The Fear of Losing Prestige


Chiara Cokieng, born and raised in the Philippines, has been on a journey of multiple career changes. After graduating from a prestigious university program and landing a nice gig as an international consultant with assignments in America, she then quit her job to work on a business idea.

The business idea didn’t pan out, at least not right away—so she took on a new role as a full-time employee for a startup. She plans to see this commitment through, but eventually wants to go back to her own thing.

In all of these changes, she’s had to manage the emotional labor of shifting directions, including telling people that what she hoped to do was no longer happening.

Here’s what she describes as the most important thing she’s learned:

“Be aware of the fear of losing prestige.

Employees are afraid to quit their jobs — not because they’re scared of failing — but because they’re afraid of losing prestige from friends, family, and employers.

In the corporate world, losing prestige means quitting your job and failing at getting a successful business going.

In the entrepreneurial world, it’s quitting your business and getting a job, even if it’s the right decision for you at the moment.

Either way, it’s the fear of the loss of prestige. You should find a way to get over it.”


Image: Kain Road

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