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September 22, 2014
Face the Fear and Take Control of Your Career Transition
Are you immobilized by the fear of making a change in your career? Whether you are aiming for a slight adjustment or a dramatic shift, altering your career path in any way can be overwhelming. Often, job seekers choose to ignore the challenge instead of facing it head-on. As a result, they end up years later in the same job they don’t enjoy, wondering where the time went. As a certified career coach, I keep track of the surveys published every few years with depressing numbers about employee satisfaction. One of the most recent is from Right Management: 16% are somewhat satisfied, 44% are unsatisfied. Out of the thousands of people we have worked with at HallieCrawford.com, 85% say THEY are their biggest obstacle in making a career change. Facing the fear sounds great, but it can be easier said than done, which is why the satisfaction ratings remain so staggeringly low every year. Here’s what you can do to overcome the fear:

First, realize how important the mental game is in career transition. Career change is stressful. Jobs pay our bills. Our identity is wrapped up in what we do. It’s easier to ignore and muddle through. Like an old pair of slippers that doesn’t fit, at least we know what to expect. As part of that, remember attitude is everything. Attitude can be defined as a complex mental state involving beliefs, feelings, and dispositions to act in certain ways. Your attitude starts in your mind and affects your actions, which in turn affects your outcome. If you have a fearful, negative attitude about your transition, you’re going to get a negative outcome. Action Items: Ask yourself now: What are my two biggest fears about making a career change? Write them down. Next, determine what you can do about them. Examples could be: create an affirmation, ask a friend for moral support, or purchase a copy of Taming Your Gremlin. It’s a fantastic, easy read that can help you manage the negative self-talk we all have in some way, shape, or form.

Second, actively manage those fears. Simply knowing what they are in the first place won’t do you any good unless you establish a daily routine for managing them. And you may do well for a week, then fall off the wagon. If you’re truly serious about making a change, you must create a structure for reminding yourself to manage the fear and one that will last for the long haul. Some simple examples could be daily meditation where you imagine yourself being free of those fears for five mins in the morning, setting an alarm on your phone once a day that includes your affirmations, or committing to referencing the Taming Your Gremlin book every day and leaving it on your bedside table. People who are successful have fears, they just know how to overcome them for the long term. It's not that they avoid them completely or don't have them in the first place.

Finally, visualize being successful. Fast forward 5–10 years (whatever time frame is comfortable for you). What are the qualities you want to have (greater confidence, wisdom, communication skills)? Write those down. Then circle those that will enable you to be successful in your career transition. Finally, think of one person in your life who has those qualities. How do they behave in the face of adversity? What do they look like when they are confident, and how do they act? Imagine yourself having those same qualities and spend a few minutes each day visualizing how you would look, feel, and behave if you had them. Ask them to help hold you accountable for your career change. Ask them to be on your career transition dream team.

Following these three simple steps will get you well on your way towards managing your fears. The key is to be consistent in your actions. This isn’t rocket science. These tips are straightforward. The traits in people who are successful with them are determination, consistency, and holding themselves accountable.

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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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