Is Fear Driving Your Career?

When times are tough, self-preservation instincts can kick in and we may act in ways to hold onto what we have rather than take any kind of risk to move forward. Yet sometimes staying in place can be the riskiest (non-)move of all.

What you may not realize is that while you’re working to maintain your position, you can also be engaging in the single most important activity that can lower your overall career risk and increase your career options: NETWORKING.

How? By investing time in building and maintaining strong relationships, you’ll find that your network can:

  • Alert you to job opportunities they might hear about through the grapevine
  • Make introductions and offer references on your behalf
  • Provide guidance and insight on career moves you hadn’t yet considered
  • Give you moral support and confidence to pursue your ideal path

A few weeks ago, I shared a link to some interesting research about the impact of networking on one’s career. In the most recent Sunday New York Times, Promise Phelon, founder and CEO of UpMo, an online career planning service based in Sunnyvale, CA and co-sponsor of the networking study, shared sage advice for those tempted to act out of fear, and what you should do instead, including building your network.

Before you make another move, take a deep breath, and read You’re Scared. But Don’t Shift Into Reverse.

Then, think about what you would do in your career if you knew you had the support to succeed. Now, go build your network and get that support.



  1. Thanks for mentioning the New York Times article! If there’s an upside to the economic situation, it’s the realization of how powerful relationships can be. Regardless of how our company or employer is dealing with the situation, we have the ability to make connections that will help us advance.
    Water Cooler Wisdom featured a good post recently on how to network so your network doesn’t feel used:

  2. Good one!
    Incidentally I came across a is a survey to know how secure my job is in the next 6 months.Found it in a website .It’s called Job Compass.Worth a visit!

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