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How much does FEAR determine your career choices?

IR #048

Life is a constant journey of self realization and most importantly, continuous self improvement. I personally believe that a life that has refused to evolve during its existence is one that is wasted.

I have had people of the previous generation tell me proudly how they have been “consistent” and not changed one bit in the past 30 years. They are extremely proud of their fixed routines and the state of stability that they claim to be an example for the present and future generations. In my opinion, this is complete hogwash. It just goes to show how much fear has governed their lives.

Yes… FEAR!! Fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of financial instability, fear of social pressure, fear of confusion, fear of being uncomfortable, fear of one’s mortality etc. The list is endless. In many cases, fear becomes the single most influential factor that determines a person’s career and life.

I have worked with colleagues whose main motivation to come to work is that if they did not turn up and work “hard” they could get fired. Is getting fired a good enough motivation to devote almost 10 hours of your day on something that apparently does not give you an iota of happiness? I really don’t think so.

Then there are others who refuse to look for better options even though they hate their current job only because they are not sure what to expect once they decide to make the shift. The fear of moving out of their comfort zone literally makes them glued to a role and organization for as long as the company will have them. I have seen many colleagues who are far more skilled than the role and company they have settled for in my career so far. Look around you, and you would find the same.

Organizations typically love to feed the fuel when it comes to fear. This is the single most cost effective and effortless method of employee retention that an HR has. Companies who truly value their employees tend to take a route far different that this – look at Google with its amazing workspace or Facebook with its innovative HR policies.

If you are among those who are governed by fear and who after introspection feel that their life decisions have been influenced mainly by fear, here are a couple of things that you should start doing.

Stop equating dedication to loyalty.

Now this is one of the biggest mistakes we do when we are overcome with fear. We tend to start believing that our dedication to work is directly proportional to the years we spend with a company. Not only is this completely absurd, it also robs an individual of the ability to think beyond his or her current company. Your dedication to work should only be equated to the quality of your output and nothing else. Period.

Update your profile on job sites and browse through job openings even if you are NOT actively looking for a change.

Now this might seem strange but it is essential for 2 main reasons. One, this gives you a fair idea of the market requirements of a profile in your selected domain. This allows you to either update yourself to match the requirements or upgrade yourself to a better role according to your skill set. Secondly, it also gives you an idea of the compensation that a person in your role can expect in the market. This is essential as the salary package is known to be a major influence in determining the level of resistance to change.

This might not be much but once you start practicing them, it will have a profound effect on your current mindset that is loaded with fear. This will slowly impart courage to make a change or will open your eyes to reality and make you take the plunge that you always wished you could.

To quote former American president F.D. Roosevelt – “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

This article was originally published on The Arabian Post.

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