The 22 July 2013 Newsletter "When To Cross Bridges" got me thinking of a question I'd love to hear some responses to:
Looking back at your career - so professionally speaking - what was your greatest fear and how did you overcome it?
(I suppose this is an enlarged version of the Interview Weakness question in some ways but with a big dose of High S/I)
I suppose I had better go first, so - (darn, now I wish I had something more dramatic!)
An early one of mine was that I desperately wanted to break into a particular industry, but I graduated school at the start of the recession of the early 90's. I couldn't get a steady job for over 2 years and I was afraid my first major career goal was never going to happen.
I came close to giving up many times and interviewed for a few jobs that would pay the bills but be very unsatisfying careers.
I overcame it by sheer persistence - On and off over those two years I worked for companies for free, and for pay situations which I know at least one company could have been (repeatedly) prosecuted for. But every little crappy unpaid job was more experience, another connection, and another line on the resume. Still, it was a time of extreme professional anxiety (and an extremely lonely time - most young professionals socialise through work, but I was in a new city and had no work to make friends through).
Eventually got a steady job in my industry of choice for glorious minimum wage. I was on the way. I'd like to say I had a plan, but it was just sheer persistence and hope that something would come of all that labour.