Fear of Change (The Devil You Know)


I am afraid. I fear change. In the worst of times I think it is better to stay at a job I am unhappy with because at least I know what to expect, also called, the devil you know. Sometimes I feel that I can’t move and rise above because I’ve been here so long and the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

I’ve wanted to get out of the assistant type jobs for several years now but have struggled with not knowing what I wanted to get into. I look at the job boards online and find that most jobs want degrees that I don’t have and experience that doesn’t match my own. I look for hours sometimes and always come back to looking for assistant/office jobs. I find some jobs that look ok but it still doesn’t feel right that I’m applying for them. I get a few interviews and they seem to go well but I never get a call back. I wonder if they can sense my fear. I fear getting a second interview. I fear getting a job offer. I fear because what if this new job that looks good now ends up being worse than my current position.

I feel like it would be the end of the world if I take another position only to find out it is worse. I have a comfortable position now. I know what is expected of me and know the people to watch out for and those that will be kind to me … to lose that and be thrown into a situation even worse terrifies me.

I know what you may be thinking. “How can it be worse? If you are underappreciated in your current position, have supervisors that don’t care, and don’t even get paid that much, what could be worse?”

Well, my version of worse is that I find myself in a longer commute than my current one, the new coworkers are catty, the job is just the same as the others (unfulfilling), my insurance isn’t a good and on top of all this I get paid less all because I decided to take a chance on finding something better and it backfired. I know we can never tell the future and there are no crystal balls to make sure we make the right choice, but I sure wish there were. If I were given the chance to get out of this current administrative position, would I? Would you?

I would love to be able to work for myself someday but the fear of change is paralyzing. It is always the what-ifs that stop me.

What if I hate it?

What if they don’t like me and I get fired?

What if I start my own business and I fail?

What if I can’t pay my bills if I fail?

Sometimes it feels easier to stay in the unhappy but comfortable position instead of taking the leap and realizing that yes, there is a 50% chance that I’ll hate the new job but there is also a 50% chance that I’ll love it. I’ve never been good at taking chances and have always dealt with the fear of change. I admit, I’m a little bit of a hypocrite. I’m the one that wants my supervisor to change procedures if my way is better, but I won’t change and find a better position because “I’ve always done these types of jobs and I’m used to them.” I get so upset with my supervisors for saying, “because it’s always been this way” and here I am saying the same phrase to myself at times.

Fear of change is definitely the enemy when we know we need to get out but are too afraid to move. I still have not found a way to quiet the doubts and the fear. If I get that golden opportunity to get out of the assistant rut I hope by then I will have found a way to quiet those voices of fear.

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