10 Obstacles That Keep You From Changing Careers — and How to Overcome Them

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Raise your hand if you are thinking of changing careers, during COVID-19! Or maybe you are in the midst of it, but something is holding you back. Whatever the case, you are not alone. Many people who want to change careers get stuck along the way. Let’s look at some of the most common obstacles career changers face, whether before or during their career transition, and how you can overcome each one of them.

1. Focusing on What You Lack

This has to be mentioned right at the top — almost everyone I talk to who is thinking of changing careers but feels stuck is focusing on all the things they do not know how to do, or on all the resources they don’t have. This is completely backward — no one hires you based on what you do not know or have. The only things that matter are what you do know, what you have already accomplished, and what you are interested in learning. Focus on what you can already contribute to any profession and you’ll find yourself much more empowered in your career journey.Imposter Syndrome: You are Not a Fraud

2. Not Knowing What You Want

Do you feel confident you can get whatever you want… except you don’t know what that is? If this sounds familiar when it comes to your career transition, dig deep: is it really true that you don’t know what you want? In my experience most people know what they want, but might not know what it looks like in a job. For example, you might know you would be happy working from home and writing, but you are not sure what kind of job would pay you to do just that. If this is you, stop saying you don’t know what you want and instead address the real question, which is that you are not sure what career could give you what you want. Or it might be that you know what you want but are so afraid you wouldn’t succeed that you don’t let yourself admit that’s what you want. In that case your issue is fear, not lack of clarity.

If you really don’t know what you want, take this moment in time as an opportunity to try anything that feels interesting. Have fun exploring, and you’ll discover in the process what feels best. (Hint: you will not find the answer in your head — you need to get out and in action!)

3. Lack of Information

In my work helping people change careers I often hear about different jobs… and sometimes encounter professions I didn’t even know existed! The truth is that you were probably exposed to only a few possible career options while growing up, and don’t know much about a wide variety of professions. Add the fact that technological innovation is creating many more opportunities that didn’t even exist just a few years ago, and chances are there are at least a few options that could be a good match for you, but you’ve never heard of. Most career changers don’t have enough information to make an informed decision — this is why you need to research and test possible professions and business ideas to gain real knowledge of what they are really like before committing to a new career.

4. Money Worries

We all know the drill: you should have at least 6 months of savings, no debt, a full-time job or at least a steady part-time income… in other words, you should be in a strong financial position before embarking on a career change. If you are, and you still feel stressed over money, keep reading for more tips on how to overcome fear. Focus on doing the work, and as long as you keep your financial acumen you’ll be fine.

If you are one of the 65 percent of Americans without significant savings or one of the 48 percent of Americans who carry credit card debt or belong to the estimated 33 percent of college graduates who are underemployed, this is for you: I get it. I know it’s scary, and I know changing careers for you comes with added obstacles. Here’s the deal, though — you can’t afford more of the same exactly because it’s not working financially. Feeling worried or anxious about your finances will not help you — in fact, it will probably make it harder for you to make good decisions. Only your actions matter: learn to negotiate, say No to extra work that is underpaid or, if you are unemployed, volunteer, and take on any type of work you are interested in rather than staying at home (it will also help you with your resume). If you are already working like crazy and still struggling, commit to just a few hours each week to dedicate to your career transition. Do not let the lack of money stop you — instead, use it as a powerful fire to light up your search for a new career. You can’t afford to.

5. Unhealed Trauma

I personally think this is the big elephant in the room — the one thing we don’t talk about when discussing career-related issues. And we should. Our past, if not properly dealt with, can have an immense impact on how we relate to others. So how does unhealed trauma affect your career change? When you embark on any transition, including a career change, you are very likely to face rejection and failure — and these can be tough for everyone, but if you carry a lot of weight from the past, a negative experience can feel much worse once unhealed trauma is triggered. This is why it is so important to deal with your past. Treat your career change as part of a wider process of healing and start working with a therapist or healing professional of your choice right away. Your deep healing will help you better weather the ups and downs of your career change and will expand your life beyond what you think is possible. Your desire to change careers could be part of a deeper calling to finally let go of what has been holding you back — so you can finally soar. Continue reading here…

Source: Glassdoor Blog

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