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Looking for a Career Change? These 8 Things Could be Holding You Back

Do you really want to go through life hating your career? A staggering 70% of American workers are bored with their jobs. Think about that for a moment. The vast majority of working Americans are just going through the motions.

That isn’t any way to live. But if you’ve got goals and are looking for a career change, you might be overwhelmed at the prospects. Staying overwhelmed is a surefire way to keep yourself stuck.

You don’t have to scour through self-help books or listen to lots of different Ted talks to figure out how what might be holding you back from making the big leap.

Instead, read on to find 8 reasons why you might be hesitating and what to do about them.

1. Too Many Options

We are loaded with options. There have never been more opportunities for job growth, personal and professional health, and ability to live in so many places (if you’re American, that is.)

That can cause a big sense of overwhelming pressure. After all, if you have so many choices, what if you make the wrong choice? What if you choose something and miss out on a great opportunity?

And what do you do when there are so many options to choose from? You get honest with yourself in ways that go outside the box. For example, you might love to lift weights every morning, so you think you could be a personal trainer. But do you really love teaching other people how to lift weights? Do you have the energy to do that, hour after hour, with many different styles of client personalities?

Just because you’re great at something, doesn’t mean you’ll help other people be great at the same thing.

What if you love to talk about books, but hate public speaking? Do you think being a teacher would be comfortable for you? Rather than just going with what you’re good at, really look at what you’ll be happiest doing, day in and day out. Then, you see how many skills you can combine in that area.

Staying multi-faceted in your career choice is important for growth and curiosity because no one wants to be stuck doing just one thing, over and over.

If you have an idea of what you might enjoy and be good at, start reading up on what that would take and how to make it happen, like this blog.

2. Not Enough Options

It might be that you are really, truly stuck in a lifestyle, location, or job market that really limits your options. In which case, a similar mentality to the one above will help you: think outside the box.

If you’re looking at things as they are, then you can’t see all the ways things can be. What if you created your own hybrid career? It’s becoming more and more popular. People aren’t sticking to the titles and roles that society is assigning to them.

They’re getting creative and passionate about what they know they can bring as real value and unique insight to a stale job market and burnt-out people. Seems a little too crazy or off-the-cuff? Maybe, but that’s your fear talking.

3. Full-Time or Part-Time?

You might not have figured out how much time you’ll need to devote to a new career. This could be income-related or have to do with your family or lifestyle. It can be a real roadblock to looking for a career change, so what do you do? To be realistic, you might need to hustle a bit more than you’d ideally like to at the very beginning.

This is the time when you’ll be establishing your authority within your new job, as well as gaining new skills and experience. But you won’t have to be like a just-graduated intern, available 24/7 and not allowed to have your own life. It will mean doing some serious and honest reorganizing of your lifestyle and priorities, however.

That will also apply to your finances. You might need to take a pay cut at first, even if you’re doing something full-time. Figuring out what your budget can and should be will help ease some of your uncertainties about making a change. It will also be important to remind yourself that this will be temporary.

4. Looking for a Career Change: Not Enough Money Saved Up?

You could be ready to take your jump into a new career, but to feel totally safe and practical, you’ve decided you need some savings in place. That’s a good idea, but can be a way for you to stay comfortable and safe.

Why? Because you can convince yourself that you’ll never have enough of a ‘nest egg’ to take the plunge. A great way to combat that fear is to have a bridge job or freelance gigs. While these won’t make you rich and totally financially free, they will cover your basics.

Finding a freelance gig to do part-time or temporary while you seek your dream is something that’s totally acceptable and doable. And these opportunities are booming, with more and more Americans becoming freelance, temporary or part-time workers. You may need to go back to school if you want to learn a new skill.

5. Your Confidence Sucks

Everyone suffers from Impostor Syndrome at some point. Even the most incredibly successful, famous people felt like frauds or actors while pursuing their dream jobs. No matter how outwardly confident someone might seem, you can bet they’re listening to an inner critic, too.

So what do you do? If you’re not into self-affirmations or something you can’t see or do, you can gain more experience. What better way to build up your confidence that you can do something by actually doing it? That won’t happen until you take some action, however.

6. Your Family Isn’t Supportive

It’s almost guaranteed that when someone tells you not to pursue a goal, it’s their issue, not yours. That’s called projection and everyone does it. It means that when someone tells you they don’t think you should be doing something new, it’s because they’re afraid of doing new things for themselves.

They can’t have faith in you because they never had faith in themselves. So they’ll stay stuck where they are. Safe? Sure. Happy? Probably not. Human brains are terrified of change and prefer habits and structure, so if a family member is telling you you’re crazy to have dreams, it could be that they’re really telling themselves it’s crazy to pursue an unknown goal.

7. Fear of Failure

This one keeps almost all people stuck exactly where they are. A person doesn’t even need to be a big perfectionist to have this fear. But perfectionism is a major issue with people who want to change, but never can.

As humans, we are wired to be afraid to fail in front of our peers, which to our brains are our “tribe.” If our peers, or tribe, sees us failing…we could get rejected. And rejection, to our primitive brains, equals physical danger and even death.

Here’s where your powerful ability to use reason and logic come into play. Failing does not mean rejection from your tribe or your life, and it doesn’t mean the end of the world. You must prepare yourself for obstacles and even failures on the way to success because this is just the nature of life.

It’s always worthwhile to take a career-changing risk, however. Especially if you’ve got the skills and abilities.

8. Fear of Success

This fear that often keeps people stuck in their old jobs isn’t an obvious one. Everyone wants success, right? Wrong. Your subconscious and its belief systems might have a tough time with actual success. Why?

Because success means a huge change. And huge change means more discomfort and uncertainty. Also, having more money, more responsibility, more connections within your network and more offers for work can mean more opportunity for failure.

After all, if you have such great opportunities coming your way…you might not be “good enough” to rise to the occasion.

This is when getting real and deep with your belief systems will serve you. If you don’t know what you really believe about yourself, or your life, you can’t get to the roots of those beliefs and start to change them.

Changing careers: It’s a Big Yet Doable Leap

If you stay in your fear, doing the same things you’ve always done…you will always get what you’ve always gotten. This holds true for any area of life, especially careers. No one became anything great or found their purposes in life by playing it safe.

That means you, too. You’re human, right? Well then, these things apply to you and your goals for yourself. There’s no way around that. But are you ready to start taking some action?

If you’re looking for a career change, we’ve got some resources for you to check out.

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