Career Transition: Getting Your Groove Back in a Fear Based Economy

Aubrie De Clerck

Aubrie is a Career and Leadership Coach, working both in her own private practice and for Lee Hecht Harrison (an industry-leading talent development organization). Her career history spans corporate, non-profit and self employment, giving her wide perspective on the world of work. Aubrie is known for being highly inspirational and deeply practical, and loves bringing these qualities to sessions with groups and individuals. Most of all, she is passionate about helping people of all ages and phases of life get the most out of their work life.

Getting Your Groove Back in a Fear Based Economy by Aubrie de Clerck

We see it all the time in job search – messages that instill fear as a motivation.

 “5 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid in an Interview!”

“7 Mistakes Job Seekers Make Online and How You Can Avoid Them”

It’s this notion that if we don’t’ say the right thing, do exactly the right thing, we will never find work we want.

These fear-based messages come from all directions and can keep job seekers spinning.

I’m not a big fan of motivation by fear.  It feels shortsighted, unkind and most of all, unnecessary.

I wanted to write a post that is useful but in no way implies that my opinions are the way to success.  No ultimatums in a post complaining abut ultimatums!  My intention is to open up other, kinder ways of thinking about search and offer them to you to try if it suits you.

So here are two ideas you may find useful:

Idea 1 – Listen To Your Fears

We have worry and fear in our search – it’s human.  We don’t need external forces such as articles and advisers adding more fear to what we already have.

So try clearing out the external messages and get to what your particular fears are. Our own fears have specific messages.  They are protecting values that are important to us.  They are asking us to listen and be responsive.

The concept is to address what that fear is asking for, and then move from a place of action that has it’s source in what feels good, what feels like it gives you energy, what releases you from that anxious feeling.

For example, when it comes to decision making, many people fear making the “wrong” choice, or one they will regret. This fear could be protecting their value of personal integrity – not giving in on what is important to them.  One way to prioritize acting in integrity is to line up your head, heart and gut before proceeding with anything.  Commit to not going ahead on a decision without this alignment.  Give yourself permission to address the value.  It doesn’t have to take a long time.

Inquiry : What values are your fears protecting?

Idea 2 – Take Ownership of Your Search

It can seem like employers have all the cards – they have lots of candidates to choose from, they know what they are looking for (which they may or may not tell us) and they hold the decision-making power.

We can get so caught up in doing and saying whatever we think the employer wants to hear (what I call tap dancing) that we forget who we are and what we want.

Consider unleashing yourself from the impossible dance of being someone else for someone else.

We have control over:

      deciding what is most important  to us (money, flexibility, benefits –  it’s incredibly individual)

      creating a resume that is a clear, genuine picture of ourselves that we are proud to submit

      representing ourselves in search conversations (networking, interviewing) in a consistent and sincere way

      deciding where we work

Inquiry : What aspects of ownership can you embrace in your search?

Whether you are looking for a new position by choice or by chance, you have the choice to openly listen to your fears and act from a place of ownership.   It takes courage – and can lay the groundwork for successful transitions now and for the rest of your life.

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8 Comments on “Career Transition: Getting Your Groove Back in a Fear Based Economy”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Aubrie, this is terrific!!! Your point of view is both inspiring and practical…. Just as you are!


  2. Jackie Peterson Says:

    Congratulations on your Blog Aubrie. I’ll be following you!


  3. Emma McCreary Says:

    Excellent advice–and I imagine it is exactly what people in this situation need to hear. Great point that it *seems* like employers hold all the cards.
    But it’s not true–a good hiring decision is a win-win and both parties come to the table with value and values. When I’m looking for someone to hire, I am looking for that clarity and confidence that tells me that the person knows who they are and what they bring. This reminds me of the dating books that say, “Spend your becoming a strong person rather than desperately looking for a date, and you’ll be better off when the date comes along”. Obviously a job search is more urgent, but the same principle is there–be the person someone wants to hire.


  4. Verne Says:

    Well thought out article! Shifting the job-seeker to the driver’s position is a refreshing approach. The notion that companies have an endless pick of candidates who fit not only the job requirements, but are also a good fit for the teams they’ll work with is a myth, so the more clearly a job-seeker can picture what they want their work life to be, the more easily the interviewer will see that as well and both can find the best fit.


  5. Aubrie De Clerck Says:

    Thanks Verne! Yes, lots of myths out there that get in the way of a successful match for both job seekers and employers. Hopefully this will shift!


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