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November 5, 2018
Career Transition: Overcoming the Fear of Change

Fear is a common obstacle to change. Whether it be making a small change or a drastic one, fear can hold us back from taking the steps needed to get our careers on the right track. In fact, 90% of our coaching clients say that they are their biggest obstacle to their career dreams. So how can you fight the fear and take charge of your job transition?


Identify your fears. The first step to fighting fear is to identify what obstacles you are facing that make you feel fear. To do this, use the following exercise. You may find it helpful to buy a special notebook for this exercise. Note that it may seem scary at first to write down your fears. But once you have clearly identified them you will be better prepared to overcome them.


  • Think about what words, thoughts, and feelings come to mind when you think about your job transition.

  • Write everything down and then group them together based on the fear that they represent. (For example, they could represent a fear of not being qualified or ending up in another bad job.)

  • Identify what effect your fears have on you. (A common effect of fear is procrastination.)


Acknowledge the reality. Your fears may have some truth to them. It’s important to acknowledge the truth to your fear but them determine a process to manage them. We recommend the following ways to manage fear:


  • Talk back to them

  • Ignore them

  • Push them aside

  • Create positive affirmations


Determine which methods would be more effective for your personality and the type of fears you want to manage. For example, you may fear that you aren’t qualified for the job you want to transition to and there is a ring of truth to that.  Let’s say that you choose positive affirmations to manage this fear.


  • If you simply say, “I am qualified for this position,” since you don’t acknowledge the truth, you won’t believe the positive affirmation and it won’t do much to manage your fear.

  • If you say, “I’m not totally qualified yet, but I’m building up the skill set I need to be successful in this position,” this will be more effective at combating negative thoughts.


Stay positive. Staying positive is so important during a job transition and job search, because your attitude will affect your actions, and that will affect the final outcome. There are several ways to stay positive during your job transition:


  • Avoid any negative nellies and negative environments. For example, turn off the news.

  • Ask for support. Ask a friend to help you stay positive and focused.

  • Take small risks. Small victories will help you feel positive about taking bigger risks.

  • Conduct informational interviews. Talk to someone who has the job that you want.

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Guest Blogger Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches help people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at www.HallieCrawford.com for more information about her team's career coaching services. Set up a Complimentary Career Strategy Session with Hallie Crawford to get advice on your career goals. *Mention you saw us on Talent Zoo and receive a free bonus if you purchase a product or sign up for coaching.* http://www.HallieCrawford.com
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