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Are you Afraid to Change Your Job?

06.02.2024

Are you Afraid to Change Your Job?

Do you fear change? I sometimes do. I think we all do, to some extent, because it usually means the outcome is unknown.

In truth, our brains are hard-wired to search for comfort in understanding. When we don’t know what will happen, we begin to make up scenarios, and that leads to worry.

One of the many things recruitment has taught me is that people also find it hard to move on when something familiar comes to an end. Fear of failure comes into play. If we don’t know how something will turn out, we’d rather not try because it could be risky or end badly.

When it comes to your career, it usually boils down to one of three things: the people, the role, or the environment. The good news is that these areas should all be able to be improved by talking openly with your employer.

Having said that, I suggest that you do not leave things too late. Don’t wait until things are dire before acting. By putting yourself in a position where you want out of a job as quickly as possible, you open the door to making decisions that lack the insight and information you need to make the best choice.

Then, when it doesn’t go well, there is a strong chance you will reinforce the idea that change is not good, rather than recognising it was needed earlier so your decision can be reached in a calm, knowledge-led, and balanced way.

I see this happen a lot. Where people know, deep down, that they want to move but keep telling themselves they are being too fussy, too demanding, or will just stick it out for another six months and wait for that pay rise, bonus, or promotion.

Whatever the reason, we all know that more often than not, if you do not make the change, then nothing will change at all. So, how do you know when it is time to find a new job? There are a lot of things that can trigger the search.

It could be more bad days than good. Uncontrollable or overwhelming stress levels. A lack of energy and motivation. Persistent frustration and issues you can’t seem to shake. Being unhappy in, and subsequently out of, work. These are all signs that it is time to reassess your situation and start being honest with yourself.

Right now, a lack of career opportunities and salary progression is prevalent. With promises being broken or put on hold and work-life balance suffering as a result.

While no job is completely perfect, it’s important to keep your bigger picture at the forefront of decision-making. Consider the experience you’re gaining, the networks you’re exposed to, and the kudos you get from working where you do. This will help you understand what to do next.

What you need to remember is that you are not alone. We all experience a degree of apprehension when it comes to change. That’s why comfort zones exist.

Changing your job is a big decision, but being uncomfortable with uncertainty is not a good enough excuse to avoid it. If you think it might be time to move on, my advice is to explore it. Reach out and explore what’s out there. Do some research. Speak to someone you trust. The more you know, the less scary it will become.

Of course, the grass is not always greener, but your time is very precious, and if you’re not happy, you need to make a change of some kind. Whatever you decide to do, be confident, and don’t be put off by fear, because the rewards when you find a job you love will be life-changing.

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