5 common career change fears and how to manage them
More than a quarter of Americans may make a career change in 2023 According to Globalization Partners’ 2022 Global Employee Survey. The survey revealed that although 33% of workers will change jobs in the same sector, 26% want to change careers completely. When considering why they want to make the change, workers most ranked better pay (34%), the ability to change their work schedule (34%), and career opportunities that weren’t available when they were younger (34%). common reasons
But making a career change can be scary. In fact, according to Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, changing to another line of work is under the death of a close friend. Fortunately, there are ways to ease anxiety so it doesn’t stop you from moving forward. Here are some of the most common career change fears and how to handle them.
Fear of failure
One of the most widespread fears of changing careers is the fear of failure. Fear of failure often stems from the fear of experiencing shame or embarrassment. We are so worried about feeling humiliated and being let down by others that we stop trying to achieve our dream. The problem with fear of failure is that it can be paralyzing, leaving us with nothing to do.
Here is the exercise to tackle fear of failure:
Consider the worst cases and write them down on paper. Be specific. Then, in the second column, write down what you can do to minimize the likelihood of the worst-case scenario happening. In the third column, decide what action you would take to get back on track if the worst case scenario were to happen. Then, in the fourth column, rate the worst-case scenario on a scale of 1 (not likely) to 10 (very likely). This simple exercise will help you put your fear into perspective and realize that the worst case outcome is unlikely or manageable.
Fear of what others might think
If you’re afraid to make a career change, fear of people’s opinions can hold you back. Perhaps your father encouraged you to pursue a “safe” job in finance, and now you feel like you should quit as a professional chef. In the end, you are the one who will live with the choices you make, not others. To combat this concern, start practicing authenticity and developing a strong sense of self.
Ask yourself some important questions:
- What do I care?
- What do I really want?
- What activities do I like?
- What legacy do I want to leave behind?
- What would I be looking for if I wasn’t so worried about being judged?
Then focus on your goals and aspirations. Why are you considering changing careers in the first place? Is it because you want to make a difference in the world? Do you want a better quality of life? If you remember your “why,” you’ll be able to stay focused on other people’s opinions.
Fear of being too old
Changing your career can seem scary, especially if you’re over 40. But it is not rare or impossible. The good news is that the majority of older career changers are successful, based on a A study by the American Institute for Economic Research. One way to overcome this fear is to think about all the advantages that come with having someone with a lot of work experience. For example, as you progress in your career, you acquire valuable contacts and hard and soft skills. You may be more financially stable, which provides additional flexibility when planning a career change.
Fear of wasting experience
The fear of changing careers is having to start from the bottom. To combat this, recognize that you have more transferable skills than you realize. Also, if you have a strong network, it will be easier to make the right inputs for a smooth transition. Finally, don’t forget your soft skills such as leadership, communication and problem solving, which are in demand more than ever. Everything you’ve done up until now has prepared you for what’s next.
Fear of uncertainty
There are no guarantees in life. When you make a career change, there is always some risk involved. But you can mitigate this risk in several ways:
- Embrace uncertainty and take it as a learning experience
- Take small steps instead of giant leaps
- Develop new skills outside of your comfort zone
- Avoid things you can’t control
- Seek the support of a small group of trusted people
Uncertainty is all around us. But if you focus on developing a resilient mindset, you will surely be able to face the unknown with confidence.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to be afraid. Don’t let it obstruct your vision. Mastering fear involves learning how to recognize and change the conversation in your head. Once you do that, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
Follow me Twitter or LinkedIn. Revise my website.