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How to Overcome Your Biggest Fears about Changing Careers

How to Overcome Your Biggest Fears about Changing Careers

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Change is scary: change that includes the potential of financial loss, saying goodbye to old identities, and stepping into the unknown can be downright terrifying.

And yet...if you don't overcome your fears, you know what will happen: you will still be at the job you don't like next year and then one after and ...

So what can you do? Take a deep breath and quit it all? Wait until you feel confident?

And how much fear is healthy fear vs. too much fear that needs to be overcome? How can you tell the difference?

Bring all your fears to our next Chat & Learn: we'll talk about moving from fear to courage and from feeling stuck to getting into action to change careers.


Aurora Meneghello is the founder of Repurpose Your Purpose, a program to change careers by using what you already know to do something new. She works with groups and individual career changers and is based in Los Angeles.


  • Why do job applications ask if you are currently working? Why is it such an advantage to have a job while looking for a new one? I've just put in my resignation at my company but am scared about trying to find freelance work and a new full time position. Did I make a mistake leaving before having something else lined up?

    Question by Ji on 2019-07-18
  • Is Maryella hosting this chat?! :)

    Question by on 2019-07-18
  • No question

    Question by Fatima on 2019-07-16
  • I'm trying to work freelance right now I have been out of the working world for a couple of years. I feel like my skills are no longer relevant. How do I push forward and find the people I wanna help?

    Question by Myra on 2019-07-16
  • How does one make an application stand out?

    Question by Prachi on 2019-07-16
  • How to overcome the Applicant tracking system?

    Question by Christine on 2019-07-16
  • What is the best way to transition to working freelance and/or remotely full-time?

    Question by Desiree on 2019-07-16
  • If you were successful at changing careers, what should you do in the first 30, 60, 90 days to avoid feeling like you don't know what you're doing? How should you approach your team or manager?

    Question by Shelley on 2019-07-16
  • I work in a "greedy" profession, one that generally demands a lot of your time above and beyond what hourly expectations dictate. I also have kids and like to see them. How do you convey that you are committed to your job without giving them your entire life? How do you set boundaries without coming across as uncommitted?

    Question by Holly on 2019-07-16
  • I am in the midst of a career development from Sales. I have been looking into new roles that would be a new skill point for me and I feel intimidated applying for the new roles due to experience. I am focused on developing new Skill sets, Certifications and trainings. What is your advice for someone in my situation? I am interested in assisting Sales such as (Sales enablement & training, Marketing and Product Solution Management). Thank you!

    Question by Stephany on 2019-07-16
  • My current job pays me well but its is not a job that I am passionate about and if I make a career switch to a job that I am passionate about it will not pay me the money that I currently make. May be if I turn out to be exceptionally good and the best in my new career there might be a possibility that I might make that money in 3-4 years of switching to a career of my passion. I always come to this point and was never able to make a decision. How do you make a choice in such a situation?

    Question by Archana on 2019-07-16
  • There are so many great questions so far, eager to listen to your answers!

    Question by Elise on 2019-07-16
  • No Question

    Question by Homa on 2019-07-16
  • No question

    Question by Naomi on 2019-07-16
  • Can you please share some good practices for those switching from the nonprofit to the corporate industry?

    Question by Michelle on 2019-07-16
  • not ye t

    Question by Stella on 2019-07-16
  • Where are the best places to find advocates for you when you’re going through a career change?

    Question by Melissa on 2019-07-16
  • I'm anxious about the uncertainty of going (back) to full-time freelancing after a few years in a stable, but limiting, in-house job. Any suggestions?

    Question by Pam on 2019-07-16
  • I have made two career "changes" in the past year and while everyone around me has been encouraging and supportive, I negative self-talk myself a lot. I feel guilty that I am no longer contributing to my family's income and that maybe I should just try harder to find a job/clients. Do you have any advice on giving yourself permission to not work/earn while you learn what you need to learn in order to enter a new field? I'm really struggling to not look for work while in my training program.

    Question by Natosha on 2019-07-16
  • Is there a way to game online application portals? What is the "magic combo" of answers? Been applying for over a year and fearful my experience and salary are immediately eliminating me.

