Warming Up Your “Cold Feet”

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Career Advice

With the winters we have here in Western New York, we are all familiar with having “cold feet”. The subject of today’s Job Search Tips, however, is not that physical malady we feel after walking in the snow. We will instead focus on the “cold feet” being when a person starts second-guessing a decision that they have made.

It is common for people to start to feel “cold feet” after making a big decision. We start to wonder if we made the right choice, especially when there was an option of doing nothing and staying on the current course. A job seeker deciding to leave their current position for a new one is an example of a decision which many develop “cold feet” over. This is especially true if the person has built strong relationships over a long period of time with the past employer.

So, what should a job seeker do if they start to have doubt that they have made the right decision regarding a new job? The good news is that by reviewing a list of common decision-points, a person can determine if this is natural anxiety over making a big decision, or whether they should reconsider moving forward with what they have decided.

• Do Your Pre-Decision Work: The best way to alleviate “cold feet” is by knowing that your decision was not made “spur of the moment” or in a “knee jerk” fashion. Prior to making your decision. evaluate the job offer with your list of what is important to you that you created prior to beginning the process. Make sure that you are hitting as many key items as possible, especially any that you have deemed to be non-negotiable. I suggest documenting this entire decision-process as thoroughly possible, so that if you do start having “cold feet, then you can reflect back to your notes.

• Review Why You Made The Decision: As noted above, a good decision-making process will go a long way to alleviating your “cold feet”. Just knowing that you made the effort to make your decision in a orderly way, should assist and comfort you. However, documenting the process and reviewing how you made your decision can generally reinforce that you made the right move. This is especially helpful if you feel that you have some history of making good decisions in the past. One last point on this item is that I like to focus on why I wanted to leave. When you focus on what needed to change about your last position, then it can help you understand that it was time to move on.

• Determine If Something Has Changed: When reviewing your notes and reflecting back on your decision, is there anything that is now different than what you recall. Perhaps you now have new information, such as you have actually started the position and have a different view of your Manager. Or, perhaps you have now been presented with more detailed benefits information and the plan is not nearly as good as you had thought. The point being that it is pretty rare that something has really changed, and this difference is significant enough to justify the “cold feet” that you are feeling.

• Talk It Out: Sometimes you just need someone who will listen to you articulate your concerns. Leaning on a friend or family member in this situation can go a long way to reaching your needed conclusion. This can be particularly helpful if the person really knows you well and what you need from a new position. This way they can ask the probing or follow-up questions needed to assist you in reaching your own conclusion.

• Understand That Decision Anxiety Is Normal: Your concern may simply be resolved by understanding that virtually everyone goes through these jitters. Concluding that what you are going through is routine, allows you to move forward. In most situations, all that is needed is time to elapse and you to get comfortable in your new role. Once you get settled in, meet new co-workers, understand your Manager better, and get comfortable in the role, you will be able to realize that the decision you made to leave was the right one.

Making decisions can be hard and it rarely becomes easy to make a big one such as a career move. While it is natural to re-examine your decision after feeling some “cold feet”, the key is to do the necessary self-introspection and research ahead of the decision, so that you know that you have made the most logical and prepared decision possible. In most situations, your “cold feet” will warm up and you will find yourself moving forward in a much better role.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

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