can learn. Instead of looking at the past and the way things have always been, look ahead. Then write down the emotions you feel when you visualize your new work life. Journal the image you see in your head.
Next, write what you can visualize without that fear. Write about the new visualization. What does it look like when you have acted on and conquered the fear?
- Do small things daily to work through fears. Build your “risk” muscle. Make that phone call you have been hesitating to make. Write down what you want to say, as well as your goals for the call, so you can engage the other person and make the conversation meaningful for both of you.
- Write your three Es. What comes to you Easily and Effortlessly and is Exciting? Your innate skills are usually your strongest and will help you feel more self-confident when you write them down.
- Find sounding boards. Briefly interview friends, family or colleagues. Ask them what they believe you do well. If any patterns emerge from their responses, note them. Allow their responses to resonate with you and compare it to the new job description.
- Join a group or take a class. Local organizations can help build confidence as well as offer a support network. For example, Toastmasters offers support for public speaking. Support from its members will assist you with self-assurance, polishing communication skills, and learning how to engage people.
- Ask for help when you need it. See a professional coach or therapist who can work through your fears with you and build your confidence.
- Reframe the word “failure.” Acknowledge where you went wrong – that is the art of true leadership, but focus on what your learned and what you did right. Dissociate your self-worth with work tasks, as self-worth cannot be measured by external success alone.
Additionally, reframing alters your internal voices, making your self-talk more positive and realistic.
These tips may not help you eliminate fear of changing jobs or careers, but they can bolster your ability to manage the stress.
Connect with Nissen Staffing Continuum. We specialize in finding positions that match your strengths and skills. Our focus is on you and your success. We work as your strategic partner by adding value, helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. Contact us today and discover how we can assist you with your job search.