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Becoming Fearless: Dealing With Workplace Fears

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Below are tips on how you can become fearless in dealing with work-related issues. The three issues: 1. Fear of being unemployed forever, 2. Fear that gets between you and your dream job, and 3. Fear of the dreaded Monday morning return to work.

How to overcome the fear of being unemployed forever:
  1. Avoid late nights and sleeping in.
  2. Set your alarm and be ready to start your day by 9 a.m. This allows you to mirror that of the mainstream business world and stay connected.
  3. Be a go-getter. Your new job is that of a marketing executive and you are the product.
  4. Take an inventory of your strengths and list them on paper and make sure they are reflected in an updated resume and cover letter.
  5. Compile a list of 10 or more contacts, compose an email and attach your resume. Ask them to keep you in mind for any job they might know of and also for them to pass your information on to their contacts.
  6. Schedule your day. For instance, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., answer emails. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., look at job sites. From 11 a.m. to noon, send out resumes. From noon to 1 p.m., have lunch. You get the idea.
  7. Consider volunteering and remember to relax.

How to overcome the fear getting between you and your dream job:

Define your dream job. Be specific. For example, what would it entail? Would you be working independently or as part of a team? Would you travel or be office-bound? Do you want something that's analytical or creative? You get the idea. Really define all aspects of it and the qualities you seek in this dream job.
  1. Surround yourself with people who can help you achieve your dream job. These should be people who inspire, support, and encourage you. Find someone who can offer guidance and mentor you.
  2. Don't reinvent the wheel. Ask other people how they got to where they are. Although your path won't be entirely the same you might gain some valuable advice from knowing how others have done it.
  3. Interview someone who has this dream job. Find out what the person did to land the job. Ask questions that will yield valuable information. Ask not only what they love about their job and what they do on a day-to-day basis, but also what they find most challenging, what they'd most like to change about it, and any regrets they might have.
  4. Network, network, network. Each person you meet in the industry can potentially bring you closer to your dream job, making the impossible possible.
  5. Do an internship or shadow someone at a company that you admire.
  6. Apply! Even if a company doesn't list openings, inquire about where and how they might use your skills.

How to overcome the fear of the dreaded Monday morning return to work:

  • Take a step back and look at the big picture. What makes you anxious about returning to work? Is it based on reality or on something you imagine?
  • Decipher fact from imagination. Focus on what's within your control, not what lies beyond it.
  • Prepare for Monday every Friday. At the end of each workweek, prepare for the next by straightening up your workspace, tying up loose ends, and making a to-do list.
  • Relax as much as you can. When planning your weekend, don't over schedule and certainly don't leave stressful activities for Sunday.
  • Plan your Sunday according to your mood. If you ordinarily feel depressed on Sundays, then plan a fun activity such as a special dinner out or hanging out with friends. If you typically find yourself edgy, then indulge in something relaxing such as a movie or reading.
  • Balance your sleep patterns. If you get up at 6 a.m. during the week but sleep in on the weekends, you may not be tired come bedtime on Sunday. Leave Saturday for sleeping in. On Sunday try not to deviate too far from your regular wake-up time.
  • Stop staring at the clock. Turn your alarm clock away from the bed so that you aren't reminded of your approaching workday. Have confidence that it will wake you at the appropriate time.
  • Count your blessings. Before you go to sleep, identify three positive things about your job or day ahead. Drift off to sleep looking forward to what you like about your job rather than dreading what you don't like.

For more by Jonathan Alpert, click here.

For more on becoming fearless, click here.