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You’ve seen the jobs numbers and you know companies are hiring. You’re not entirely happy where you are, and you’re tempted to see what’s out there for you. But, you’re afraid. Here’s how to stop being afraid to quit your job and move to another company: overcome the fear, create a plan, and take action.

Get Past the Fear

A big, common fear is: “What if the next job isn’t as good as this one?” Isn’t the devil you know better than the one you don’t?  That assumes that there’s something bad in the new job that’s just as bad or worse than where you are. But what if it’s a lot better? I rarely meet anyone who truly regrets leaving one job for another one. The fear is just a feeling; it’s not a fact. Practice positive thinking.

Create a Plan

Having a plan is always better than not having one. It’s better to be proactive than reactive. The truth is, you never know what can happen. You could decide to stay and then get laid off or fired for a whole host of reasons.

You can be ready for unexpected circumstances by always having an updated resume ready to go, a current brag book, a strong presence on LinkedIn, an active network, and good references you stay in touch with.

Also, having a plan for your job search can help you ensure you’re making the right decision when you choose a new company.

You can and should conduct extensive research on the company before you interview. That includes your own online research (using Google, LinkedIn, and the company website), as well as tapping that network for information about it and the reputation of those who work there. Bring a 30-60-90-day plan to create an environment for a more meaningful and detailed discussion of you in that job. And, all your research and preparation will help you ask better questions in the interview. Gathering all this information means that you can make a better, stronger, more informed decision about where you go and what job offer you accept.

Take Action

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford

Let go of any fear you’re holding onto and start thinking positively. Chances are actually very good that your new job will be much better than the one you’re in. There’s a reason you’re thinking of leaving. Positive thinking will help you in your personal life as well as your job search.

Then, start discreetly looking. Contact recruiters in your space and send them your resume. (See my book on Working with Recruiters). Ask the people in your network for help. At least, they can tell you who’s looking or pass your name along. And most importantly, contact hiring managers directly to find the best jobs and get interviews. In this way, you can keep your job search quiet until it’s time for you to go.

Learn the latest job search skills and techniques in my Free Training Webinars. Best of luck!