Why Am I Afraid of Elevating My Job Title to Match My Skills: Exploring My Fears

Joseph Rios EdD
6 min readJun 14, 2022

My recent job search has revealed several issues, which prompts exploring my fears related to applying for more senior-level jobs.

Photo by Dylan Hunter on Unsplash

Originally, I was going to compose a post about how to switch up my job search strategies. I was going to focus on how I chose jobs in the past, what my current plan is, and what I expected to do in the future. And that seemed like a good idea. Until I went to bed and my internal voice said “you’re avoiding something in that post…what are you avoiding?”

Even in my attempts to be transparent and vulnerable, I have blind spots. Or a reliance upon measures to protect my ego. So I ditched the 500 words I had written and decided to listen to my gut and explore what I fear.

With some reflection, my original post topic should have been “Why are you so afraid to elevate your job title to match your skills?’

And right now, I have no answer to that.

And I am okay with that.

Perhaps exploring this topic, with some objectivity, will help give me some clarity so I can move on.

Sometimes, my job search feels muddled and lacks clarity. I am hoping that putting my thoughts and fears into a post will help give a sense of clarity. Photo by Tumen Dondukov on Scopio

Exploring This Fear (Part One)

I have written about the need to call out poor supervision. Its impact can last for the entire length of a person's career — in my case for two decades. Having a supervisor tell you that you should leave your field, where you earned a graduate degree, and that elevated job titles may be out of reach due to a lack of skills, well that experience just sticks with you. And it pops up when I least expect it.

For instance, it popped up in 2022.

And I had that one-on-one meeting back in 2003!

I have since proven, back then and other times, that my skills are valuable within my field. It's only been recent that I have struggled with getting through the interview stages. I have a nagging feeling that that feedback is lingering in the back of my mind when I am looking at job postings. I am hearing that supervisor's voice when I look at…



Joseph Rios EdD

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