Career change fears and how to conquer them
Change is scary for many people. A career change is especially daunting because it affects your financial security, prospects and status. In a competitive jobs market with thousands of public sector workers needing to find work in the private sector or become self-employed, these fears need to be understood and overcome.
It is less common for the working population to stay in one career for the whole of their working life, a career change can provide new opportunities which were not previously available to an individual or society as a whole, and a new incentive to push and develop their own skill base. In theory, changing careers sounds exciting however in practice it can be too risky for some to take the plunge.
Why is career change daunting?
- Any change is a challenge – it is easier to stay in your comfort zone, but this is no longer an option for some people.
- It feels like a big decision with huge ramifications
- There is a shortage of jobs
- Companies are risk averse
- You have to market yourself to be successful – and it is common for this to feel unnatural to some people
- Networking is essential and this can be daunting to those who have never participated in this practice
- You need to have confidence and many people lack confidence
Examples of fears
There are many fears about career change. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Fear of success
- Fear of failure
- Fear of loss of status
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of regretting the decision
- Fear of starting at the bottom of a new ladder
Fear is normal and addressing them is an important part of career change. Your fears may be based in the risk you are taking, so it is wise to research the career that interests you in-depth to understand the opportunities available to you so you can minimise the risk of failing in your career change. Here are some tips:
5 Tips to manage your fears
- Notice mental chatter – monitor your thoughts to see where you fears lie.
- Ask for advice - speak to people who have successfully changed careers.
- Build your confidence – remember times in the past when you successfully overcame a change or challenge.
- Useful qualities – remind yourself of aspects of your personality e.g. resilience or persistence that will help you overcome your fears.
- Get expert support – do the Energise career change e course to identify your blocks and work out how to overcome them and thoroughly think through your career change.