Don’t Let Fear Drive Your Career: Guide It To Make Impactful Choices

What fear and complacency in your current work environment can do to your career.

As we’ve remained in this candidate-driven market, I want to address an area that seems to be more prevalent. I have recently seen a greater reluctance to finally pull the trigger in making a move. Due diligence is done, client visits have been completed, and verbal offers have been extended; but at the point of going to writing the offer, candidates are having second opinions. This is not something that’s happening within our industry but what is happening throughout the employment world as of today. Is it because of fear, complacency in your current work environment, or something else? 

Justified Or A Fleeting Emotional State

I have been pondering why this has been occurring and it keeps coming down to one word: fear. Fear of making a mistake, fear of leaving what you know behind, fear of the unknown, or any other fear that you want to acknowledge. Fear is not a bad thing as it is our protector, so I’m not trying to come down to say that somebody who has fearful thoughts about making the move is not justified. It is 100% justified. However, as with anything, it needs to be managed. If it’s not managed, you may move into a state of complacency in your current work environment. Asking yourself what you’re really afraid of and drilling down is the number one thing that you should be doing. Asking open-ended questions to yourself, to your family, and/or mentors that you may have will help you determine if your fear is justified and should be acted on, or if it is just emotional upheavals that need to be controlled.

Is It Complacency In Your Current Work Environment?

If I had to say the one thing that is a common ground to the emotion of fear it is complacency. Complacency in your current work environment holds everybody back. Sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone to take your career on a whole new path. Remaining in status quo mode when you have legitimate reasons to entertain, making a new move can be potentially detrimental to your future. Remember the reason you started interviewing was because there was something there (other than financial reasons) that were holding you back. You shared with your recruiter that something. You took the time to interview, most likely numerous times, and shared with your potential new firm the pain that you were experiencing and how this new firm could alleviate that. It’s now time for you to revisit that list and ask yourself one question: is staying at my current firm going to relieve any of my concerns? If the answer is predominantly yes, then you should remain.

Do Not Delay The Inevitable:

How Fear Of Failing Can Lead To Complacency In Your Current Work Environment & So The Hamster Wheel Continues

But conversely, if the answer is no, then you’re just delaying the inevitable. It’s time to put complacency in your current work environment and fear on the back burner and move forward. Moving forward is the only thing that will relieve you of your current situation. If by some chance the move is not the right one, as I have mentioned in past blogs, a quick move is not going to be held against you. Firms are becoming much wiser and realizing that holding a quick move against a candidate is not as unfavorable as they may have thought of in years past. “Damaged goods” no longer apply to candidates that have made more moves than others. In conclusion, ask yourself why you are afraid of making a mistake. If the answer is what we’ve discussed here, then please move forward. Execute the agreement and put your career on the right path again.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.