If you wake up most mornings dreading going to work, it’s time to do something about it. But what do you do when every time you think about changing jobs, your fears stop you before you even begin? Here are four questions that might be the answer to your fears:
What do you really want?
You know you don’t like your current job, but what do you really want in your next job? If you don’t know, that’s a real problem. That could be the reason you’re afraid your next job may not be any better—because you’re not sure yet what “better” is. Make a list of everything you want in your next job, then prioritize each item. When you’re clear on what you want, your excitement for what’s possible will put your fears in perspective.
What’s really stopping you?
I have a friend who has blamed everything under the sun for staying in a job he doesn’t like. It’s been the economy, the wrong time of the year to move the family across the country, or he needs to wait for his next bonus to hit. But those things aren’t the problem. The real problem is he’s afraid no one will hire him at his age despite his incredible track record. Until he’s honest with himself about what he’s really afraid of, he’ll stay in a job he doesn’t like. Identify what you’re really afraid of and you’re off to a good start.
What’s your plan?
If you don’t have an actual plan for leaving your job and securing a new one, it’s no wonder you’re afraid. Your plan needs to include a list of every obstacle you can think of and a plan of how you’re going to deal with each obstacle. If you’re afraid to interview, your plan can include going to a workshop to learn how to interview like a pro. If you’re thinking you might have to take a pay cut to do work you love, your plan needs to include how you will adjust your lifestyle to meet your new income. Solid planning might be all you need to tame your fears.
Who’s supporting you?
If the people around you are telling you that you’d be crazy to leave your steady job just because you don’t like it, no wonder your fears have stopped you so far. It’s hard to be courageous when everyone around you is warning you about all the dangers ahead. Get the support you need to deal with your fears of leaving a job you no longer want. Everybody needs support, including you. That could mean anything from reading a book on jumpstarting your career, building your confidence, going to a workshop on how to make a job change, or using a coach short term. Your fears might have stopped you so far, but the right kind of support will give you what you need to face your fears and win.