Career fear can take many forms. It can be fear of missing out (what if there’s something better?), fear of taking the wrong next step (what if I’ve made the wrong choice?), or fear of being found out (I feel a fraud, but if I move jobs or organisations for sure I’ll get found out!).
These are all fears grounded in the fear of the unknown. The bad news is there’s never a guaranteed outcome – it simply doesn’t exist. But the good news is you probably have more control than you think.
Certainly the first step is to find out as much as you can about the potential change so that you can make it with a degree of confidence. Talk to people, explain your dilemma, listen to their views but, remembering that no one can know for sure, take on only what is helpful. After all you are conducting research, not getting them to make your decision for you!
The next step is to know your Plan B – ask yourself what would be my Plan B if I needed to take it? Assess what’s the worst thing that could happen. Then work out what you would do if it did – in other words, how would you mitigate the impact. Some people we work with do a full risk analysis taking into consideration the odds, the impact and the mitigators. There is a view that says once you have done an analytical risk assessment, then follow your gut.
Jeanette Winterson, Author, says “I notice that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For life-changing things, you must risk it.”
And finally, an extremely useful question is – what is the likely outcome if you did nothing? Doing nothing might lower risk in the short term, but in the longer term where will it leave you?