In just a few days, I’ll be going to Africa.
While I’ve been overseas many times, I’ve never been on such a long flight or to an area I’m very unfamiliar with. I thought about chickening out a few times, but realized that if I can face my fears, I’ll be richly rewarded–warm weather, beaches–what’s not to like?
Many of you have probably felt this way in your job search.
This fear especially seems to strike shy people, who don’t feel comfortable networking or interviewing. Obviously, there’s no way around the latter, but many avoid meeting new people due to anxiety. If you’re looking for work, this may be the last thing you want to do. If this is how you feel, ask yourself “what will change if I do this?” and “what WON’T change?” The rewards will probably exceed your fears. If you make high-powered connections, get your resume in front of decision makers, or even get a job, it’s a no-brainer, right?
Of course, it’s not that easy. Still, there are solutions.
As you’ve probably heard before, start small. Meet people in a one-on-one environment, or have a mutual friend join you. You can also try a reward system–if you set a goal and attain it (for example, showing up at a networking event, even for five minutes), you can give yourself a small prize.
A surprisingly effective method comes by way of the book titled “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” by Susan Jeffers. While I haven’t yet read it, the title says it all. Fear is just an emotion, and we should proceed even when we feel apprehension. Often, the feeling of accomplishment is much stronger than the original fear. I look forward to being able to report this myself once I return from Africa!