We are all familiar with that feeling of fear that comes from the unknown. It can rear its ugly head as a huge list of negative reasons why the change you are contemplating will not suit you. The aim is to talk ourselves out of making that change because the fear of what might happen seems too overwhelming. But in the words of Barack Obama:
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Essentially, no one is going to do it for you. The only way to achieve the change in your career that you are dreaming of is to take those first steps and get the ball rolling. As it gathers momentum, those steps will become more and more easy.
Fear of what might be
Many of us avoid stepping into the unknown because we have no idea what might trip us up on the way. When thinking about getting a new job we are likely to consider all of the negative unknowns attached to that process. These could be whether you will like the job, what will your boss expect of you, will you like your new colleagues or will you even get the job in the first place?
Turn it around – take those negatives and turn them into positives. Never forget that you are in charge of your thinking and having negative thoughts is a choice you have made. Tell yourself that of course you will love the new job, that everyone will think you are great and that the chances of getting the job are good. You have, after all, done the research on the job and prepared yourself.
Fear of getting it wrong
Making the wrong choices is a part of life. We all do it and sometimes the consequences are worse than others. This fear of making a wrong step on your career path can be debilitating. You may worry that the job will be all wrong and that you could be left in a worse position than you currently are.
Turn it around – Think about the worst that could happen. Even if you do get it wrong, it really isn't the end of the world. Things happen and we recover from them. A misstep on the career ladder doesn't have to mean that it is the end of that career. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and you head back to your recruitment agency. The right job could be waiting for you.
incredibly joyful about working. Isn't that worth a pay cut?
Fear about your skill level
When scanning the job specifications for a role you are interested in, do you notice all of the things you can do or all of the things you can't? If you are discounting yourself from a role because you don't have all of the skills they are asking for, you are suffering from a fear of your skill level.
Turn it around – The obvious answer is to take courses, attend training sessions and read books to improve your skills. But there will always be something that makes a role appear to be out of your league. Turn that negative into a positive. It can be a handy card up your sleeve. You could negotiate with your potential new boss to do in-house training at a lowered salary for the first six months, you could point out all of the things you can do over and above the requested skills, you could acknowledge the lack of skill in one area but demonstrate how you can learn quickly. You are capable of learning on the job – we all are.
No one has ever fulfilled the job spec 100% - they just gave the impression that they did and they believed they could.
Fear is frightening. It is designed to stop us in our tracks and prevent us from moving forward. When a wild animal is ahead of us that makes perfect sense. When a potential new job has become a wild animal in your eyes, you can see that something has to change. Change yourself, change how you think and then change your job.