A couple of months ago I wrote a blog called '5 Career Change Fears in Your Forties' and a number of people contacted me about their fears so I have written more on the subject.
In my recent survey 'Pursuing Your Passion at Mid-Life', 87% of employed women said that fear prevented them from pursuing a career they loved to some degree or another. Too many of us let fear rule our lives and keep us in jobs that we are unhappy with. Considering that we spend up to a third of our lives at work, to spend that time unhappy with what we are doing is, I think, very sad.
This fear presents itself in many different forms. It could be a fear of stepping in to the unknown, fear of not being good enough, fear that we don't have the confidence to do what we really want to do, fear that it won't work out and we will end up in a financial mess. The list goes on and on...
But why do so many people rather stay in a situation that they are unhappy with rather than take a chance and pursue a career that they will love? Too often I hear people use the phrase 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't know' to justify staying in a situation that is making them miserable.
Their thoughts about what will happen are not helping their situation. They are often imagining the worst possible outcome which causes them to feel anxious and fearful of making a move. They convince themselves that they are better off staying where they are.
It does not have to be this way and if this is you, stuck in a job that you are unhappy with but are too scared to make a move, if you can change the way that you think about the situation, it will make it less fearful.
When you think about making a career change, what are your beliefs about what will happen? The following 3 tips may help you to reframe how you view your situation.
1. How realistic is your belief?
Jenny was fearful that if she made a career change and it did not work out that she would end up out of work and out of money. This had not happened to her in previous career moves so what were the chances of it actually happening? When she thought about it realistically, the chances were very low. She also realised that things could equally not work out in her current role as there are no guarantees.
2. What would you advise a friend?
If a friend came to you with the same issue, what would you advise them? Now if you are a good friend, you only want the best for your friend and you will want to empower them and see them do well.
Too often we are harder on ourselves than we are on other people. We may put ourselves down but yet uplift others. So, think about what you would advise a friend then apply this advice to yourself.
3. Stop the fortune telling
A lot of us have probably been guilty of this at some time or another. We predict what is going to happen (which often is not grounded in fact) and because of our predictions, don't do something we really want to do. An example being, believing that you are not going to get a particular job so you do not even apply for it.
If you can change your unhelpful thoughts about making a career move to thoughts that are more helpful to your situation, it won't seem so fearful after all.
If fear is preventing you from pursuing a career move, come along to the Ladies Business Brainstorming Club at the University of London. You will be able to address your fears and put together your personalised career change action plan. Further details can be found at here.
You can read further blog posts here