Fear of Career Change: How to Spot, Avoid and Prevent It

What is stopping you from chasing your career dreams? Some individuals are stuck with the jobs they don’t like, bosses they don’t get along with, and a toxic work environment simply because they are afraid of failing.

Career change is a serious step. Like any other significant event, it is associated with fear. It is up to you to spot fear triggers and overcome them if you want to succeed in your career.

How do you spot, avoid, and prevent it?

Understand that It’s Okay to Be Afraid

Understand that It's Okay to Be Afraid
Understand that It’s Okay to Be Afraid, Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

The first thing to remember when fighting your fears is that it is acceptable to be afraid. You are not a failure simply because you are unsure if you should take the next step to change your career.

However, it would be best if you did not let fear interfere with your goals and vision. Stop listening to the loud voice claiming that you will fail and start believing that everything will turn out as you want it to. Most often, the limits are only in our heads and do not indicate what we are really capable of.

Be Aware of the Common Fears of Career Change

You must understand the common fears of a career change. This way, as a potential applicant, you will be able to establish if what you are going through is a real fear. Sometimes, it can be just overexcitement. Sometimes, you may experience:

  • The Fear of Failure: The thought of leaving your current job to find that the new one is not as good as you thought can quickly cripple your dreams.
  • The Fear of Not Progressing: What if you move to a new workplace, but it will take you forever to recover? If you switch your job, you should let go of everything you had in your career life, especially the experience and a solid relationship with colleagues and clients.
  • Fear of Judgment: Many individuals are stuck with the wrong jobs because they are afraid of what others will say. They are scared that their friends and relatives might disapprove of the career change decision.

Understand Your Fear

Now that you understand the different fears, it will be much easier for you to know your triggers.

Knowing your fear allows you to make peace with it and use it as a motivator. View it as an ally rather than trying so hard to fight it.  To understand your fear, consider what risks you will be taking by changing careers. For instance, imagine you are employed but you feel like resigning and applying for a job in your dream company. What is the worst that could happen? You might miss the position, meaning that you will become jobless.

How prepared are you if that happens, and what can you do to minimize the effects of the risk? Such questions will help you spot your fear and come up with a strategy to prevent it.

Some of the steps to take in this case are preparing for the interview and working on a killer resume. You can entrust the job to expert services such as skillhub.com where quality is guaranteed. This is their primary job. So, you can trust that they will craft a winning resume for you within the shortest period.

Explore and Know Yourself

Your journey to career change starts with exploring. This is where you take time to understand your motivations, values, and strengths. Look deep into your lifestyle expectations and what interests you.

Knowing yourself gives you more strength to chase your dreams and create a vision of who you aspire to be. This helps you understand what kind of employee you want to be and weigh the risks and benefits to determine if the career trade-off is worthy.

Conduct In-Depth Research

Conduct In-Depth Research
Conduct In-Depth Research, Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

It is crucial that you spend some time understanding your desired career path before making the final decision. Do not let a higher salary be the only reason you want to move to the new sector. Consider other aspects such as your passion and if the industry is in line with your beliefs.

Moreover, research the different open positions and the required skills and experience. What methods do they use for hiring workers? Do they have an applicant tracking system?

The fact that recruitment and hiring are done electronically means that there are higher chances of getting the position if you have a resume of a high standard. ATS system increases your chances of landing the job, thus eliminating the fear of failure.

Try and connect with someone who is already in that career. Ask them important questions such as their day-to-day duties, what challenges they face, the reward of being in the industry, and what they would advise. The more information you have about your desired career, the easier it will be for you to eliminate doubts and uncertainties.

Seek the Help of a Career Advice Expert

Seek the Help of a Career Advice Expert
Seek the Help of a Career Advice Expert, Image Courtesy of Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

You cannot go wrong by seeking help from a professional. The expert will help you weigh the pros and cons of being in your current workplace compared to the rewards and downsides of choosing a new path.

What’s more? If you get professional help, you will be more at peace and have more confidence when making the final decision. The consultant walks with you through the fears of a career change and comes up with a strategy to overcome them.

If you are afraid that your job application will fail, the expert will give you top tips to land an interview. From there, you can work on the key skills as per the requirements of the recruiting firms. It feels much better if you have insights from an experienced person rather than handling everything on your own.

In Summary

The idea of career reinvention may scare you and cause anxiety from time to time, but it does not have to.

All you need to do is understand what is causing your fears and face them. Do not be afraid to take things slow and weigh the consequences before making a final decision. Most importantly, get help. Let experts create a bot-beating resume for you and let a consultant advise you if you are on the right track or need to rethink your decision.

Aimal Khan is the founder & CEO of Engineering Passion. He is an engineer and has obtained his bachelor's degree in energy engineering from Kandahar University.