Embarking on a career change, particularly later in life, can be a daunting prospect. I was in my late 40's when I found myself in a place that did not feel good. My confidence, my voice, my drive, was all stripped from me as I tried so hard to push through and navigate a toxic culture. Fears and uncertainties often prevent us from taking the leap, even when we yearn for something different. Understanding these fears is the first step towards overcoming them and starting a new chapter in your career.
Fear of Damaging Relationships
One common fear is that a career pivot may damage our relationships, both personal and professional. I had strong ties at work and as a leader, I didn't what to let anyone down. I felt like I had to stay to make things better and to be there for my co-workers who I had a deep relationship with. However, genuine relationships can withstand changes, and it is important to prioritize your own happiness and fulfillment.
Fear of Financial Insecurity
Naturally, financial security is a significant worry when contemplating a career change. At the time, I was the sole breadwinner and a single mom. I was the only one paying the bills. The fear of losing a steady income can be overwhelming. Strategic planning and saving can help mitigate this fear, and it is important to consider the long-term financial benefits of finding a career you love. I was able to plan a runway so that I could leave a job without another one in the wings. At the time, it wasn't that I couldn't find a new role, but I needed time to heal myself and get my feet back under me.
Fear of Uncertainty
The unknown can be terrifying. There will always be uncertainty when making a career pivot—will you enjoy your new job? Will you succeed? How will this change impact your life? Researching, seeking advice, and trusting your instincts can help reduce this uncertainty. But beware! Others have their own ideas and agendas and can influence you without meaning to. Working with a coach is one way to ensure that the advice and support you need is impartial and suited to your own desires.
Fear of Failure or Success
Lastly, the fear of both failure and success can hold us back. We may be afraid of failing in a new career, or conversely, we may fear the changes that success may bring. Remember that both failure and success provide opportunities for growth. As a recovering perfectionist, I struggle with the idea of failing so I created a series of experiments that were low risk and allowed me the permission I needed to get it "wrong" sometimes. This is now a big part of my coaching program as it helps take the pressure of having all the answers.
Conquering Your Fears to Pivot Successfully
Facing and overcoming these fears is an integral part of career transformation. With courage, resilience, and a supportive network, you can navigate these fears and successfully pivot your career. The goal is for you to get re-engaged and connected with the work you do for a paycheque. It's about aligning who you are on the inside with what you do on the outside. Get clear on your purpose and your values and arm yourself with a deeper connection so you can navigate your fears more successfully. This isn't about not having fear, it's about having the courage to find your way through to work that fits and feels good.
If you're contemplating a career change and these fears resonate with you, know that you're not alone. Consider booking a clarity call to discuss these fears and start your journey towards a fulfilling career change. You might not know were you want to go but when you're sure it isn't where you are, let's chat.
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