Change is an inherent part of life. From the changing of seasons to the phases of life, everything around us is in a constant state of flux. Yet, we often find ourselves resistant to change, especially when it comes to major life decisions like switching jobs. The very idea of leaving the familiar behind can ignite feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and doubt.
Why is change, particularly job change, so daunting? Let’s understand why we feel these fears and identify ways to overcome them.
Understanding the Fear of Change
- Loss of Comfort: The adage, “better the devil you know” sums up this fear. We grow accustomed to our routines, colleagues, tasks, and even the route we take to work. This familiarity breeds comfort.
- Fear of Failure: “What if it doesn’t work our?” This nagging doubt can prevent many from seeking new opportunities, fearing they might fail in a different role or company.
- Uncertainty of the Unknown: Stepping into a new environment, with unfamiliar faces and tasks, can be intimidating. We don’t know what to expect, and that unpredictability can be scary.
- Perceived Lack of Preparedness: The belief that we’re not adequately equipped for a new role can also deter us from exploring new avenues.
Exploring New Opportunities Doesn’t Mean Committing
It’s vital to remember that exploring doesn’t equate to committing. Job hunting and interviewing offer you a chance to gauge the market, understand your worth, and assess potential growth areas. Here are some reasons why looking at your options are beneficial:
- Assessing the Market: By diving into the job market, you get a clearer picture of the demand for your skillset, potential salary increases, and other perks you may be missing out on.
- Building Confidence: Going for interviews and interacting with potential employers can boost your self-esteem. It’s affirming to realize that other companies value your experience and expertise.
- Gaining Perspective: Exploring opportunities can provide you clarity about what you want from your career – be it growth, work-life balance, a better work culture, or increased remuneration.
- No Strings Attached: The crucial point to remember is that even if you’re made an offer, there’s no obligation to accept it. Offers are opportunities, not shackles. If none of the new offers feels like the right fit or offers significant advantages over your current role, you can decline and stay where you are until you feel a better opportunity arises..
Tackling the Fear Head-On
- Information is Power: Before making any decision, arm yourself with knowledge. Research companies, roles, and even reach out to current or past employees for genuine feedback.
- Visualise Success: Instead of getting bogged down by fear, picture yourself succeeding in the new role. Visualisation can be a potent tool to combat negativity.
- Acknowledge the Fear: Accept that feeling scared is natural. Instead of suppressing the fear, confront it. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Often, you’ll realise that the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as you imagined.
- Stay Grounded: Remember, you always have a choice. Just because you’ve explored other opportunities doesn’t mean you’re obligated to leave your current job.
Change, while intimidating, can be the gateway to growth. Embracing change, especially in our professional lives, can lead to uncharted territories of success. Remember, the act of exploring new job opportunities is merely an exercise in understanding your worth in the market and realising your potential. It’s a journey of self-awareness and growth, not a binding commitment. So, the next time you find yourself contemplating a job switch, approach it with curiosity and openness, leaving the crippling fear behind.
My views are based on my 15 years+ of recruiting for Accountancy Practice and Insolvency professionals.
For advice about your career options, speak to Scott Lowes at Levitate Recruitment, specialists in placing practice-trained accountants and insolvency professionals across the UK, and find the right role to suit your ambitions.