3 Smart Steps to Overcome Fear of Career Transitions

Author and commentator Jeff Johnson shares key to navigating professional journey

Commentator and author, Jeff Johnson (Image: File)

One method for determining the direction you should go is by taking inventory of your assets. Ask yourself at least five questions during this exercise:

  • What assets do I have?
  • How can I use them to my advantage?
  • Which of them can’t be used or need to be strengthened?
  • How am I going to develop my weak assets?
  • Do I need to develop more assets to fortify my career transition process?

Sometimes additional education or training may be required to build on your assets so you can become more employable and marketable during your period of transition.

Continuously build existing relationships and use them to your advantage.

Oftentimes our own successes can blind us from the reality of the real world. For example, Johnson’s first career transition was very difficult and burdened with financial stress because as he candidly shared with me, “I was young, dumb, and arrogant.” He believed he would be able to easily rely on therelationships he’d developed with celebrities, business moguls, and political trailblazers over the years for new business opportunities. But Johnson was not able to generate business fast enough with this plan. He realized that networking is completely different from relationship-building. “Way too often professionals seek to network with new people, while they fail to effectively utilize and cultivate the current relationships they have.”

To get your foot in the door with a job or industry during your transition, you must identify people you already know who can help you. Inquire about opportunities for informational interviews or internships that will expose you to the respective industry’s culture, resources and network. Most importantly, you should realize that relationship-building takes time, commitment and effort.

“Change is difficult because it pushes you into a space that’s uncomfortable and unpredictable,” Johnson adds. But for optimal growth, change is often necessary and it should be handled with strategies that will propel you to the next level during your career transitions.

Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.

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