Why Am I Afraid of Elevating My Job Title: Feeling a Bit Rusty

Joseph Rios EdD
7 min readJul 7, 2022
Photo by Eleonora Patricola on Unsplash

I am exploring the fears I face as I continue my job search in a field I have worked in for the last 20 years. In the original post, I identified three fears that grip me and have influenced my job search over the past few years. Some of the fears are decades-long, while others are more recent fears. But all of them have influenced my career development.

As I jump back into the search, after taking some time away from that field, I want to confront these fears head-on so I can move on — and move ahead.

One of my fears involved the changes to the field I used to work in and how I could stay relevant after so many years away.

To be honest, I feel a little rusty. And I’m confident I need to work on this before I get any job back in this field.

A 90-Degree Turn

Since 2018, when I last worked in higher education, the world has changed. Not only for higher education but for everyone. As I shared in the original post:

My last two jobs since working in higher education have been in a new industry. To be honest, I feel a little rusty. I’m certain that it would be like riding a bike were I hired in a new college office, I have wondered lately what I know about college students nowadays. Especially since this current generation has experienced pandemic-induced changes that didn’t impact my own life.

Since writing my initial article, the US Supreme Court has made a decision that impacts reproductive choices across most of the country. Inflation has impacted families and added to the stress of making college affordable. Rampant and unpredictable gun violence impacts us all. And entering college students may face any other unpredictable institutional responses to the ongoing COVID pandemic. And these are just the most obvious experiences I can think of!

My peers who continued working in higher education during the pandemic had to learn any number of innovative responses to the pandemic and will need to pivot daily to deal with all of these other issues.

And I didn’t learn any of this. And currently, I am not learning how to do any of this.

Joseph Rios EdD

I believe leadership is the expression of values. Career Coach | Educator | Writer | Social Justice Advocate | Trainer. leadershipandvaluesinaction.com