Being in your 20s and trying to find work right now is super frustrating. It’s more common to struggle with landing your dream job than it is to succeed, especially with so many potential obstacles to overcome. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful at all, especially with the right help. In this post, we’ll tell you about the six biggest obstacles to success. Then, we’ll reveal how to overcome them. All you have to do is keep reading!
You want your dream job – who doesn’t? But it feels like so many obstacles remain in your way. Can you really make it through them? The secret answer is that obstacles are only an issue if you don’t know how to overcome them. Understanding how influences like qualifications, experience, time, negative job history, employment gaps, and personal comfort zones work can help you succeed faster and make a change. Keep reading to empower yourself for future success.
Overcome 6 Common Career Obstacles with These Tips!
You Aren’t Qualified
Qualifications are one of the biggest barriers to entry for a career. There’s just no getting around the fact that some employers want certain experience. The good news is that they’re also one of the easiest hurdles to overcome.
If a job requires certain certifications or hard skills, it’s time for you to take action. Jump into one or more of the countless classes available online and in person and learn. Even just showing the initiative to equip yourself with the right knowledge can help to convince an employer that you’re worth a shot.
You Lack Experience
Bad news: you can only overcome experience with time. Some companies are more flexible with experience, especially if you’re close, but so many people are seeking work right now that most can afford to be picky. Corporate jobs attract an average of 250 resumes.
Good news: all is not lost. The best way to gain more experience is to search for any opening in your field of interest, even if it’s not exactly what you want to do, and just get some working experience. Not only will you gain valuable experience, but you’ll know people in the industry who might be willing to help you in your job search.
You Don’t Have Time
One of the most common complaints we hear from people hesitating to make a career change is that they don’t have enough time. They already have a job, a life, a family, or maybe even college to contend with.
The fix? Plan for the long-term, not the short. Experts estimate it takes roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 you want to make to find a job. Feeling puzzled? Essentially, this means that, if you want a job that pays $50,000 per year, you should expect to be job hunting for around five months.
Sure, this isn’t an easy fix. But good planning and organization will help to cut down on wasted time, and knowing what you’re up against is the best way to prepare.
You Got Fired
Oi vey. Your last job didn’t work out well; you got fired. Sure, it’s frustrating, but it doesn’t need to prevent you from future success if you handle it the right way.
The most important, need-to-know fact here is that you absolutely should not, and cannot, lie about being fired. Lying on a job application can come back to haunt you in a long list of ways ranging from annoying being sued in court.
Instead, find the best way to frame it. If it wasn’t your fault – for example, you were let go due to budget constraints or downsizing – make that explicitly clear on your application and in interviews. If it was your fault, be honest about it. Then, follow up with what you learned from the experience. Just remember to take a deep breath and stay calm. People get fired every day. It’s really common, especially before age 30.
You Have Work History Gaps
Haven’t been at work for a while? Maybe you were sick, struggling with mental illness, or taking care of kids. Or, maybe your spouse was working and you just plain didn’t have to bring in an income. Whatever the reason, these gaps in employment are often an unwarranted red flag for employers.
The best way to handle gaps in employment history is to deal with them up front. State in your resume or LinkedIn profile (preferably both) how you grew in your roles and why you left. Take charge of the narrative and frame it yourself, instead of letting recruiters’ imaginations run wild.
You’re Uncomfortable with Change
Neale Donald Walsch famously said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This is true of careers, as well. If you want to make a career shift, but you’re scared or feeling frozen by the prospect of the unknown, nothing will ever change. Several of the top five career regrets involve professionals being too afraid to take control of their careers and futures.
The fix: start with baby steps. Send out a couple of applications to jobs you think you would enjoy. You don’t have to say yes, you just have to break the inertia of doing nothing. If possible, hit up a job fair and just get used to the idea of looking. Increase your efforts slowly over time. Change is positive; everyone changes over time!
If you’re under 20, you will face at least some of these challenges once or twice. The important thing to remember is that your future is dictated by how you overcome them, not by how they overwhelm you. Start with the suggestions on this list, and don’t be afraid to ask friends or career counselors for help. It’s your future – you’re in control!