By Sunny Simon

During my session with Kim, an engineer recently caught up in a company reorganization,  he expressed some trepidation about beginning a job search. I nodded in understanding but gently reminded him as an unemployed husband and father of two, it was time to conquer those fear demons. There is no shame in being temporarily out of the workforce.  The cold hard fact is companies expand, people get hired, companies regroup, pink slips are disbursed and employees move on.

Although I was very empathetic to Kim’s situation, (been there myself) my job was to get him immersed in the moving-on stage. As with any hurdle thrown in our path, we need to figure out a way to leap over it or tunnel under it. One of the best methods in overcoming fear is to visualize success. To give Kim a boost over his hurdle, I asked him to tell me about his past accomplishments. At that point his eyes lit up. He launched into an interesting monologue detailing his successful life in the engineering field. I smiled as I witnessed Kim’s enthusiasm for the profession spill out. Talking about his past gave him a confidence boost. Even his posture changed.

Continuing the forward journey into the future, I prompted my client to list some companies he would like to work for. Before long he compiled a list of seven firms he considered attractive. There are multiple benefits in creating a target list of companies for your job search.  When Kim generated a hand-picked group of employers, he visualized the future and  began to feel proactive in his efforts to find a new job. He let go of that woe-is-me attitude and gave up the fantasy that magically the right job would fall into his lap. It was going to take work, and he stood ready.


Kim left my office and researched the companies on his list. Drilling down on their products and technology he studied the company websites gaining an understanding of their mission and culture.

Whether it’s starting a job search or approaching your boss for a salary raise, finding yourself paralyzed by fear is not uncommon. When you find yourself in a similar situation, utilize the strategy I gave to Kim. Focus on what you have accomplished. By tapping into the past you can  pave the way to your future and reach the desired goal. Acknowledging a successful outcome may not be easy, but it will confirm you are up the to the challenge. Take those steps. You are now on your way to the future.  Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog