Is Fear of Change Effecting Your Decisions?

Fear of change is a normal human response and oftentimes it’s healthy. Like when a bear is chasing you in the woods…that’s a good time to run! My fear is spiders…completely rational. 🙂

At other times fear of change can be unhealthy, especially when it comes to changing jobs as this Harvard Business Review article below highlights.

LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities.

The article goes on to highlight how these same potential job seekers become paralyzed by fear of change, “…driven by emotional rather than rational factors.”

Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation.

As a recruiter I can tell you it’s much easier to get hired by a new company while you’re still employed. In part this is because the new employer feels they are winning a competition between their company and your current employer.

Pie Chart

Oftentimes the devil you don’t know may in fact be a vast improvement over your current employer. This isn’t always the case and if I’m speaking with candidates who are 80 percent plus satisfied with their current role and I know they’re working for a great employer, my advice to them is to stay at the current employer until a much better opportunity comes along.

Below is a chart by TLNT/Talent Management and HR after 86,000 hours of researching why employees leave their current jobs and what employers can do to keep them. If your company/direct manager isn’t meeting what they call the Six E’s of Engagement or a good chunk of this chart, then you should reconsider your circumstances.


If you’re considering a change, it’s best to create as many options for yourself as possible. When job opportunities come your way, it’s a good idea to at the very least listen, ask smart questions, and make an informed decision.