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Recently, I met a new client who was very interested in changing jobs then, she emailed me and told me she had changed her mind. My instinct was that fear of looking and starting a new job was the main reason for her decision, as originally, she expressed she was not happy in her current job, which was only to be temporary position, and now still there 10 years later.

I strongly believe that fear can strangle us when we want to move forward in our careers. I have heard this from different people, and at first, I thought they were excuses to participate in a career transition.

For me a career transition can be moving from a survival to a professional career, switching companies, applying for an internal position, changing to a different type of career or completing academic studies to move into a new work role that matches their academic studies.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary,” Fear” is an unpleasant emotion or thought when you are frightened or worried by something that is painful, dangerous or bad that is happening or might happen.

I believe fear takes hold of us when we are worried about something that might happen. Unfortunately, we can get so absorbed in our fears that it can paralyze us into not moving forward. Many people may tell you face your fears.

So how does this apply to people in their job search. Fear of the unknown can be overcome if you believe in yourself and your abilities to be authentic.  In your current job, you are performing the duties and sometime exceeding the expectations, however you may feel fear as you don’t know how your next employer will like you, or if your coworkers will like you, or if you can do the job, or will you meet the expectations, or will you learn the new technology, or whatever you can think of to prevent you from progressing in your career, could halt your career satisfaction, and you will be stuck where you are. All of those unknowns…cause fear.

The opposite of fear is curiosity, trust, courage, calmness and clarity. You can overcome fear by being curious by completing Career Assessment Testing to see what career directions, are they realistic and viable options for you are regardless of your age. Trust in your own abilities, give yourself credit for your accomplishments and trust someone to help you in your career journey. It can take courage to find a new job with a different company especially if you have been employed with them for a long time, but you can adjust, and you may like change.  Sometimes in your current job may feel hectic and if you moved to another position that was less stressful and have a sense of calmness is it worth your mental health.  Clarity is basically understanding the expectations and where the company is going, once you know this you will be reassured in your position as you know the facts.

Instead of becoming fearful in your career, be in charge and proactive. Understand your motivation to change and be committed to achieve your career goals with confidence. Career change can be a healthy alternative to fear. Sometimes fear can propel us too, what fears come up if you stay where you are?

Co- authors, Mary Whitaker, Career Coach at RITE Careers and Beth Sutherland, Empowerment Coach, Beth Sutherland Empowerment Coaching Inc.   If you need assistance in overcoming your fears check or in your job search check out or