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  • Writer's pictureAbby Calabrese

Feeling Stuck? Here's How to Overcome Fear and Pursue a Career Change

Have you been feeling restless in your current job or career path but finding it really difficult to take that leap to something new? You want a change but fear is holding you back. You're worried about the unknown and how it might impact your career and finances down the line.

If this sounds familiar, you're definitely not alone. Making a big career shift is scary! There is a risk that things might not work out as planned. However, staying in a job that no longer fulfills you can also take its toll over time on your motivation, well-being and development.

So how do you push past the fear and move forward in a way that mitigates risk? Here are some tips:

Start With Small Steps

Instead of picturing a total career overhaul, start with some small experiments related to your areas of interest. Volunteer, take a class, join professional organizations. This will help you test the waters before diving in and build confidence in your abilities.

Get Clear On Your Motivations and Drivers

Having clarity on exactly why your current path no longer feels right will help sustain your motivation for change when fears creep in. It will also help guide your next steps. Consider your values, skills and what really lights you up.

Have an Action Plan in Place

Research new industries or roles that could be a good fit. Build connections in those fields and look for ways to gain experience and advice from others already in them. Having a plan eases uncertainty and helps you take practical steps instead of just worrying.

Consider Bridging Options

Rather than a direct switch, look at roles that could provide a bridge between your current and desired path. This reduces risk while giving you exposure to new domains. Then reevaluate after 6-12 months if the bridge is leading to lasting fulfillment or if it's time for further change.

Remember Your Transferable Skills

While a change means stepping into unknown territory, don't undervalue your current skills, networks and experience. Your abilities have likely developed in ways useful for many careers. Focus on how to market your assets for new opportunities.

Seek Out Support

Talk to trusted mentors and peers who can provide an honest sounding board and help alleviate fears with their own perspective. Their encouragement may help motivate the push needed to take a leap towards a change that ultimately leads to growth and satisfaction.

Making a big career change doesn't have to be terrifying if you break it down into smaller steps, get clarity on your motivations and leverage the assets you already have. With careful planning and courage, you can transition in a way that sets you up for success while managing risks along the way.

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