Face to face

2013-05-19T13:38:00Z Face to faceby Bob Moulesong Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 19, 2013 1:38 pm  • 

Sometimes job candidates can be their own worst enemy.

That statement can also be true when it comes to career changes. Most candidates fear certain things, such as a change in their role or facing rejection when vying for a promotion. Those fears can affect their ability to move up the career ladder, at their current company or a potential new one.

Having fears is normal. It is how workers or job candidates choose to deal with them, and eventually move past them, that separates success from failure.

Here are some common fears that workers have had to deal with, and tips on how to move past them.

· Fear of failure. It is common for workers to have a fear of failure on the job. If that fear is strong enough, it can paralyze work success. Workers are so afraid of failing that they pass on the opportunity to take on additional challenges or new positions because they're afraid they will make a mistake. The best way to deal with that fear and help build confidence is to take on a new challenge or project that is not so intimidating. When they succeed, they can then gradually build up to tackle larger projects. Small steps of success can lead to leaps after a while.

· Fear of rejection. Workers are as afraid of being told “no” as they are being afraid to fail. Workers feel that they will be not considered worthy for the project or assignment so they never ask about it. Usually, this fear has a lot to do with self-confidence. Workers should put one foot in front of the other and volunteer for the work and see what happens. In the event they are told no, it can be an opportunity to open a conversation with management. What needs to be done to be considered for new assignments? What skills need to be added? Management appreciates workers who want to better themselves.

· Fear of change. Ever since the Great Recession began, workers have been in fear of change, and with good reason. Companies slashed workers as deep as they could in an effort to stay in business. Status quo and laying low were survival techniques employed by millions of workers fortunate enough to still have a job. But now, as managers try to get by with less, a don't-fix-what's-not-broken mentality can be a negative. While dealing with change can be difficult, being afraid of change can equal missed opportunities. This is another opportunity for a talk with a manager. If the company philosophy shifts, workers who know and respond will be considered valuable.

· Fear of leadership. Every worker wants an assignment that is guaranteed to make them look good with a low amount of risk. But truth is that many opportunities for leadership are fraught with risk. The sure-fire plum assignments are not the ones that get workers noticed. The ones that need innovation and creative thinking are the opportunities that need leadership. These are the assignments are the ones managers are looking for help on. It is important for workers to step up and take risks if they want to be noticed.

· Fear of a new job. A new job can be with a new company, but a new job can also be a new assignment in a different department. Quite often a company needs new blood in a different department, and a worker would have to transfer. For many workers, the fear of the unknown is strong, and can hold them back from a change. But many skills are very transferrable within an organization, and building new contacts in other departments can be a very valuable asset in a career. Workers who are on the “fast-track” frequently move around the company to get a well-rounded exposure. So while the fear can be great, so can the rewards.

The way to deal with these various fears has a recurring theme – communication with management. Workers who want to better themselves at their job can do so by opening the lines of communication with their manager.

Overcoming fear is hard – ask anyone who has done it. As a matter of fact, ask several who have done it, and see what they have to say.

Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines the steps to achieve real change can make it doable.

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