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Afraid to look for a job? Here’s how to steel your nerves and get started

Afraid to look for a job? Here's how to steel your nerves and get startedThere’s no way around it – job searching can be a chore. Though online job postings make the process much more convenient than it was in the past, it can also be an overwhelming and scary process mentally, making it hard to even open a web browser and get to looking. If you’re feeling afraid of looking for a new job, try these tips to gain some motivation and to put your fear behind you.

Make a list of reasons why you want a new job
It might seem like a small thing, but sitting down without distraction and listing out all the reasons why you want to look for a job could help you feel calmer and remind you of all the excitement and possibilities ahead of you. Read over the list, internalize it, take a deep breath, and then kick-off your job search.

Write down your five-year plan
Everyone has heard of a five-year plan, but how many of us have actually created one? Even if it seems unfruitful or a waste of time, take some time to think about where you’d like to be or what you’d like your life to look like in five years’ time. This doesn’t necessarily have to be job-related: it could be where you want to be living, your relationship or family status, or trips you want to have taken. Once you have a sense of your fantasy future, then consider the type of job that might make that future possible, and then go after it.

Think about your passions
Perhaps the reason you’re not enthusiastic about your job search is that you’re not enthusiastic about your current career. If that sounds like you, it might be worth considering what your passions are, and even if the answer is something seemingly non-career-oriented, like watching TV or coloring, make note of them. Once you’ve identified what you love doing, then consider what careers might facilitate those things. There are, after all, people who watch TV professionally – editors, critics, subtitlers and rating reviewers, for instance. Even if you think it’s a long-shot or that you don’t have the right skills, don’t sell yourself short. Your hobbies just might end up being a career if you put yourself out there and give it a try.

Consider what’s making you afraid of looking for a new job
Sometimes making time for a little self-reflection and truly allowing yourself to confront your internalized fears can do wonders for you mentally. So if you’re having a truly hard time feeling motivated about your job search, perhaps it’s worth having a conversation with yourself about why that might be. Don’t shy away from your own responses, which might range from fear of rejection to fear of disappointing your current manager or coworkers to a lack of self-confidence, and then, once you’ve identified what it is that’s holding you back, take the necessary steps to face your own fears so that you can move forward.

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