How to Conquer Your Career Fears


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Got a voice inside your head telling you to consider a career change? 

The thought of taking on a whole new career can be scary - especially when it requires that you take a few steps back before getting to your intended goal. Self-doubt and trepidation are normal as you manuevre from expert to a student again, working hard to learn new skills to set you up for a new fuliflling career. 

Doing work you are passionate about is worth the hard work it takes to get there. With mindfulness and mental health practices, you can squash the very normal feelings of fear and doubt that come along with change. 

We’re here to guide you through helpful ways to conquer your career transition fears and provide actionable steps to help you feel confident and prepared for whatever is next in line for your career. 


Get Real with Yourself

If you’re finding yourself feeling down, overwhelmed and constantly anxious at work, it’s probably time you do your mental health a favour and explore a new position or career. Changing careers is not easy and definitely a daunting endeavour. Recognizing your current state of mind will help make your decisions to career change more manageable. 

Dig deep to understand why your job is making you feel this way. Is it derived from stress and overwork? Are you in a toxic environment that puts you on your toes at all times? Examine the entire situation and be honest with yourself. This way, you will be more prepared and know what you’re looking for in the next career move. 

While examining what you enjoy and don’t enjoy in your job, you will inevitably come to evaluate your values at the same time. The values you hold are the driving force behind the work you do (and what gets you through the day!). Acknowledging if your values align with your work will help you decide if it’s time to make a change and what your next career should be. 


Rethink Your Relationship with Fear

Fear is a powerful feeling only when you allow it to hold you back. The less power you give your fear, the less it can influence you. In something that involves so many moving parts like a career change, from letting of a comfortable and stable situation to risk going into unknown territory, failure can be seen to be part and parcel of fear. But in reality, you can take fear to mean that you are growing and preparing to face new challenges. 

Lean into the fear rather than let it paralyse you. Embrace the chance to dive into the unknown that may include roads you’ve never faced before. Use fear as a reminder that your skill set and work ethic are enough to combat it. Play to your strengths and know that even if the career change road is not as smooth sailing as you’d like it to be, you will always grow and become stronger. 


Set Out A Clear Vision

To make career change not be as intimidating, create a clear vision for where you want to go, how long it will take you to get there, and how you plan to pivot if there’s a hiccup along the way. 


Ask yourself the following questions and note down your answers: 

  • Why do I want to change my career?
  • What career path do I think is going to align with my values?
  • What career will align with my future?
  • What steps do I need to take to get into this career path? What must I learn?
  • What is the time frame this change is going to take?
  • What is my financial plan?
  • Who is going to support me on this journey?

The key to having your answers propel you along the career chage journey is honesty. The more honest you are, the clearer your vision will be. Conquering fears doesn't start until you get a little uncomfortable. 

Answering these questions will help you create the path to lead you to your eventual new career. Don’t forget to also take time and draft  roadmap for a backup plan. Maybe down the line you realise the plan will not work out financially or an unexpected circumstance deters it for a bit; having a backup plan will ease the anxiety of setting out on another journey. 


Keep Yourself Accountable

Having a supportive network around you is crucial when you embark on your career change journey. Friends, family and seniors who encourage you when you get discouraged are essential. However, no one can hold you accountable. 

After establishing your clear vision, create a plan to hold yourself accountable. One way to do so is to document your progress on social media and make your journey public. Having an audience tuned in to your activities and experiences along the way may make you more inclined to follow through with each step of your journey. A more private method to consider is to create a timeline of your goals or major milestones of youe journey. Revisit these goals on a daily or weekly basis to see whether or not you are on track and if any new developments need to be made.

An important thing to consider while you find ways to hold yourself accountable is to take one step at a time and not to overwhelm yourself. If you need to pass a course to gain the new skills necessary to venture into your next career, then put your focus into completing the course at a high standard and then move on to the next step. 


Get A Mentor 

As you take on this new journey, do so in an environment that welcomes and promotes change, drive and motivation. Engaging a mentor is a great way to receive the guidance and expertise to further you along the journey and help you gain confidence. If it’s difficult to find someone you personally know to schedule check-ins, seek out videos or blog posts online that have the content that would benefit you. 

Don’t forget that mentor-mentee relationships are a two-way relationship. Your mentor is giving a lot to you and likewise, you should consider what you can provide them as well. Add value to each other and make each other feel appreciated. This ensures the relationship will be a sustainable one. 


Fear Can’t Stop You

Don’t be scared to let yourself be vulnerable. Learning something completely new or in an area you are not so familiar with requires you to put yourself out there. Remind yourself that you have the skills and strengths with you already to conquer the fear and accomplish your career goals. Fear will never stand in your way if you are prepared to get uncomfortable and stay open to new learning and experiences.

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GA Malaysia

Published on Jan 11, 2023

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