Several years ago, I worked with a very talented media professional who wanted a career change. But she had a senior role and bristled at starting over again. She was the breadwinner for her household and worried about imposing on her family. She was already overworked at her job and couldn’t fathom the additional work required to bring about significant change. Frankly, she worried that the change she thought she wanted and needed might turn out to be worse than where she was. So we worked together on a plan to get going but she never implemented it. Her story is actually pretty common with aspiring career changers I’ve met who dream big but don’t execute.
A lot of what holds people back is fear. The media client above had fears of starting over, of disappointing her family, of the struggles ahead and possibly regretting the change. What fears are holding you back from achieving the career of your dreams? The best first step in moving past fear is to name your fear and confront it . Here are some ideas to get you started. Are one of these ten fears keeping you from achieving the career of your dreams?
Fear of failure
You take the steps towards the career of your dreams, and you fail at it —your start-up goes under, you can’t get hired in the new field, or you do get hired but you’re not good at your new gig or you don’t like it as much as you thought you would. If you try, you might fail, so you’re stuck at the point of not trying.
Fear of loss
If you do go after the career of your dreams and it doesn’t work out, now you’ve lost your other job. You’ve lost all this time and effort making an enormous change with nothing to show for it. You probably have lost money too — hard-earned dollars spent on classes, conferences, networking events. You might even still owe money — for school, for your start-up loan. You’ve also lost the credibility you built up in your earlier career. How much are you willing to lose?
Fear of embarrassment
A big career change won’t go unnoticed. Even if you’re just in the beginning stages, your friends and family might worry for you. They might think you’re having a crisis (mid-life, quarter-life) or going through a phase. You might look foolish, as you make your trials and errors at achieving the career of your dreams.
Fear of disappointment
It’s not just what people will think, but some people depend on you, and you can’t let them down. What if your career change means a pay cut and then you can’t support your household? In addition to disappointing others, you might also disappoint yourself. Who wants to be that person who can’t get it together?
Read six more common fears that keep you from achieving the career of your dreams in my Forbes Leadership column:
Originally published on October 01, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau