October is Halloween time with spooky costumes, ghosts and witches, and other fearsome things. Career management may instill just as much fear. And like Halloween, where braving your fear and getting out there means you end up with a bag full of treats, so does the proactive career manager benefit when you respond productively to career fears:
Fear of downsizing? Then, find out from your manager how you’re doing. Find out from your department head how your area is doing. Read your company newsletters, annual report and trade magazines to find out how your company and industry are doing.
Fear of being stuck? Then, look at where you add value and make sure your manager knows about it. Sign up for training classes in areas where you’re weak. Sign up for projects in areas where you excel. Book breakfast, lunch or drinks at least once a week with a different person each week to ensure that you maintain your network.
Fear of living hand-to-mouth? Then, focus on getting ahead financially. Save something regularly, even if it’s your spare change that you then deposit at the bank. Sign up for your company’s 401K plan or boost your current contribution. Read a personal finance book or Money magazine or a biography of a person who seems to you to have it all.
No one comes to your house to drop off Halloween candy. No one is going to manage your career. The best way to conquer your career fears is by doing something. In the words of Paul Valery: The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.