Are you feeling stuck in your current job and are too afraid to quit your job? I think it’s a fairly common mindset. The quote, “The evil that we know is best” sums it up. But is it anxiety or anticipatory excitement you feel when you think about leaving your job?
How Do You Tell the Difference?
It’s normal to be fearful of the unknown. We are creatures of habit who don’t usually willingly embrace change. But let’s say that you are already in the process of actively job seeking. You’ve had a couple promising interviews. Then you get an actual offer and maybe a little panic sets in, possibly kicking up all the self-doubt that lurks just below the surface. But then feelings of excitement start. Here’s how it might go:
“Oh, no, I can’t possibly do that job!”
“It would be so great to get out of here, though!”
“The new job would figure out that I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.”
“But they like me!”
“I could do this!”
To me, that just reflects anticipatory excitement, some nervousness about change and worry about not being up to performing the new job.
But if you begin to have some physiological responses when you start thinking about the job, then it could be anxiety. Shortness of breath, feeling light-headed, dry mouth, even chest pains can be signs of significant anxiety. Have you had problems with anxiety before? If so, the new element of a job offer could be causing your symptoms.
Making Your Decision to Leave or Stay
My personal mantra from a fortune cookie is on my fridge, “Your dream must be bigger than your fear.” That really says it all to me. It’s a tenet of mental health counseling that patients make changes in their lives when the pain or discomfort they’re experiencing outweighs the fear of making that change.
So maybe if you look at the decision to leave your job or stay as a kind of personal hurdle to jump, it might “normalize” your fears. Having doubts is very normal. Even some level of anxiety is to be expected. But don’t let these feelings paralyze you and hold you back.
Seek Some Counsel
Here’re some ways to deal with the situation:
* Run your current dilemma by a trusted friend or co-worker (Use caution though with a co-worker – no matter how much they like you, they can project their own stuff about the workplace onto you.)
* Do the pros and cons list.
* If the situation is truly agonizing and producing a lot of anxiety, you may want to seek some counseling to help.
* Weigh the new opportunity against the last few horrible days you’ve had in your job. That might be the motivation to get you out the door.