Overcoming Career Fear Tips

4 Tips For Overcoming Career Fear


Are you paralyzed in fear over your current or future career? Or are you in the middle of a job search and it just isn’t getting you anywhere? Which FEAR is holding you back? We all have them. Here are my three tips for overcoming career fear:

1. Name It

Name the fear. Here’s a list of the few I have seen or experienced myself.

  • Rejection
  • Failure
  • Heartache
  • Missed expectations
  • Missed opportunities
  • The what ifs
  • Change (new town, travel, long commute, new boss)

2. Face The Fear

Everyone who has done something worthwhile or unique has been afraid much of the time. Every time I get to speak to an organization, my stomach goes in knots. But then I can tell the butterflies to line up, say that I can do this, I was meant for this, and then walk on stage. When I am done, I love it. I love helping professionals with their career and job search. Facing the fear that I’ll tank it becomes small compared to how I can help others.

3. Take Action

Action diminishes fear. Action can entail several things when it comes to career. The first should be determine your direction. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Then make a plan around that target. If this is overwhelming for you, don’t go it alone. Work with a coach or trusted advisor to help get you started.

4. Control The Controllables

Sometimes you have to say, “I have done all I can so far with this opportunity.” When you get to that place of hitting a wall; they don’t call back after several attempts, and so on, shift your eyes on creating more opportunities. Don’t let the uncontrollables control you. When I whine about the weather or get angry about the situation I am in, I ask myself, what can I do to make this better? What can I control and what can’t I? If you can’t control it – ignore it and move on.

Take these tips and don’t let fear hold you back. There is always hope.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Lisa Adams

Lisa Adams, founder of Fresh Air Careers, is a certified career management coach and job search strategist, specializing in helping young professionals transition.


  1. Good tips! Overcoming your fears is the first step to moving forward. Without it, we’ll never accomplish our goals or set out to what we want to do. Remember that everyone faces similar fears in their careers. However, doing nothing allows the fear to win, and doesn’t do much to help you move up. Be bold and get going! You have nothing to lose.

  2. Here’s the thing: there are no accidents. Each of us is right, exactly where s/he is meant to be at this given moment. Sometimes that is not easy to accept, especially when there has been a major career disappointment, a long spell of unemployment, or a scary move in the near future. But by striving to be in the moment, and then figuring out how to let go of the things that we cannot change–and doing our best to change the things that we can, we can go a long way toward finding the inner peace we need during extended periods of uncertainty and ambiguity in our career life.

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