Fear can paralyze us and prevent us from making good decisions. The unknown scares us and stands in our way of success. As an employment counsellor, I saw many people afraid to take the risk of making a career change and remained in unsatisfying jobs as a result of their fears.
Risks are something we take every day, sometimes without noticing. When you get in your car, do you determine the risk of getting involved in an accident? When you go for a winter walk, do you worry about falling on the ice? If we let fear rule our lives, we would never enjoy a summer drive, or be invigorated by a stroll on a crisp day. Most of us realize that we have the confidence to do things because the risk is limited. How can we have the same confidence when we decide to change careers?
1. Gather Information: The more you know about something, the easier to determine the degree of risk in the venture. Fortunately, we live in the Information Age where we can access data quickly. Conduct research on the Internet, at your local library, from government-sponsored institutions, and by talking to experts.
Always be aware that there are going to be negatives as well as positive feedback, and you need to analyze the info carefully. Where is the data coming from? Is the source reliable? What is the person’s expertise? It amazes me when I hear people discount excellent opportunities just because a friend said not to get involved, when that friend had no actual knowledge about the thing in question!
Weigh opinions carefully and make a decision only after you have enough information gathered to make a sound judgement.
2. Financial Risk: Consider how much you are willing to invest. I have seen many people keep throwing good money after bad, when they need to have a limit set on how much they can afford to put into a project. Other people refuse to invest a dime, with the mindset they can get something for nothing. Chances are if you buy a diamond ring for a dime, you get a piece of glass worth 10 cents! Sound business management nearly always involves some investment of time, energy and money. Do not believe the promises of quick schemes without investigating the product and determining if you can afford it!
3. Does It Suit Your Interest: In the book, “What Color Is Your Parachute” by Richard Nelson Bolles, I read about a study of careers. One group entered a career based on the idea that they would become rich because of it, while the other study group pursued their passion. Years later it was determined that the ones who had done what they loved were nearly 100% successful in that field, while only 10% of those who were seeking wealth had actually attained it. The moral of the story is to do what interests you and what you enjoy and the rewards are more likely to follow. I chose my home business selling travel memberships, because I love to travel and people I talk with usually respond to my enthusiasm. Your success should be measured as much in happiness as it is in wealth.
4. Determine How the Decision Will Affect Your Life: How is the decision going to affect your time, energy, finances and family time? Make a list of all the benefits as well as the disadvantages. Is this a long term commitment, or short-term? What sorts of things will you need to account for before the idea will work for you?
5. Finally, Plan: Set goals, save ahead if necessary, and plan how to meet targets.
Fear can be overcome when a person looks at keeping the risks minimal. Do not lose out on a chance to change your life just because it is new or challenging. Weigh the risks, and become one of the successful people who seeks to find something more than ordinary for their life.