According to a Dale Carnegie engagement study, 71% of all employees are not fully engaged at work. However, many professionals find that they are their biggest obstacles to taking steps to reach their career goals. Many times fear is what holds us back from making changes, so we will discuss three ways to face the fear and take charge of your career.
1. Identify your fears. In order to face your fears, you have to identify them. When you think about the changes or moves you want to make in your career, what are the words, thoughts, and feelings that come to mind? Write them down as well as the negative ideas that come to your mind when thinking about reaching out for your career goals. Next, try to categorize your fears into a few main categories. For example, your fears may stem from feeling you are unqualified, too old, or thinking you may still feel unsatisfied. Finally, uncover the impact these fears have on you. For example, do they cause you to procrastinate, feel anxious, not ask for a promotion or cause extra stress? This will allow you to better identify when you are feeling fearful about your career.
2. Manage your fears. To effectively manage your fears, you must first identify what truth there is to your fears. Then you can develop a process for managing your fears. This could be things such as creating positive affirmations, finding an accountability partner, or simply pushing your fears aside. You may find that a combination of these is helpful.
For example, if you feel that you lack confidence to reach out for your career goals, an affirmation such as “I am confident” may just be an empty statement. Instead, try something like “I am beginning to tap into my confidence.” This acknowledges the truth but is a positive affirmation to counter your fear. Then, how can you continue to build up your confidence? Think of two action steps you can put into practice this week.
3. Attitude is everything. Your attitude affects your actions, which in turn affects your outcome. If you have a fearful, negative attitude about reaching your career goals or making a career change, you’re going to get a negative outcome. Pay attention to your attitude and keep negative forces at bay.
You can do this by using the following strategies:
Visualize your success. Taking time to visualize how you would feel if you reached your career goals can give you the boost you need to take action now.
Conduct informational interviews. Does someone in your network or organization have the job position you would like to have? Contact them and ask if you could conduct an informational interview to discover what is needed to reach your goal.
Ask for support. Ask a family member or friend to help you stay positive and focused.
Avoid “Negative Nellies.” If you find certain coworkers, friends, or others tend to be negative about their careers or your reaching out to do more, that can be toxic to your career growth. Try to spend more time with those who are positive and have reached career goals instead.