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Ghosts in Your Career?

Hearing voices, wracked with fear, unable to move… sounds like a horror film, right? These emotions actually describe the way many job seekers feel every day.

If you have been out of work for a period of time or are facing a potential lay-off, you, too, may be experiencing intense fear, anxiety, and doubt. Often, we are stagnant in our careers or job search because we hear the voices from our past: “You’ll never amount to anything!” “Remember that time you tried and failed?” “You’ll just embarrass yourself again!” “You’re not smart enough to do that!” Entertaining voices and ghosts from the past can erode your confidence and paralyze you with fear, keeping you from embracing new opportunities.

But here’s a little secret… the only way to make the ghosts go away is to not believe in them anymore. We cannot move on if we’re not willing to let go! What are you holding onto that may be holding you back from reaching your career potential?

Here are a few tips for overcoming fear:

  1. Play a new tape! Counter bad messaging by affirming yourself on a regular basis. Leave sticky notes on your mirror that say, “Right now the job I am looking for is looking for me!” or “I am able. I am open.” Building your confidence is key in overcoming the fear!
  2. Worst-case Scenario! Sometimes it’s best to just peel back the bandage and take a look. What we can imagine of the unknown is often much scarier than reality. Many times we find that the worst case is not as bad as we thought and realizing this allows us to move forward.
  3. Slay the Dragon! At some point, you have to say “Enough” and slay the beast. Put your ghosts away and determine to embrace a new day, a new plan, and a new outlook. Ultimately, you are in control of your future.
  4. Use the Buddy System! Don’t try this alone! The Business and Job Center is a great partner in your career search from our one-on-one coaching to the support and networking group to classes and resources, we are here to help!

Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we don’t let go of them.” –Sue Grafton


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