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10 Common Fears that Hold Back Successful Executive Career Growth

10 Common Fears that Hold Back Successful Executive Career Growth

Executives whom I have coached through complex career changes are among the strongest, most fearless individuals I have met in my career. They lead large teams. They put innovative products to market. They guide budgets in the millions if not hundreds of millions. In a word, they are powerful, interesting individuals who overcome meaningful professional challenges every day.

Whether these executives know exactly what they are seeking in a new role, or whether they are truly exploring the many options before them, and as daring as each of these leaders are, they often share a number of fears about the career change process. If your blood pressure rises slightly at the thought of one or more of these common fears about career change, you’re certainly not alone, as unique as your career situation might be.

Fears about Getting Started in an Executive Job Search

1. Fear of having to make a choice to leave a “good enough” situation at work.

2. Fear of walking the career transition journey alone without someone with whom you can be brutally honest.

3. Fear of adding more stress to days that already have 25 hours of distractions.

4. Fear of having to network to find the right role–especially for introverts.

5. Fear of adding One. More. Thing. to today’s to-do list.

6. Fear of writing a resume (or gnawing feeling that you don’t have the right resume).

7. Fear of having the boss find out (note: Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to announce it).

Fears about Not Getting Started in an Executive Job Search

8. Fear of showing up to the same job again on Monday.

9. Fear of wasting time by inaction today.

10. Fear that the right job is out there, waiting for you, but someone else snagged it first.

Do any of these resonate with you? I would guess that if none of these strikes a chord with you that you’re not really ready to engage in a career transition, as you haven’t thought deeply about how their answers inform your wants and needs in a future career. Without that type of thinking, although you will of course continue to be successful, you won’t be as insightful about your own process as you could be. Neither will you challenge yourself to grow.

But if your blood pressure is just a little higher right now than it was when you opened this article, then there is opportunity for you to offload some of that anxiety. In fact, this expert would consider it an honor to be privileged with your trust. At the same time you can get some real clarity about your goals and fearlessly seek out and achieve the executive career opportunities that you know are right for you.