Fear of Change

The decision to change your position will significantly affect your professional career. There is a better than average chance that you could become somewhat emotional, as most people do, and logic may escape you in your decision making process.

Changing jobs is one of the top three most stressful events in one’s life (the others are the death of a loved one and divorce). If you are considering a job change, it’s probably for one of three reasons:

  1. Personal – You want to change your relationships with others.
  2. Professional – You have the need to advance your career.
  3. Situational – You may be working too many hours, commuting too far, or are under too much stress.

In order to come to terms regarding your fears, you must first classify what it is you are fearful of. Could it be……

…..leaving co-workers and old relationships?
…..fear of the unknown?
…..the fear that you won’t fit in?
…..the fear of starting over and having to prove yourself?
…..the policies and procedures in your new position may be different?
…..your new supervisor may be a micro manager?
…..loss of insurance benefits or loss of vacation time?
…..fear of relocation?
…..your first job change?
…..leaving your comfort zone?

Consider this… On the average, a person will work for 42 years and make a change six or seven times. Before you make this decision, I recommend you review the following questions and answer YES or NO.

  1. Do you like the nature of the job?
  2. Can you do the job?
  3. Is the position stable? Is your supervisor stable?
  4. Is there good chemistry between you and the people you met with?
  5. Will the company pay you a fair wage (salary, bonus, benefits, vacation)?
  6. Does the opportunity for growth meet your needs – Professionally?


  1. Is the location of the position appropriate?
  2. Is the philosophy and beliefs of this company compatible with yours?

Now, calculate your results as follows:

  • If you answered YES to 7-8 of these questions, there is a 95% chance or better that this is the right job for you.
  • If you answered YES to 5-6 of these questions, there is a 75% chance or better that this is the right job for you.
  • If you answered YES to 4 of these questions, we need to talk.
  • If you answered YES to 3 or less questions, do not take it!

The steps to help you make a LOGICAL decision as opposed to an EMOTIONAL decision are extremely important. First, prepare yourself for the fear. Trust us, it will be there. It is with everyone! Make a list PRIOR to the first interview of the reasons WHY you should make a job change. Throughout the interview process and at the offer state, review this list. If the new position and company satisfies the needs on your list, it is probably a wise decision to take your new opportunity. It makes sense to make your business decision based on facts rather than emotions. Address any fears head on.

Secondly, make your spouse or significant other aware of the possibility of a job change. It helps to talk things out with people you trust and respect. Have faith! The company would not have made you an offer if they did not think that you were the right person for the job. Finally, have an open, frank discussion with your Search Consultant. We’re here to help!