Changing jobs or new careers – What are our biggest fears?

Changing jobs or new careers – What are our biggest fears?


Changing jobs, promotions, or finding a new career – What truly holds us back?

Despite many people wanting to change direction, or wanting to get ahead. Sometimes people get stuck.

They might keep revisiting their career goals or plans, but despite this, and best intentions. Time passes by.

Why? Usually there are certain fears that get in the way. By understanding which fears might be relevant, they can choose a different approach.

Below are nine common fears that come up for most people.

Making a change

The three most common reasons that people come to career coaching are:
1. They want to change direction, yet don’t know what they want to do.
2. They know roughly, or exactly, what they want to do. But they don’t know how to make it happen, or keep getting coming to a halt.
3. They want to achieve a promotion, or move into a new role.  As part of that, they want to focus on developing themselves or certain skills. Including behavioural, interpersonal, self confidence, or leadership skills.
Seeking clarity and action

Understanding what might be causing the stuck, the frustration, the lack of confidence, or lack of action, is key.  Including looking out for the elephant in the room, hidden blind spots, or unhelpful stories.


Common fears that get in the way

We all have, what I now call, our own blend of worry.

There are certain ‘fears’ or ‘guilt’ that show up. In this case around our careers or work progression.
How much they influence or trigger someone, will depend on what worries them the most. Even where two individuals’ fears may be similar. The depth of feeling, triggers, responses, and the reason why, differ.
By identifying them, they can then be worked through, meaning obstacles can more readily be overcome. Now and in the future.
Whilst fear or failure, and fear of rejection, are all encompassing. Breaking them down further is useful.
Here are the nine most common worries, that I have come across, that can get in the way:
1. Fear of making the wrong decision (what if I change jobs, roles, or companies and hate it)
2. Fear of being found out (what if people realise I can’t do my job – sometimes known as imposter phenomenon)
3. Fear of making a mistake or messing it up
4. Fear of losing employment law rights, or financial stability
5. Fear of the reaction to a promotion, or change of roles, including from peers in social circles or at work
6. Fear of not being up to it academically, or learning new skills
7. Fear of rejection by new colleagues, having to fit in, or starting from scratch
8. Fear of the impact of having more money, or discomfort around self value and money
9. Fear of starting over again, or rather guilt of having invested time, or money, or years, in a previous career, or company.
Next steps

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, you are definitely not alone.

The benefit is, now that you have identified the worries that get in your way, you can start to do the practical and internal work, to help you move forward. Reflecting now on the next step you can take. You may now feel ready to move forward and apply for that new role (for example). Or there may be other steps first. This could include identifying gaps and how to fill them, upskilling (if genuinely needed rather than a way to put off having to do anything too scary), finding a mentor, or perhaps a coach if looking for additional clarity or support, asking someone for help with something specific, or asking how to find out about something, drafting a cv, uploading it onto sites.

What are you going to take as your next step?




As always, if I can support you find clarity around a new direction, or you are looking for support with an upcoming or recent promotion. Please get in touch on

About Simona Hamblet

Simona is a specialist coach & hypnotherapist, working with lawyers for the past six years helping them to create the firms & lives that they want. Simona also has over 20 years of experience as an employment solicitor & partner in a dual-office law firm (focusing on staff development & business growth).

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