The Fear of Change

Having previously moved from primary school teaching to financial services, it’s safe to say that taking on a new challenge isn’t something new to me.

However, no matter how many times you take on a new challenge, the same thoughts come into your head and this time round was no different…

  • Am I doing the right thing in leaving my previous role where I had been for a long period of time?
  • Will I do a good job?
  • What are my new colleagues going to be like?
  • Will they like me?
  • Will I enjoy it?  

Being honest, I had all these questions going through my head – plus many more! It’s a big decision to leave somewhere you’re familiar with. You know the people, the organisation and how things work day to day but, as Wayne Gretzky (Ex Professional Hockey player from Canada) once said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and in this situation that couldn’t be more true.

As someone with no prior consultancy specific experience, as you can imagine, the first few weeks have been extremely busy! People to meet, new systems to understand and of course lots of content to learn which again brings on those feelings of self-doubt…

  • Will I understand everything?
  • How long will it take me to understand it all?
  • What happens if I don’t understand it?
  • What if I make a mistake?

Moving into a new career can often require a new skill set. This was different however as I’ve gained relevant experience and skills through previous roles, but now I needed to perfect them. I’ve always had that inner confidence where I believe I can resolve any challenge which presents itself, but naturally, as human beings, we are creatures of habit and are often concerned by change. Why are many of us afraid of change? And what holds us back from accepting these great opportunities? So, as much as the opportunity was an extremely exciting one, there are always those self-doubts, and this time was no different.

The type of work wasn’t the only change presented by this opportunity. Travel, ways of working, and work patterns all become extra changes which could have again contributed to these feelings of doubt – Catching the train to work, rather than the bus. Waking up and getting home at different times every day to see my family. I found myself asking ‘I’m comfortable with my usual routine so why would I want to change what I’m doing?’ These are all small changes and questions which contribute to the hesitancy of taking on a new challenge and taking that shot.

Putting a positive spin on it all however made all the difference! Train rather than bus – Trains are, in my experience, often more reliable. Working different times – At times this will give me more flexibility than previously. Comfortable usual routine – Will be exciting to learn new systems, businesses, ways of working etc. That positive way of thinking opens so many more opportunities and brings on that excitement of change rather than the hesitancy and doubts which I had to navigate.

Will I do a good job? Will I understand everything? How long will it take me to get up to speed with the rest of the team? I have no idea at this point! All I know is as the old saying goes ‘I’ll give it my best and what will be will be!’ But from my first conversation with Altus Consulting, to joining the business a month or so ago, to now, the support from all my new colleagues in these first 4 weeks has been brilliant and that, coupled with that inner confidence, is a strong recipe for success.

Don’t be afraid of that change, and in fact embrace it and embrace the opportunities which present themselves. I’m so glad I took that shot and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

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