During October we have been theming our blogs and tips about ‘Overcoming and Tackling Career Fears’ to link in with Halloween. When we planned this a few months ago I knew it would be a useful topic for us to talk about and share, however, I didn’t realise just how much!
As a busy career coach I conduct over a thousand sessions a year with clients, approximately a quarter of those will be a Practice Interview which is the obvious scary career fear for most people. Fear of the questions you are going to be asked and whether you are good enough make interviews a nerve racking experience. However, I would challenge whether interviews are the biggest career fear for people, I personally think the biggest career fear is the Fear of Change. Fear of the unknown with a new job, fear of whether they are good enough to get that promotion, fear of asking their boss for a pay rise and most common of all fear of making that change and stepping out of their comfort zone – something most people I work with have been avoiding doing for a long time.
Before we explore how we can tackle these career fears – let us take a minute to explore what ‘fear’ is….. Fear is one of our oldest emotions, it is something animals can smell, people can see on other people and quite often something very difficult to control. That ball of fire you get in your stomach, your change of temperature from hot to cold and back again, sweaty palms, irrational thoughts – the human body’s reaction to fear is different for each one of us. Some of us know what our fears are (spiders, heights, the bank manager!) and we know we don’t like the associated feelings so we avoid the things we are scared of as much as possible – but is avoiding your fears the best approach?
For some us we have no choice but to face our fears. Fears and emotions towards certain people, objects and situations can evolve over time and appear out of nowhere. As busy people with lots of stressful factors in our work and home lives we sometimes don’t even know that the nauseous feeling we have is actually related to fear and not some dodgy food you ate. In serious cases fear can lead to increased anxiety and panic attacks, it can affect your relationships, confidence and work performance. The hardest thing of all? knowing what the fear and demons are as they are often hidden under years of avoidance and buried emotions.
Fear should not be seen as a failure, every single human feels it – regardless of age, seniority or their personality. Within the work and career sense it is difficult to remove or separate the personal emotion from our fears as we are human and not robots! The key is to work on how well we cope and deal with our fears and the way we can do that successfully is by knowing exactly what our career fear is and putting our own triggers and coping mechanisms in place to identify and deal with fears when they arise. Not always easy depending on the level of your fear, but if you know that conquering your fear to make that career change or change in your life will bring about positive outcomes then surely it is worth working on it and giving it a try?
Hopefully this blog post will inspire you to look a bit further in to what might be holding you back and tackle those career demons! Go for it and let us know how you get on.
Best wishes, Saffron
Chief Career Ringmaster, Career Circus Ltd