18 Proven Strategies to Overcome Career Change Anxiety

Career changes can be exciting, but it's also expected that you’ll feel anxiety when making significant life changes. Everyone experiences some nervousness when switching careers or starting a new position, but that shouldn't prevent you from doing your job well. If you feel like you're experiencing anxiety over your current career change, the following are eighteen helpful strategies to overcome your fears. 

1. Trust Your Instincts 

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A career change is a life-altering moment that should be approached rationally. However, it's also a profoundly personal journey. You have to discern who you can turn to for advice, who has your best interest in mind, and whether your choices suit your current situation. When considering a career change, you should trust your gut and allow your instincts to inform your decision-making. 

2. Do Your Research

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No major life decision should be made without ensuring you're adequately informed on what it entails. Whether you're moving from one field to another or from one position to another, do your research before making a move. Before making a final decision, find out what's required of you, what skills you'll need, and what your daily role will be.

3. Get a Good Night's Rest 

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A good night's rest is essential for your mental health and emotional regulation. Setting a bedtime that allows you to get a full night's rest and waking up at the same time every morning ensures your mind is refreshed and prepared for the changes you're about to face. 

4. Identify The Source of Your Anxiety

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What are you afraid of? Are you anxious about a new environment, meeting new people, or your new responsibilities? By identifying the source of your anxieties and fears, you can better address them and take actionable steps toward overcoming them.

5. Sweat It Out

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Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, which are exactly what the body needs to ease anxiety. If you can't seem to shake the anxious feelings about your new career change, try sweating out your fears. Going for a run, dancing, or taking part in an exercise you enjoy will help tackle your anxiety. 

6. Set a Realistic Plan

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During this transitional phase, you must establish a clear and realistic plan. Writing down your short-term goals and actionable steps to achieve them will improve your chances of succeeding in your career change. A set plan also reduces the likelihood that you'll feel nervous or panicked during the transitional phase. 

7. Limit Caffeine Consumption 

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Most people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning for a mood boost and to get them ready to tackle and complete projects at work. However, the opposite can take place when you're already in an anxious state. Try reducing your daily caffeine intake to help reduce those nervous feelings.  

8. Discuss Your Feelings 

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There are people in your life who know you best, love you, and will support you through every significant change. Express your feelings of fear and anxiety with the people closest to you. Their encouragement and support will help carry you through.

9. List Out Positive Reminders 

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It can be challenging to remain positive when going through a career change. Set aside some time to sit and list all the positive things about yourself and why this career change is the best thing for you at this stage in life. When doubts creep into your mind, refer back to your list to remind yourself of all the positive aspects of your new career or position.

10. Talk to a Trusted Colleague 

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Do you have a trusted colleague you could speak to? While opening up to friends and family is helpful, talking to someone who can relate to the highs and lows of your career can make a huge difference. Have a candid conversation with a colleague you trust about your feelings and thoughts; their advice and recommendations could help ease your worries. 

11. Befriend Other New Hires 

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Companies are constantly hiring and firing employees. If your career change involves moving to a different company or department, start by forming relationships with other new hires. Forming a network of other employees experiencing the same issues as you will make it easier to find your footing in your new career. 

12. Focus on Your Long-Term Goals

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Where do you see yourself in the next few years, and how can you ensure you achieve these goals? Career changes are a normal part of every working life. Whether you were fired, promoted, or switched to a new career, you must establish your long-term goals if you want to succeed. 

13. Improve Your Skills 

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Regardless of your field, technologies and industry trends are constantly changing. An intelligent approach to maintaining your relevance is continuously growing and improving. What skills set you apart in your new career or field? During your transition period, identify and improve the skills that would enhance your market value among recruiters. 

14. Seek Professional Advice

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You don't have to go through the transition alone. Consultants in every field offer advice and counsel on career transitions. If you're unsure of your first step, trying to determine whether this change is right for you, or want feedback from a professional, find a consultant you could speak to. 

15. Expect You'll Make Mistakes 

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Most people's main source of anxiety about a new job or role is the possibility that they'll make mistakes. But mistakes are inevitable in any new environment. There are so many unknowns when transitioning into a new career, so you can't hold yourself to the unrealistic standard that you'll do everything perfectly. Give yourself some grace, and expect you'll make mistakes. 

16. Accept Your Newcomer Status

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People often expect to know everything and have all the answers from the moment they start a new job. But whether you've been working in a field for the last fifteen years and you're transitioning to a new position or this is your first job within the industry, you're a newcomer. Release the stress of having to prove yourself right away and give yourself time to settle in as someone new to the job.

17. Take a Break 

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It's not unheard of to take a short break between jobs. Past generations would flag career gaps during the hiring process; however, in recent years, companies have begun to prioritize employee well-being more than ever and recognize the importance of career breaks. Taking a break during your transition period is the perfect opportunity to reflect and recenter before returning to work. 

18. Be Patient 

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You're your own harshest critic. Transitioning to a new career is a significant change that will impact every other aspect of your life. Stop your fears and anxieties in their tracks, and be patient with yourself. Own up to the things you don't know or don't understand, and be open to receiving advice and feedback. Over time, you'll feel more comfortable in your new career path. 

 

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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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