    Question by Amy on 2019-07-16
  • I work in tech, and what I do is very cutting edge, but it has a shelf life. It isn't very stable, it is something I've done for a decade now, and I've traveled the world chasing jobs, but now that I'm a new mom, moving so often isn't something I want to do. Moving is also so financially draining. Stability financial and otherwise, is something that I'd like to provide for my child. But to do so, I'd definitely have to find something else that is provides better benefits, better pay and definitely a job that doesn't isn't seasonal. But how do I find another career without starting from scratch while balancing being a new mom and keep my current job down. Where do I even begin? Does finding a new career mean I'd have to start at very bottom of the totem pole when I switch careers?

    Question by Dedipya on 2019-07-16
  • What is more important to employers - certification or experience? My first fear - I am over qualified. My second fear is I will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars getting certificates in areas I am already experienced in. Does a new field mean entry level?

    Question by Chrystine on 2019-07-16
  • I'm terrified reading job descriptions and titles for companies and industries as I'm looking to make a change and I'm hoping you can give some advice about how to read job descriptions and approach companies that are totally new to you just to get an informational?

    Question by Sarah on 2019-07-16
  • How much is ok to invest in training for a new career?

    Question by Salma on 2019-07-16
  • I am doing a role that is broader than just my current title and I'm struggling to translate to the new role I'm targeting in my job search. Any advice?

    Question by Becky on 2019-07-16
  • I have nearly 20 years of Federal Contracting experience. I would like to change my career, however I am seemingly getting "typed cast" and loosing out on many of the jobs that I would like. My skill set has many of the same qualifications for the jobs I want, however, it seems my job title "Federal Contract Manager" gets in the way of them seeing my skills. How do I overcome this?

    Question by Lori on 2019-07-16
  • What if you want a change but you don't know in which direction. What's the best way to match your skills to a new career path?

    Question by Lindsey on 2019-07-16
  • I've been paying my dues as a career changer in the tech industry for 2 years, and I'm ready to leave my crummy job for something better. But I've been dealing with a TON of rejection, so I'm having a hard time with imposter syndrome. How do I deal with the doubt that I'm really not good enough for the jobs I'm going after?

    Question by Brittany on 2019-07-16
  • No questions but want to listen to advice.

    Question by Mary Kay on 2019-07-16
  • 1) How do I show value in why I want to change industries? I've been working in a startup for governments and it's extremely difficult to translate the value to marketing, e-commerce industries. 2) I want to work at a startup that will ACTUALLY foster my career change from Customer Success to Product Management. When I tell them I'm paying for my own school, they hesitate, worried that I will leave theirs to do a PM role elsewhere, but I want to transition there in a long-term plan. Is it bad to mention a flexible long term plan I have at their company?

    Question by Gina on 2019-07-16
  • I am ready to make a career change, hired a resume writer and I am sending tons on applications to receive zero answers at this point. I am doing all that... matching the words on the resume to the job descriptions, using words from the job description on the cover letter, and yet, I am getting so frustrated. quick background, I am a chef, author of 3 cookbooks, spokesperson and have been working as a freelancer for 15 years. I am itching for something new: a job, inside my industry, but full time job. I am so tired of the instability of a freelancer. Plus, in my food/health industry now, all the content in the world is found free online.

    Question by Leticia on 2019-07-16
  • How do you make a career change without taking a pay cut?

    Question by Iman on 2019-07-16
  • How to earn experience during transition to a new career?

    Question by Ekaterina on 2019-07-16
  • I know I want to make a career change, but I'm so burnt out in my current career and my daily life that accomplishing even the smallest progress towards that change feels overwhelming. Do you have any advice on how to heal from burnout, so you can move forward? Or steps that can be taken to make progress when time, money, and energy, are in low supply?

    Question by Megan on 2019-07-16
  • Want to transition from hardware Sales to cloud in a Sales/Account Mgr role and having a hard time with companies that focus on enterprise SaaS sales. What's your advice on how to overcome that fear and hurdle even though I know Cloud technology, but not really worked on it. TIA

    Question by Kinjal on 2019-07-16
  • Thinking about changing careers in my 40's seems to be causing more stress. I've taken accessments, coaching, and I still feel lost. Any suggestions on how to pivot?

    Question by Teresa on 2019-07-16
  • If I am looking to transition out of my current industry, what information is most important fo share regarding the applicability of my skill set? Is the best way to communicate this information via functional resume +cover letter? Is networking in person a better option than cold applying? I look forward to the discussion.

