shutterstock_185110085IF THIS IS THE YEAR THAT YOU FINALLY DECIDE TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE and seek one of the many new career opportunities available today, your timing could be impeccable. That’s particularly true if you are among the top candidates in today’s job market. With business steadily improving across many sectors, hiring is definitely on the upswing and top candidates, especially, are currently in HIGH demand, and that demand is expanding.

The question becomes, however, will you be ready, willing and able to seize a new career opportunity, if and when it comes along? You might be surprised to learn that many men and women suddenly get “cold feet” when that occurs!

As long as you’re currently employed, a job search tends to remain largely in the theoretical realm, e.g., “Maybe I will be able to find a better job, maybe not, but I still have a job if nothing pans out….”

It’s only when faced with an actual job offer that you will be confronted with the reality of having to make the choice between continuing to labor in “stable misery” (if that’s how you view your current job) and a genuine opportunity to move to the next higher level in your career.


It’s been my professional experience that, when faced with the opportunity to advance their career, there are EIGHT principle reasons candidates usually get “cold feet”:

They . . .

1. Believe work is not meant to be “fun,” and that following one’s passion usually results in just making one poor.

2. Believe they can’t afford to make a change, at least not at this time.

3. Are not really sure about the best way to go about making a change.

4. Think they are “too old” to make a career change.

5. Are still not sure what else they could or should be doing.

6. Lack self-confidence and really don’t believe they’re good enough to do what they really want to do.

7. Are simply terrified of making a change, any change.

8. Keep telling themselves that, one day, they’ll do something to change their situation, just not NOW!


All of these reasons for deciding to “take a pass” on an exciting new career opportunity are certainly somewhat understandable and very, very human reactions. However, if you harbor any (or even ALL!) of these feelings, you really should pause and consider that there was a genuine reason (or reasons) that you went looking for a new job in the first place.

Typical reasons for deciding to seek new career opportunities usually include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • You and your boss have ongoing conflicts that seem to have no remedy.
  • Your workload and/or hours remain oppressive.
  • You have topped-out on your current position.
  • You feel you don’t get enough credit for your contributions to your employer’s success.
  • You believe you’re not being paid what you’re worth in the current marketplace.
  • You have come to dread even the thought of trudging off each workday to a job you have come to despise.

And the list of course could go on and on because there are reasons far too numerous to mention as to why people decide to go looking for a new career opportunity. The point is—or at least should be—if you are in fact offered a new position that seems to satisfactorily address any (or even most) concerns you may have about your current job, what, if anything, is likely to change if you decide to pass up a new job offer?


I fully realize that there can be bona fide reasons why you may ultimately conclude that it’s impossible, or nearly impossible, to make a new career move, regardless of how attractive the offer might be or how dissatisfied you may be with your current job. You might be required, for example, to move far away from a close relative for whom you must provide care. Or, you may conclude that the cost of living where the new job is located would largely negate any apparent financial gain.

Obviously, there could be many genuine concerns that could prevent you from accepting a new job offer, if you are made one. My advice is this, though: Just make sure that there are in fact bona fide reasons why you may ultimately decide to turn down the offer. If you are simply coming up with excuses because you suddenly get “cold feet,” you may be doing yourself, your family and any others you care about or are responsible for a HUGE disservice.

Keep in mind that it is essentially up to each of us to manage our own careers, and that includes constantly preparing for and monitoring—and then taking advantage of—career opportunities as they come along. While there are few legitimate “guarantees” in the workplace, I can offer you one: If you don’t take charge of your own career, I know someone who will be more than glad to do it for you: Your current employer! You know, that one you may have become so dissatisfied with, the one who has been taking you and your contributions for granted for so long.