Advancing your career is not an easy process when you are focused on attaining goals and objectives in your current job. You will encounter obstacles throughout your career. You can turn those obstacles into opportunities to advance. The following are nine obstacles to career advancement and more importantly solutions you can easily implement.
Obstacle 1: Lack of a Plan
If you don’t know your next logical career move or what must be there for you to make a change, you could end up somewhere else. Once you understand your plan, determine if your current employer could offer you the opportunity or if you need to change companies. If you need to work for someone else, identify the best companies to target.
Solution: Create a plan that includes specific job targets, specific employers, and correct people to contact. This research can be done after your normal working hours.
Obstacle 2: Lack of Structure
If you are not currently employed, conducting a job search to advance your career is your full- time job, and you should spend a minimum of 35 hours per week. If you are currently working, chances are you haven’t created a schedule that includes specific minimum standards to advance your career.
Solution: Create a specific structure for your career advancement actions. Often it will be necessary to use early morning hours, lunch hours, or after work to focus on your career advancement.
Obstacle 3: Loss of Momentum
You may feel “stuck” or in “neutral” in your career, especially in the past two years where so much has changed in the job market. It is easy to become frustrated and that will have a negative impact on your career advancement.
Solution: Set a pace that works for you, but don’t let more than three days go by or the momentum will be hard to recapture. If nothing else, continue to add to your personal and professional networks. Over 80% of career opportunities are attained through networking.
Obstacle 4: Lack of Results
Your resume or CV is either a ticket to an interview or could be sabotaging your search.
Solution: Automated systems only read the top one-third of the first page of your resume. List your keyword rich Career Summary, followed by a keyword rich Core Competencies section to obtain the best results. Stress your accomplishments and the impact they had on past employers.
Obstacle 5: Lack of Communication
If there is little or no communication between you and your targets, review your emails, voicemails, and other means of communication.
Solution: Change your messages to stress the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) of the other person to call you back. Focus on providing additional information and the benefit to them to call you back vs. what you want or need from them.
Obstacle 6: Lack of Commitment
Maybe you have a plan, but you’re not pushing yourself. In effect, this is the same as having no plan. Determine how advancing in your career will benefit you and the people you love.
Solution: You can either make a new plan or recommit to the original one by reminding yourself that a plan will keep your career advancement on track. Your supervisors should understand what you view as your next career move.
Obstacle 7: Feeling Overwhelmed
Focusing on your career advancement on top of your other areas of responsibility can seem overwhelming. It is for that reason that career advancement often takes a back seat.
Solution: Break action items you will complete into small steps you can accomplish daily. When problems surface immediately focus on solutions.
Obstacle 8: Distractions
Whether you are working or not, distraction can sabotage your career advancement.
Solution: Anticipate and manage distractions so you focus on completing one to three actions items weekly to can help your career advancement.
Obstacle 9: Lack of Confidence
None of the other obstacles and solutions matter if you don’t believe you deserve and are qualified to advance in your career.
Solution: Determine if you have the credentials needed to advance in your career. Sign up for courses, acquire new skills, and commit to a lifetime of learning to ensure you advance in your career. Remember to identify the many transferrable skills you possess if you are considering a new career or field of endeavor.
Next, you must learn to welcome objections. Career advancement is a sales process and it’s not always easy to sell yourself without feeling you are bragging. However, your ability to effectively overcome objections is critical to your career growth.
Too often objections are seen as barriers to success vs. buying signs or requests for more information. You should welcome objections. They could simply be that your timing and the timing of your company or other targets are not aligned at this point in time.
There is only one objection you can’t overcome and that is silence. If your target is still talking to you, there is a good chance you may be interviewed and possibly hired.
All objections fall into four categories. If you can identify the category of the objection you’re receiving, it is much easier to overcome the objection.
Four categories of objections:
- Service – Credentials or skills are missing for a specific role
- Postponement – Method used for delaying a decision
- Price – Your salary requirement is too high
- Personal – Negativity toward your specific job history
Identify the type of objection being given so you can determine how to effectively overcome it.
Take time to set up short and long-term career goals to guarantee that the opportunities you accept throughout your career, align with your long-term goals. Focus on your accomplishments and the impact they had on past employers to improve your confidence. Update your resume or CV to read like a sales presentation vs. a job description. Learn to eliminate obstacles and overcome objections and you will advance in your career!
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