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Lottie Mayland22 Oct 2020
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What Is ‘Career-Fear’ And How Can I Overcome It?

What is ‘career-fear’ and how can I overcome it?

Corona Virus has affected our everyday lives in more ways that we could have ever imagined and with the virus still rife and lockdown measures still looming it is growing increasingly hard to plan for the future. One thing that the pandemic has undoubtably affected is our career progression, whether you have been on furlough, made redundant or are still in your job it’s likely that your previous career aspirations and goals have been somewhat dampened by the current unstable situation.

The term ‘career-fear’ has been circulating the industry; it’s a term that refers to our fear of pushing ourselves forward, taking chances and being confident about our career aspirations and what we push ourselves to do. Career-fear is especially prevalent among women and the pandemic has only heightened its impact as an unstable future makes any risks or opportunities to push ourselves outside our comfort zone far less appealing and far scarier.

Landing a promotion, putting ourselves forward for new roles or being confident in our abilities to secure another job is daunting at the best of time, let along in the middle of a pandemic.

Career-fear can see you caught in a spiral of self-doubt, constantly questioning your abilities which can lead to you talking yourself out of opportunities that could progress your career. Imposter syndrome, a lack of recognition in the workplace, lack of female role models and fear of failure all play a part in increasing career-fear among exceptionally capable women who are confident and go-getting in every other aspect of their lives.

Overcoming career-fear is all about confidence and setting goals for the future, it’s easier said that done but we’re passionate about helping to empower all the assistants we work with to reach their potential and below we’ve set out a few ways that will help you feel motivated, proactive and inspired in your job progression!

Take responsibility for your own actions and give yourself permission to try (and fail!)

It is imperative that you take 100% of the responsibility for your own actions. All the coaching and mentoring in the world won’t help unless you understand that you are the only one who is responsible for the decisions you make and the actions you take. And once you have fully realised this you have to also allow yourself to fail! What matters is that you tried, that is the first hurdle, it doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve your dreams first time around, try, try and try again.

Practice positive self-talk

Talk to yourself as you would a friend. Think about the language and phrases you use and then ask yourself if you would speak to anyone else that way. If you wouldn’t stop doing it to yourself and swap the negative tone for self-compassion and kindness.

Remove negative influences

Be brutal about removing people from your life who do not support or encourage you. When we’re feeling low or lack confidence, we attract people who take advantage of our weaknesses. Once you have started talking positively to yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions you will be able to identify these negative influences and can take action to remove them from your life or limit your contact with them.

Make a plan

You’ve got to have a vision of what you want in order to work towards it so think about where you would like to be in a year’s time. Do you want to still be at your company but in a different role? Or maybe you want to work at a different company or adopt a better work/life balance? Visualise how you want your life to look and then start making small plans to work towards that goal. You might decide to take a course, ask your boss about how you can progress internally or initially start talking to a recruitment agent about new roles. It’s all about small steps that lead to big change and you’re the only one that can make that happen, once you’ve taken a few you’ll feel your confidence grow and realise that you have the power to do whatever you want.