Act Now: Overcome Your Career Fears

When it comes to changing careers there’s a lot to be afraid of, whether it’s the loss of income, rejection, failure or how to go about making a change. Fear paralyzes people from leaving a miserable job, or starting over in a new field. 



Taking action guarantees you will learn new things and get you one step closer to what you want whether you realize it or not, whereas doing nothing gets you nowhere. Author Barbara Sher in her book “ I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was,” points out four reasons why taking action is so important for a successful career change.

Action helps you think.

Expose yourself to new experiences like volunteering at an organization that interests you, or talking to people who work in an industry you may be considering. 

  • You’ll see first-hand whether you like the position or not.
  • You gain insight into new skills, training or certifications needed for a career change. 
  • You’ll gain knowledge to help you discern if the career change is right for you. 

A client downsized from the financial industry, decided to take a part-time job as a dog walker for a local franchise since she loved dogs and thought that would brighten her day. She became a full-time employee after two months. A year into the job, the franchise owner approached my client and asked her if she would like to buy the business. I am happy to report she has been running a successful dog walking business for more than five years and has never looked back.

Action raises self - esteem.

Self-esteem is essential to moving forward, and staying motivated and focused in your search. Taking action pushes you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to new experiences. Even if things don’t turn out as planned, you almost always learn something new and you find out what you want or don’t want in a new career.

I had a client considering a career change who was fearful because he didn’t know enough about the role he thought he wanted. I recommended he go to his LinkedIn connections, find someone in the role and schedule a short interview to learn more about it. He found a 2nd connection, someone he didn’t know and was very apprehensive about contacting him. Together we crafted an email, which he sent. To my client’s surprise the connection was willing speak with him. Through this process, my client learned that he didn’t want to pursue the role after all, and learned how helpful LinkedIn is for networking and boosting your career, all of which raised his self-esteem.

Good luck happens when you take action.

A client came to me overwhelmed and upset when she was unexpectedly downsized after 25 years with the same company. She had no idea how to navigate a job search in today’s market place. I recommended she contact her clients, consultants, and vendors to let them know she was leaving the company and to thank them for their years of business and service. You never know where your actions take you. Good luck happened when she spoke to the president of the consulting firm she worked with: he offered her a job. And, she had an employment contract on her desk within two hours. Her new position has enabled her to continue doing the same work, covering her former company.

Action helps you overcome resistance.

When you plan for action you are going outside your comfort zone. It’s not unusual to fear failure, but don’t let it stop you. Ask yourself, “Why am I resisting? What’s the worst thing that can happen?” By pushing yourself through your fears, and overcoming the resistance to take a chance, you will get closer to finding that new career. Remember: Good things happen when you act. You fail yourself if you do nothing. 

 Ways to Take Action

  • Volunteer
  • Take a class
  • Attend seminars and workshops 
  • Learn a new skill
  • Network 

It is important to take action when considering a career change. And if you're unsure or fearful, I can help you work through this to successfully reach your next career.