Let’s be real. Halloween will likely look different for a lot of people this year. That said, there are some traditions that will never change, such as eating too much candy and watching scary movies.

Everyone likes a good scare from time to time and Halloween is the perfect time of year to balance fear and fun. But, as we all know, Halloween is temporary. While in everyday life, fear and fun don’t usually mix well together. In fact, fear could be one of the major factors in many professionals’ struggle to grow their careers, and they may not even know it.

Fear has a way of impacting our everyday habits while on the job, or on the job search.  

In fact, there are several fear-based habits that could be making you unemployable.

Here are some of the main areas where I see fear forcing professionals into bad habits that impact their employability.

Being Afraid To Fail

Many professionals stay at jobs they hate because they’re afraid to make a change. They’re afraid of new surroundings, afraid of the career change process, and afraid that they’ll be no good at their next job.

That same fear also paralyzes some of these professionals to the point where they remain in the exact same position at their jobs, and make very little effort to pick up new skills and grow their careers. Some may argue that if someone is competent and content in their job, what is the problem. The problem is that all jobs are temporary and at any moment, you could find yourself in need of another job.

If you’ve been at the same position for a long period of time, with very little career growth, that’s going to raise a red flag with many recruiters and could impact your chance of scoring a job interview. If you do secure a job interview, are you prepared to answer the recruiter’s question about your lack of advancement through the years?

Fear of failure holds you back. In order to advance your career, you have to take some risks along the way. More often than not, you’ll succeed if you put in enough effort, and most setbacks are usually great learning experiences that can ultimately set yourself up for success in the future.

Being Afraid To Put Yourself Out There

Some people are inherently modest and introverted, and there are times when that can hold you back. Particularly, when you’re looking for a new job or making a career change. Networking is a huge component to the job search, and it requires job seekers to reach out to complete strangers in order to make important connections that can help position yourself for a referral or job interview. Job seekers also need to reach out to recruiters at the companies they’re interested in working at, in order to get their resumes past the applicant tracking systems.

While there are proven strategies for successfully making these connections, some professionals are just too afraid to do it. They’re just too shy, or have too much fear about how they’ll come across. The fear of putting yourself out there doesn’t just hurt your networking strategy, but it can hurt your performance at your current job. Employers who are afraid to share ideas or engage with coworkers or their boss, don’t stand out.

I own a small business, and I appreciate it when my employees put themselves out there and offer an idea, because ideas from my employees are essential to our survival. There are no bad ideas, because we can learn from the ones that don’t work.

Fear Of Job Rejection

Sometimes job seekers will put their entire job search effort into getting one position. Ultimately, they get rejected from that position and then go back into the job search process half-heartedly. Their philosophy is “why do I want to put a full effort into something that may end in rejection?”

As a career coach, I’ve come across some job seekers who think like this, and I can say with absolute certainty that this is the worst approach that anyone can take. This line of thinking will lead to some bad job search habits, and you’ll struggle to even land an interview.

Some may not want to hear it, but the job search process is full speed ahead at all times. This means every position that you apply to deserves the maximum effort, which includes a unique resume tailored to the position, a disruptive cover letter with a connection story to the company you’re applying to, and unique networking strategy.

Yes, there may be some rejections along the way, but there’s also a greater opportunity for success.

Whether your goal is to get hired, or grow in your current profession, the above fears will likely hold you back at some point in the process. That’s why it’s important to move past them. Whenever in doubt, just understand that the consequences of not moving past these fears will likely be greater than biting the bullet and getting out of your comfort zone.

Bonus Tip: If You’re Not Sure How To Move Past Your Fears, Try A Community Of Support!

At my company, Work It Daily, we use a combination of coaching and community to help our members reach their career goals. Work It Daily has a team of trained career support specialists that will work 1-1 with you to come up with a specialized plan to help. All of our memberships offer private 1-1 coaching along with unlimited networking potential, and a library of exclusive career courses. Additionally and for no extra cost, you’ll also receive unlimited resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reviews by our trained specialists as part of our membership.

If you’re hesitant about a long-term subscription, you may want to check out one of our live training sessions that are available for a low, one-time payment.

Check out some of Work It Daily’s Free Resources.

Communication Style Quiz

How To Get Hired

Job Search Checklist

Career Change Guide