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What Are You Afraid of?

It’s only natural to be fearful of a job search

➔ A job search can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be fraught with apprehension, nervousness, stress and God knows what.

And, of course, fear. There is a lot to fear in a job search. Didn’t someone once say, “The only job we have to fear is the job search itself”? Or something like that.

No matter what. You’re not alone.

If you’re experiencing fear related to your job search, that’s only natural. It’s natural to fear the unknown, and job seeking is overloaded with unknowns. Then there is the fear of failure (usually completely unfounded.) “What if I can’t find a job?” If you’re diligent and persistent, you’re almost assured of finding a job.

Fear also can inspire. According to business and work coach Patricia DiVecchio, “(Fear) can be a great motivator, a great teacher. We don’t see it like that. We tend to run away from fear… You need to recognize it as something you can learn from.”

If you find yourself afraid to make a follow-up phone call, or a cold call, use an Excel spreadsheet to track job contacts and mark down results of those calls. Staring at the blank space on that spreadsheet may be enough to scare you into action.

And, if your job search isn’t going well and you find yourself somewhat paralyzed by fear, try breaking the chains of your rut by doing some small things. Change your routine; do what is easy or effortless, or some menial busywork (that will have to be done eventually anyway) – anything to get your brain to focus on something different.

A change of scenery may help. Go for walk (with or without your dog). Go grocery shopping. Go to the library. After a short break, you’ll be able to return to the task at hand with a fresh and clear perspective.

And you will have convinced yourself that there is nothing to fear… (except fear itself. Thanks to FDR.)


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