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Ex-Google career coach reveals the biggest mistake she sees people make

Source: Mark Hanauer

Jenny Blake, a former career coach at Google and co-founder of the company's career development mentorship program, has seen it all.

After helping more than a thousand people advance their careers at Google and starting her own coaching firm, she's had a front-row seat to the behaviors that help — and hinder — people's success.

In her new book "Pivot," Blake shares how people can transition into the careers they want.

But when you're looking for the perfect job, there's one thing you should avoid: "Taking action based on fear or 'shoulds,'" Blake told CNBC.

When people are guided by fear or what they think they should do, it keeps them stuck in unfulfilling jobs, she said.

"Sometimes people stay in the same job out of fear of making a transition or of making a change," Blake said. "And often what happens is they'll experience physical signs of decline — they're getting sick more often at work."

For some, it could be even worse.

"I had a friend who got panic attacks every time she got off the subway on the way to work," she said.

Being stuck in one place for too long is not going to work.
Jenny Blake
career strategist and author of "Pivot"

In "Pivot," Blake explains how launching little experiments can help people transition into a role they love.

These small pivots could be taking on a different project at work, pitching a new idea to a client or starting a blog.

"A lot of people ask, 'What if I make the wrong move? What if I make the wrong decision?'" she said. "But almost no one — in fact, no one — that I spoke with regretted their pivots."

"Even the [pivots] that didn't seem to pan out from the outside taught people very valuable information for their next move after that."

Whether you'd like to have a different role at work or have more time to devote to a passion, rewarding career changes can be small or large.

Either way, Blake says, "being stuck in one place for too long is not going to work."

See also: Former Google career coach: 5 great interview questions to ask job candidates

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