I recently read an article about overcoming career obstacles. The article was written by Althea DeBrule, founder of Christian Career Tools.
How do I overcome career roadblocks
Roadblocks are situations or conditions that prevent you from accomplishing what you’ve set out to do.
Career roadblocks keep you from achieving desired outcomes for your job and career. Most career roadblocks stem from mental obstacles such as unproductive habits and a negative attitude.
The good news is that you can learn to move past any obstacles that stand in the way of career success.
Check out these common career roadblocks and the strategies you can use to overcome them. If you have a career roadblock, tell us about it.
When we procrastinate on the job, we tend to consistently engage in busy work to avoid the difficult and critical tasks that absolutely must be done. Why do we procrastinate? Most of the time it is due to fear or laziness. (Proverbs 10:4). To avoid procrastination:
—Take a deep breath and plunge into your work. Keep your fears at bay. Allowing them to control you will keep you from succeeding in any endeavor you attempt (Proverbs 3:5-6).
—Work on the things you hate to do first, and then reward yourself by doing the things you love (Proverbs 10:5).
Sufferers of perfectionism have a somewhat irrational need to do everything perfect with the highest standard of excellence. While excellent performance is desired, unchecked perfectionism slows down production as workers become indecisive or focused on the trivial instead of the critical (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23). To triumph over perfectionism:
—Relax. You really are NOT perfect. Accept your shortcomings and limitations. Strive for excellence instead of perfection (Matthew 11:28-29).
—Forgive yourself for being imperfect. Being imperfect is not hard to do. Every day you are faced with many opportunities to get it “wrong”. When you do, forgive yourself, correct the mistakes that have been made, and move forward (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we become mentally or physically exhausted as a result of extreme and prolonged stress, burnout occurs. While the symptoms are many, the most common work-related one is loss of enthusiasm and motivation for the job, social life, or personal interests (Proverbs 23:4). To prevail over burnout:
—Take stock of your work and personal life. Count the cost of your headlong rush to achieve success and wealth (Ecclesiastes 1:3).
—Slow down a bit and reduce your commitments (Matthew 11:28-30). If you can’t overcome burnout on your own, become accountable to someone who is willing to help you recover from it or seek professional assistance (Proverbs 11:14).
Disappointment occurs when things don’t go the way we planned or turn out the way we hoped. Our expectations are under-realized or not met. Unfortunately disappointment is a normal part of life and at times it may seem like the end of the world. Disillusionment, disenchantment and letting down others or being let down hurts and can be very depressing (Proverbs 13:12). To manage disappointment:
—Don’t take it personally. We often think of disappointments as personal failures (usually after a healthy dosage of perfectionism). We take it personally and end up being frustrated, angry and depressed. Forgive yourself as well as others. Remember that failing at one thing does not equate with being a failure (Colossians 3:13).
—Cut others some slack. Moderate your expectations of others. Give them a chance to be imperfect. Keep an open mind and refrain from passing judgment (Romans 14:10).
—Give yourself a break. Lighten up a bit, adjust or tweak your plans and expectations as required (Proverbs 19:21).
Everyone gets a case of “I Blew It” at some point in his or her career. Mistakes, omissions, ineffectiveness, Non-performance, or just falling short of expectations, hopes and dreams are common throughout life. To overcome a fear of failure:
—Learn from your failures and change them into opportunities (Psalm 62:5). Succeed while failing. We are prompted to see our mistakes and failures as barriers and obstacles. Instead, view failure as the cost of growth and maturity (Joshua 10:25).
—Laugh often. Laughter is good for your health—especially your work health. It alleviates stress by releasing endorphins (natural pain-killers). It’s easy to work hard when you’re having fun while you’re doing it (Proverbs 17:22).
Unfortunately, difficult bosses are a common malady and escaping them or living with the situation is not easy. They can be abusive and downright mean, and always create an intolerable working environment (Proverbs 28:16). To effectively deal with a difficult boss:
—Carefully plan how you will deal with your boss’ bad behavior. Try to rise above it and work hard at not taking it personally (Proverbs 13:16).
—Handle the situation with care. Model the behavior you expect to receive and resist the urge to mirror the dysfunction (Proverbs 11:17).
—Improve your interpersonal skills. Use this opportunity to learn how to deal more effectively with difficult people (Proverbs 25:14).
—Consider your company’s culture. A rotten boss could easily have been produced from a rotten barrel. Determine if the culture is functional or dysfunctional. Look at your alternatives and either get out of the situation or grow from it. Make the decision that is best for your spiritual, mental and emotional health as well as your career (Proverbs 12:18).
Ambition at work brings to mind promotion and climbing the career ladder to success. It is based on achievement, creativity, and perseverance to conquer challenges and obstacles to success (Proverbs 14:34). However, its negative side—over-reaching ambition, over-confidence, shamelessness and half-heartedness—when taken to the extreme becomes rotten to the core (Proverbs 16:29).
There is nothing positive about greed. Greedy people are avaricious, covetous, and materialistic. They exploit others for personal gain. (Proverbs 15:27) Greed is the result of misdirected ambition and desire; it is ambition taken to excess. To manage ambition and greed:
—Control your hunger and appetite for “having more”. Be satisfied and fulfilled in your current position while working hard and smart on your character and integrity, instead of your image, status and the quickest route to the next promotion (Proverbs 28:20).
—Heed the advice of positive role models—those who have succeeded ethically and without wearing themselves out (Proverbs 18:15).
—Keep your focus on how you can help others achieve and succeed. When you take your concentration off of self and collaborate with co-workers and bosses, the entire work unit thrives. There really is enough opportunity to succeed to go around (Proverbs 11:25)
Children complain and whine about simple things—a new toy they cannot have; a desire to play and have fun, but a nap is what they get instead. Adults whine about more complex things—a single digit merit increase instead of the double digit one expected; or constant changes that are made at work. To stop whining and complaining:
—Cultivate a good-natured and helpful attitude about your job and work. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by excessive criticism and negativism (Proverbs 17:21).
—Commit to not becoming a “Whiney Butt” and seek to build others up rather than tear down (Proverbs 21:23).
A lack of motivation can wreak havoc on a career and often results in indifference, unhappiness and dissatisfaction. On the other hand, motivation and enthusiasm are driving forces that inspiring and propel you to achieve career goals. To overcome this career roadblock, consider the following:
—Change your thoughts, attitude and mindset about your career from negative to positive ones. Develop a plan or strategy for achieving your career goals.
—Prioritize career activities. Make sure they are well-rounded and compliment what you wish to achieve overall in life. Review all the job and career successes you’ve experienced in the past, and take time to celebrate them.
—Pray for guidance and blessing as you step out in faith, newly motivated to achieve career success!
Layoffs and downsizing are realities of the working world today. The experience of living with the possibility of being laid off or watching others leave a company because of downsizing, has become part of the working experience of most US employees.
Layoffs can threaten an individual’s sense of well being and security, and may significantly impact a career. While you may not be able to control if and when you are laid off, you can manage your response. A layoff represents a change in your career status quo. Instead of resistance, consider receiving the change and applying energy to determining how you will navigate the challenges you now face so that you can quickly move your career forward.
Identify and use all the resources you can find to help you grow from this experience.