Acknowledging Your Fear in Your Executive Career Change

Acknowledging Your Fear in Your Executive Career Change

There is nothing easy about executive career change. The path can have some surprising turns, but almost always, these new explorations can lead to real insight. As executive career coaches, we see how with self-exploration, executives in career change identify truths about their needs, goals, and career targets.

However, we also see those individuals who are clearly afraid of seeing something new inside themselves. They are most often blustery, willing to take all the credit, and unlikely to peel back the layers to their own fears to uncover what is really worrying them about the career change process.

Who remembers “Broadcast News,” a movie from the late 1980s? Jane’s the quintessential brilliant Type A reporter, Tom is a pretty face for TV news, and Paul Moore is the station executive. If you remember the movie, you might also remember this quote from it:

Paul Moore: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.
Jane Craig: No. It’s awful.

And Jane certainly means it. The character is “right” so often that she forgets how to be wrong. She’s so afraid of being overlooked, even though she’s clearly brilliant by any definition, she’s abrasive.

What if the movie went a different way? What if Jane openly agreed that her path to growth was difficult–and she acknowledged that she had real concerns about her ability to be successful? When executives in career transition face the fact that they might have to be vulnerable — in conversations with their coaches, in interviews, in career contract negotiations — they are likely to find that people are more than willing to help them. They’ll also find that being open about their fears doesn’t define them as incompetent or unlikeable. In fact, they might find just the opposite–that acknowledging their fears about their executive career change makes them seem more open to learning new things and more personable.

Do you think about the fears that hold you back from smart job search? Download our special report “3 Simple Steps to Clear Your Career Change Fear.” It’s free, and I want to share it with you. Thanks!