How to Overcome Career Change Anxiety: 9 Tested Tips

career change anxiety

Though I’ve changed 4 careers, career change anxiety hit stronger every time. The pressure of proving my skills in the new career took over my mind. And the anxiety of losing opportunities skipped my heart. 

Now when I look back, I realize my mistake of allowing myself to go through a hell of a hassle.

The good news is that you won’t have to go through the same with the tips I sharee in this blog post. These tips will help you control the career change anxiety and make your career transition smoother.

What is career change anxiety?

Any kind of fear you feel when changing careers is career change anxiety. It can include the fear of not finding the right career or the peace you seek through it. 

Sometimes it’s because you don’t feel ready to come out of your comfort zone. Other times, it’s the fear of uncertainty that boosts your stress. Whatever the reason is, discomfort, fear, stress, self-doubt, and societal pressure due to career change are all signs of career change anxiety.

How to overcome career change anxiety?

Career change anxiety is normal, but that shouldn’t affect your well-being. Fortunately, you can control it by following tips that don’t cost you more than a little research, time, and breaking bad habits. Here are the tips:

One step at a time

Thinking about the whole process and trying to anticipate the outcomes throughout the career change journey causes you anxiety. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a new career. 

So focus on your current tasks and goals. Don’t overthink about what you’ll be doing with your new career next month. A few tips to do this are:

  1. Set clear goals and focus on one goal at a time.
  2. Celebrate small wins. Give yourself recognition whenever you achieve a goal or use new skills.
  3. Design your curriculum to break tasks into smaller steps. A curriculum makes the process less intimidating by providing you with a roadmap to progress incrementally.

Talk to others 

Growth doesn’t happen in isolation, so talk to others and learn from them. Observe others’ career change journeys and don’t hesitate to reach out to learn from their experiences. Talk to people in your desired career to get deeper insights. Use LinkedIn and other social media to make your journey less anxious and to build your personal brand.

Embrace the growth, enjoy the process

Your decision to shift careers is a sign of growth and decision-making power. Acknowledge it and celebrate small wins throughout the journey.

Compare your skill level with what it was last month or last year. This will make you proud of yourself and soothe your anxiety. 

Speak to others about your decision and achievements; their recognition and compliments will help you enjoy the process.

Manage your finances before the change 

Make a budget and survival plan before you put efforts into your career change. Otherwise, the journey will be nothing but a long wave of depression.

People often stress about their income gap during the career transition, which keeps them from enjoying the process. I’ve seen people settling for negligible amounts and irrelevant jobs because they hadn’t planned their finances for a career change.

A few things to consider when planning your finances are:

  1. Will you study full-time or part-time?
  2. Do you’ve enough funds to survive unemployment or income gap during the transition?
  3. How long can you survive without a job?

Research job outcomes

Many young people make the mistake of not researching job outcomes before making a career change. Or they just blindly follow their passion instead of researching the job outcomes and growth potential in the desired career.

Blindly stepping into a new career can challenge you with limited growth opportunities, skyrocketing your anxiety and costing you time, effort, and money. 

Don’t fall into the “everything will be alright” trap. Research the following aspects of your desired career before you put effort into it:

  • Job market saturation
  • Salary expectations
  • Day-to-day realities of the job

Spend some time in nature

Spending time outdoors reduces stress and improves focus. 

Go on a walk daily and spend time with animals to push your anxiety away. Taking a day off or two for hiking or a getaway to the mountains will give you a break from constant stress and have good effects on your physical health.

Take a beginner-level course

When you shortlist your career choices for the change, consider taking beginner-level courses in those career domains. This approach will give you a taste of the daily tasks you’re supposed to do in your new career. Additionally, you can identify your interest at a deeper level using this trick. 

Pay attention to how you feel about learning the new skills and taking the quizzes. Do you feel frustrated, tired, and confused or happy, excited, and confident?

Understand that no career is perfect

There’s no such thing as a perfect career, it’s all about your desires and priorities. You’ll end up frustrated if you wait for the perfect career.

Instead, identify your values and find a career that aligns with them. You’ll have to make a trade-off in any career you choose, so don’t be reluctant about it. 

9-5 workers have tight schedules and limited time with family. Remote workers have to juggle between tasks simultaneously. Freelancers need a more stable income. And business owners experience mental stress. 

So two things help you lower the career change anxiety here:

  1. Identifying your goals and making trade-offs accordingly to pick a career.
  2. Acknowledging that no career is perfect.

Focus on the why

When things don’t feel right and you find yourself losing your soul a bit, remember why you started this journey. Recall the things you want in your life that prompted you to take this decision. Visualize yourself in your dream career, enjoying the perks you don’t already have.

Keep reviewing your goals and desires periodically to stay motivated. Writing down your “why” on paper and reviewing it from time to time will also fuel your motivation. 

Additional tips

While all things above help lower career change anxiety, a few additional tips help you maintain good mental health:

  • Practice self-care
  • Build your support system
  • Celebrate small wins and reward yourself

FAQs

How to overcome career change anxiety?

While you can’t eliminate the anxiety, following the tips discussed in this blog post will help you lower the career change anxiety.

Why is changing jobs so stressful?

Getting out of our comfort zone and changing our lifestyle is always stressful. However, once you experience the change and settle into a new lifestyle, the stress reduces.

How can I be confident in a career change?

To maintain confidence during a career change, it’s important to develop a well-researched strategy, network, focus on personal branding, and reconnect with nature.

 

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