A big career change can be a terrifying experience. This fear can be multiplied ten-fold when you’ve been in your current job for an extended period of time or your new job requires you to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. Before we go any further, I want you to understand two things: it’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to wonder what it’s going to be like and if you’ll be able to do your best. It is not okay, though, to allow these thoughts and feelings to stand in your way. In this post, I’m going to help you to make a big career change even when you’re absolutely terrified!
“When it comes to making a big change in your life, you have to want it more than you fear it.” Unknown
How to Overcome Fear When Changing Your Career
Two years ago, while working as a Broking Services Assistant for one of the most prominent insurance brokers in Jamaica, I decided to make a huge career change – I would move from Jamaica to become an Assistant Language Teacher of English in Japan.
Yes, I was petrified at the thought of not only moving thousands of miles away from my family, but also becoming a teacher in a subject I had no experience in while living in a country where I couldn’t speak the language…
It was also the most thrilling decision I had made in years!
I’d always known I wanted to do something more, something bigger, and little did I know that this change in careers would only be the beginning of a fantastic journey of self-discovery and belief awakening.
As I packed my bags and prepared to leave my life behind, all the fears and concerns you could possibly think of flooded my mind and my dreams constantly.
The tips I will talk about below, helped me to not only conquer my fear of change but also prepared me to face any and all challenges that would come my way.
THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS
This might sound a little cliché but it is gold, I tell you. Positive thinking will absolutely transform the way you see and handle everything in your life.
The other day I was going through my bible and I saw a verse in Philippians 4 vs 8 that says, “Finally brethren, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things.”
And that verse really made me think. God commands us to try our best to think about amazing, fantastic, positive things but why would He do that? Why would He go out of His way to tell us that we should control the things we think about?
Then it hit me. When you spend your time thinking about and believing in only positive things, the entire view of your reality changes.
The reason you fear making a big career change is that your mind is thinking of all the things that could possibly go wrong. You might crash and burn really hard. Your new boss might hate you, and the list goes on. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Use the power of positive thinking to visualize all the amazing things that could happen in your new job. You might become the CEO for the company one day. Oprah or Marie Forleo might see your work and feature you on their website.
The possibilities are endless. Use your mind to shape your new reality and don’t allow any negative thoughts to stand in the way of the amazing future lying ahead of you.
WRITE DOWN YOUR FEARS IN A JOURNAL
Changing your career is a big deal, no matter what kind of change it is. Writing down your fears and concerns in a journal is a fantastic way to overcome any negative feelings or emotions that might rear their ugly heads.
As I prepare to relocate from where I am currently and take the leap into brand new, scary territory, my journal has become my best friend of sorts. I spoke about it in my previous blog post which you can check out here.
Having that journal has helped me to realize that any concerns I might have had are actually reassurance that I’m headed in the right direction. I’m able to visualize what my fear would actually look like if it were a person (sounds a bit odd) and then I can write below that picture all the reasons I’m afraid along with all the reasons I have nothing to fear.
It is a powerful exercise and I can honestly say that I no longer fear anything that will come my way. Journaling can help you too.
Several studies have shown that journaling daily not only reduces stress but also empowers you to regain control of your entire existence.
The more you write about your hopes, fears and dreams concerning your change in careers, the more easily you’ll find release.
Without a journal, the emotions you feel could cripple you for days or even months and prevent you from growing, evolving and progressing.
REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE NOT THE FIRST
As silly as it might sound, you are not the first person to make a huge career change and you will not be the last. This fact alone should make you sigh with relief.
The average person makes at least 5 to 7 career changes throughout their entire life as they figure out who they are and what they want to be in life. You are no different.
Changing careers is normal and there is absolutely no reason to think that you’re going through this alone. There are tons of online forums that can support you and give you as much advice as you need.
When I was preparing to leave Jamaica, I scoured all the online forums I could find. At first, I was nervous and panicked as I opened my browser.
But the longer I searched and the more I saw people asking the same questions I was asking, and researching the same things I was looking for, the sooner I realized that I’m just like everybody else – trying to find my way through this crazy maze called life.
Think of your career change as a group expedition not just a solo day-trip and you’ll be just fine.
Making a career change without ensuring that you're equipped to do so is like trying to drive a car that has no engine. You won't get anywhere anytime soon. Click To Tweet
DO RESEARCH AND PREPARE YOURSELF
Finally, the best thing you can do is research the new career you’re thinking of entering. Remember when I told you that I didn’t have any experience at all teaching English in Japan?
Well, the moment I decided to chase that goal, I got busy. Using the internet, books and any other resource I could get my hands on, I read and read and read as much as I possibly could about what the position would entail.
Do as much research as you can, and dig deep to figure out what you think you want, and what you really want from this career change.
Some career changes also require you to go back to school or to get further qualifications. If that’s the case then take action.
Enrol yourself in the necessary classes and/or programs to get you to where you need to be so that you can be successful in your future endeavours. Don’t just leave it up to chance.
Making a big career change without ensuring that you’re equipped to do so is like trying to drive a car that has no engine. You won’t get anywhere anytime soon.
BIG CAREER CHANGE AHEAD
One of the reasons you might be considering a career change is because you want to do something that aligns with your purpose in life or makes a big difference in the lives of others.
Before you make the change, really think about why you want to make this job change in the first place. If you’re doing so only to escape a horrible boss or because you’re feeling burned out, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
A career change is not just a job transition, it might involve a complete transition in all areas of your life. You have to really ask yourself if you’re ready to make those transitions or if you need more time to develop and grow as a person.
On the other hand, this change might be just the kick in the butt you need to step your game up and start living on a higher level. You need to fully understand your “why”.
If you do not find yourself growing in your current work, then you haven’t found your place just yet… keep looking.
If you enjoyed reading about how to make a huge career change when you’re terrified, you would enjoy reading more about how to overcome burnout as a young professional.
Also, let me know. Are you making a huge career change? Which piece of advice is going to help you the most?
I love reading your comments and hearing your thoughts so please comment down below. Also if you have any questions feel free to ask me them in the comment section below. Please also like and share this post and sign up so you never miss a thing!
Until next time. Peace, love and prayers.