Face Career Fears With Small Steps

January 4, 2018 by Dan Lee

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, said, “Everything we want is on the other side of fear.”

We’ve all experienced fear on various levels throughout our lives. Fear is an emotion and the feeling of being afraid whether the threat is real or imagined. Fear is also present in our careers. Career fear is a reality and if it gets a grip on us, can ultimately hold us back from reaching our full potential.

Believe it or not, there’s an actual National Face Your Fears Day. It’s fitting the day is recognized in October. To celebrate, I’d like to challenge you to start taking small steps to conquer common career fears you might be experiencing. Taking small, intentional steps will boost your self-confidence, help you chip away at the fear and build positive, personal momentum that will carry over into the new year – and a new beginning.

Too Comfortable – Being too comfortable lulls us into a false sense of security and numbs us from even thinking about where we want to go in our career and how we plan to get there. We need to keep learning, improving and pushing ourselves. When was the last time you left your cubicle behind and attended an industry networking event to meet peers and gain a fresh perspective on what’s happening in your field of expertise?

Intentional step: Put yourself out there, get out of your comfort zone and attend an upcoming networking event. It will give you something to look forward to on your calendar.

Feeling Stuck – Are you bored or frustrated in your current role? Is your team short-staffed and are you the one taking on extra assignments because that’s what you’ve always done? We need to be consistently challenged to build our skills and grow our careers. Remember those former colleagues you admired that had a positive impact on you and are now doing cool things at a new firm? When was the last time you spent time with them face-to-face?

Intentional step: Proactively email, text or call a former colleague and invite them to coffee to discuss your respective career paths and seek their advice.

Afraid of Change – Changing your manager, work environment and daily routine can be stressful to think about, but the thought of staying in your current position another year can be just as scary. Reflect on and identify who inside or outside your organization is doing what it is you really want to do.

Intentional step: Commit to setting up one informational interview with someone who is doing what you want to do. As you get comfortable and see how beneficial this can be, continue doing more informational interviews to build a meaningful network. Change creates excitement in our lives and this is a starting point to embrace it.

Have a career fear you’ve overcome? Let’s hear about it.

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