DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
TIME FOR CHANGE THIS NEW YEAR?
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 1996, 2003
The start of a new year is a good time to look at your goals and assess where you are in life. Is your career advancing the way you’d like? Quite often we plod through life taking things “a day at a time,” because this is a good way to manage stress. But, look at the “big picture” to make sure you’re not shortchanging your aspirations.
Start by taking a look at what you wanted to be “when you grew up.” How much different was that dream 5 years ago? A year ago? Don’t be afraid to confront these dreams directly and identify things that have thrown you off course. With all the changes in the marketplace, dreams have been dashed for a lot of people, but many identified opportunities as well. Alternatives exist, so take the time to nurture new dreams. Would you rather do something else? How can you get there? Then, what’s keeping you from making a change? Often, the answer is fear.
People fear change for many reasons. The fear of failure is one of them. You know how to do your current job backwards and forward. You can do it in your sleep. But, how would you perform in a new company where you don’t know the ropes? You’d have to learn new things, work with new people, and you may not get the hang of things right away. This evokes a resistance to change because you don’t want to fail. You prefer to stay in your comfort zone and minimize the risk of failure, but this may keep you from utilizing your full potential. It also may keep you from gaining satisfaction in your career and in your life.
Another fear is of heightened expectations. You want more recognition and pay, but are you ready for the increased workload and responsibilities that come with them? Many say “sure!” but grumble about the long hours and change in lifestyle required when moving up. When reality sinks in, many people accept the fact that they’re not really ready to take on the increased demands that will be expected of them. So, they “forget” to follow up on the hot tip about a job opening in another company or “lose” the contact information altogether. These lapses betray conflict about advancing your career and need to be addressed. Be frank with yourself. If you’re not up to the new challenge because you really don’t want to work that hard, then say so. But, if you’re game, get rid of the excuses and take the plunge!
To conquer fear, ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?” Play out all the possible scenarios in your head and then on paper. If you fear that you won’t be able to do the new job, determine why? What increased knowledge or skills do you need to prepare for this position? Once you’re on the new job, take steps to bolster your fund of information or technical skills if you find yourself running into trouble. While you might have a sharp learning curve to master, you’ve gotten this far in life because you’re a bright and capable individual. These same assets will see you through on the new job.
If your fear is that the new demands will overwhelm you, then strengthen your ability to manage your time and workload now. You can expect things to get worse on the new job, but this doesn’t mean you can’t handle it. Evaluate your delegation skills. Many promotions involve a greater span of control, but a lot of managers can’t let go. Thus, they fail to adjust to the new work situation. In this era of rightsizing and downsizing you’re probably going to have to do more with less, but this doesn’t mean you have to do it all! Remember, a good manager delegates and develops subordinates. Your staff will shine and you’ll look good too.
The new year is a great time to make changes. Take a good look at your choices and decide whether change may help rejuvenate a stagnant career or get it back on the right course. Change may be scary, but you can handle it. Set your sights high and go for it!
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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