Are you satisfied with your professional life? While finding a new job can be a daunting prospect, a career shift can go a long way in increasing your personal happiness and fulfillment. If you're hesitant to seek out a change, the first step is understanding why. For many professionals, fear is the main obstacle standing in the way.
Recognizing the Type of Fear
It's completely normal to be afraid of a career change. After all, getting a new job is a big deal. So, what exactly is it that you're afraid of? Are you afraid to fail? Maybe you don't want to leave your old colleagues behind? Or perhaps you're afraid of a salary decrease? Once you acknowledge exactly what's making you feel this way, you can tackle it head-on.
Confronting the Fear
After you've determined the specific fear that's preventing you from getting a new job, it's time to reflect on it. Say your fear is that you're not going to have the skills and experience required to do the job well. That's a very reasonable concern, but it doesn't need to hold you back. A great exercise is to brainstorm and write down solutions that remove doubt.
If you're worried about your lack of skills and experience, you could start by seeking out educational opportunities. Take local or online classes, or do independent research online. If you're hoping for an immediate career change, consider talking with the hiring manager about getting an entry-level position with room to grow. Or, you could simply decide to embrace the challenge and learn as you go.
Learn About the Position
Often, the biggest fear of changing careers is simply the unknown. You may find that once you have a better understanding of what to expect, your fear naturally melts away. Fortunately, these days, the internet is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you learn about virtually anything. Want to get a feel for what a typical day at your new job entails? A quick search online should reveal plenty of details. Do a little research, and you should start feeling more confident in your ability to handle a new job.
Connect with Other Professionals
Talking to someone about your fears is one of the most effective ways to get over them, especially if the person has gone through a similar journey finding a new career. Post on online forums and social media platforms asking for advice on getting a new job. Reach out to individuals who are currently working in your desired field for more specific information and advice. Countless people all over the world are also going through similar transitional phases. Once you realize you're not alone, the process gets much easier.
Sometimes, the best way to get over cold water is to dive right into the pool. Fear can be a powerful thing, but you can conquer it. Once you start your new job, you're probably going to look back at this phase and laugh. Plan your career shift carefully, and don't feel the need to rush into it. This is an exciting, new chapter of your life, so take the time to do it right.
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