Career Change

How To Conquer The 3 Biggest Career Change Roadblocks

Professional woman knows how to successfully change careers

Thinking of making a career change? Are you scared of how it may affect your relationships, your lifestyle, even your health? You aren't alone. These roadblocks commonly keep people stuck in unsatisfying professions.

A career pivot isn't easy. Your dream job will not land in your lap—you have to do the work. By taking responsibility and facing these obstacles head on, you will find that success in a new career could be just around the corner.

Fear Of The Unknown


When considering a career change, it's like standing on the edge of a cliff. You are contemplating a major life alteration. The common anxieties of putting yourself out there—rejection, failure, even fear of success—can halt your potential. How does one fight off those fears?

Tip 1. Embrace your fear. Live in it. Get comfortable with it. Take a piece of paper and write down all of the horrible things that could happen if you were to take the plunge. Use this exercise to think through potential hazards. Go through each line item and problem solve. How would you handle each worst-case scenario?

Tip 2. Use your fear as a motivator. Fear is primal. The body uses it as a form of protection and for good reason. No one should take a major life change lightly. The trick is to harness and use your fear, and not just as an excuse for staying complacent. Once you work through your fear list in the exercise above, put the list aside for a bit and then eventually revisit. When reassessing this list, think of the opposite or best-case scenario for each of your fears and allow yourself to feel the happiness it would bring. Use that happiness to recognize your vast potential and take action.

Lack Of Professional Experience


Sure, there are some careers where certain credentials and experiences are necessary. You won't make the change from accountant to figure skater overnight. Be realistic when plotting the road map to your dream job and be ready to commit to the necessary work to achieve your career aspirations.

Tip 1. Assess your transferable skills. You may find that you have a multitude of existing skills that would make you a valuable asset in your desired career. Take an online skills assessment and connect the dots.

Tip 2. Upskill your soft and hard skills. Once you have evaluated your current skill set, compare and see what you need to add to your roster. What skills could you potentially gain through free online courses? Are there any podcasts or webinars offering insight into your desired field? You could seek out additional responsibility in your current job.

Tip 3. Get out there! Your network is your net worth. You know that saying that it's all about who you know, there is validity in that. Drawing upon the right connections can open many doors. If you don't yet have any established relationships in your new field of interest, start researching dedicated networking groups. Research professional events and volunteer opportunities, consider an internship. Developing these relationships will be crucial to getting your foot in the doors that your resume can't quite open…yet.

Financial Stability


If you plan on making a leap into a new career with minimal experience, chances are, you may have to make some concessions on your salary expectations. While not always the case, it is better to be prepared.

Tip 1. Do your research. You should map out the average earnings in your desired role. Take into account if your dream job normally offers benefits. Compare your findings against your current budget and see what potential cuts need to be made.

Tip 2. Test drive. Once you know what adjustments need to be made within your budget, try adapting your lifestyle and adhering to your new budget for a few months. Be disciplined and be honest with yourself. Are these changes that you can live with? This should involve open and honest conversations with your spouse and/or other family members.

Tip 3. Create an emergency fund. While adhering to your new budget take the extra savings and place it in an emergency fund. If you are expecting an annual bonus or tax return, plan to stash that in the fund as well. You will feel comforted knowing you have a nest egg to fall back on, should you need it.

If you are unhappy in your current role, you owe it to yourself to investigate alternatives that would inspire and ignite your passion. Life happens fast. Don't let these anxieties put you on the sidelines when you could be having major wins in your professional life! Do your research, make a plan and GO FOR IT! And remember, you got this.

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