    Question by Lauren on 2019-07-16
  • HRs keep on saying - we love your personality and your ambition, but we feel you haven't had enough experience for this particular role/in the corporation/in the start-up culture/in this sector.. and I never will if they keep on bumping me.. so what to do?

    Question by juliashtal on 2019-07-16
  • I would love to change careers but feel my age is a hindrance. How do I get past that in order to move forward? Thanks!

    Question by Angie on 2019-07-16
  • Any advice for shifting into a new role at a 60% or 80% (e.g. 'part time' but not contract or freelance)

    Question by Laura on 2019-07-16
  • How do you deal with fear, uncertainty and just a year's worth of terrible luck? For the record, I am a technical writer and that's a position I want to stay in. I got laid off from my technical writing job of 2 years in September 2018. I got a wonderful contract job in October but it had to end in January. It took me a while to find another job and that next permanent job was horrendous. My boss was awful and I had to leave after two months for the sake of my mental health. This was the first time that happened. All my previous bosses adored me. I've been through multiple rounds of job interviews at 4 companies recently, but I'm not getting as many responses as I'd like and I just feel like I'll get to the end of an interview process and then have to backtrack and go back to square one because I didn't get it.

    Question by Lauren on 2019-07-16
  • No questions at this time.

    Question by Patricia on 2019-07-16
  • How do you market yourself in a new field when your professional experience doesn’t show you as having that specific experience? I’ve tried a chronological resume and a skills-based resume and am still not getting interviews.

    Question by Kelli on 2019-07-16
  • I have experience, but always feel like it’s not enough when looking for new jobs in my field. How do I highlight my strengths, while being honest about what I’m still learning, need to learn, or am excited to learn at a new job?

    Question by Lauren on 2019-07-16
  • How do you balance the need to find a new career path when you have multiple interests but not sure which one you would be happy and successful in?

    Question by Sacha on 2019-07-16
  • How do you know if a different role is good fit for your skills / temperament? (Ie introvert programmer/editor becoming a business financial software consultant)? How do you improve in meetings, public speaking and presentation skills? How do you master the scenario interview?

    Question by Jennifer on 2019-07-16
  • No specific question - just looking forward to the conversation.

    Question by Lara on 2019-07-16
  • How do you communicate in a cover letter how your skills transfer? I know I would do well at the next level because I had 20 months in an interim role but apparently it is not coming through in my cover or resume.

    Question by Lenessa on 2019-07-15
  • I’ve taken all of the psychometric tests (Highlands Ability Battery is one among the many) in preparation for a career shift, but haven’t found them as clarifying as I’d hoped. I know I need to put more time into my exploration process, but I’d love your perspective on these tools.

    Question by Margaret on 2019-07-15
  • No question yet but want to listen

    Question by Courtney on 2019-07-12
  • How do you know you've made the right decision when you make a career change?

    Question by Rose on 2019-07-11
  • How do you get an employer to take a chance when you don't have the experience or specific schooling for the position?

    Question by Amber on 2019-07-11
  • How do you make a career pivot in your 40's without taking a junior level role.

    Question by sandyvasan on 2019-07-11
  • What do you suggest in order to make a transition into a new career after 23 years of doing the same line of work without going back to school to get a new degree? I am the sole financial provider (including healthcare) for my family and feel trapped in my current job and field.

    Question by Melissa on 2019-07-11
  • What should I highlight on my resume to get the recruiters attention?

    Question by shilpa on 2019-07-11
  • So this is my short list of fears (surely there are others!): Fear #1 – What if I trade something I do relatively well (with 15+ years experience in reputable companies) for something in which I don’t even know I’m good at (to earn a living as a professional)? Fear #2 – What if I make the required sacrifices for a career switch and after a couple of years I get bored because I have multiple interests? [reference to the concepts of ‘multipotentialite’ by Emilie Wapnick and ‘scanner’ by the wonderful Barbara Sher] Fear #3 – What if I jeopardize my financial stability which I consider to be essential as an independent mom of a toddler living in a foreign country? [my earning power is my safety net] Fear #4 - What if I don't have the energy to go through a significant career switch anymore now that I'm in my 40s?

    Question by Ana on 2019-07-09
  • When do you know its the right time to make that career change? How do you go about identifying the right job that matches your skillset

    Question by Fareen on 2019-07-09
  • Is a functional resume a good option versus a chronological one?

    Question by Alana on 2019-07-08

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