Top tips for conquering career fear

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 01 Dec 2015

Heading to your first ever workplace soon? We've got you covered.


If you’re about to start working for the first time, as an apprentice or on a school leaver programme, for example, it can be a little daunting.

We spoke to Hannah Clements, head of career development and coaching at GSM London, about her top tips for conquering career fears.   

Give yourself plenty of settling in time

Settling in always takes time, but how long it will take depends on how you handle the situation. "When starting a new job, there are so many things you have to pay attention to: what your job actually is and what is required of you," says Clements. 

"Fitting in with the culture of the new team, the department and the organisation as a whole, and finding some space to put your own stamp on the role." 

Try not to begin a role with an unrealistic idea of what it will be like. “Don’t be put off if it’s not what you had expected it to be like – it rarely ever is,’ says Clements.

Understand your role

“Speak to people around you to get a feel for who you are working with as well as what you should be doing,” says Clements. |”Your primary relationships should be with your colleagues, so find out how your role helps them too.”

Understanding as much as you can about your role and where it fits within the bigger picture should be your top priority. “This will give you a framework in which to work, and a commitment to the reason that you are there,” says Clements.

Have goals

Having goals will give you a daily does of motivation, which will help with any less-enjoyable tasks  as well as allowing you sto stpe back and look at your job as part of a bigger picture.  ‘Don’t forget what you decided to go there for, says Clements. “What goals do you have and how is this role helping you get there?”

Be proactive

If your career fear persists and you don’t know if the problem is the company or the environment, you may need help – either from within or from outside your organisation.

“Talk to someone further along in their career about how they dealt with this kind of situation themselves, and perhaps even ask them to mentor you if you need longer term advice,” Clements suggests.

“Going to events can make you feel more connected to your career choice,” says Clements. Think about your future, rather than only about where you are now.

“Be proactive and persistent in searching out opportunities to grow and develop, and work towards the role you might like to move into in the future.”


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