6 Powerful Internal Barriers That Stand In The Way Of Your Career Goals

I was coaching a client and it was her first session. We were talking about the power of mindset based on the internal barriers she identified in her program expectation form. Mindset barriers are common, and sometimes, we don’t even think about them. Because I tend to lean on the side of perfectionism, I’ve found it draining, so it has been necessary to make a conscious effort.

Whether you’re experiencing stress as a new mom, stuck in a lifeless career or getting job search rejections, the ability to rise above your feelings and still act is where the true magic happens. Believe in yourself and that the opportunities you’re seeking will be yours. Here are some of the internal barriers that I wanted to share with you:

Lack of focus

I see this time and time again with clients who are job hunting. Please don’t be found in this boat. Employers are people. They want to feel like you are drawn to them, and the way you do that in your job search is not via a one-size-fits-all résumé or networking note designed for the masses and just tweaked with a name.

Three ways to get focused in your job search:

  • Create your ideal job description. Think about what the purpose of your role would be, whom you’d work with, what you’d need to do, how you’d work and when you’d work. Your ideal role then serves as your checklist when you’re looking for roles. Now, the world isn’t perfect, but when you know what resonates with you, it’s easier to sell yourself.

  • Create a target employer list and allow that to drive your networking strategy. This will help you really get to know the needs of your top companies. Companies hire based on attitude, mindset, skills and company culture.

  • Narrow down on the job role to which you’re applying. This kind of goes back to my first suggestion. In order to make your career documentation and networking strategy appeal to hiring managers, it needs to be specific. Don’t forget to include as well the exact job title in the top section of your résumé. This helps with applicant tracking systems.

Poor self-awareness

The essence of career change is being aware of who you are, what you want from life and what you want to give to the world. Being aware of how you communicate and come across in an interview is also key. It’s important to identify your weak spots because that’s what talent acquisition teams are trained to do.

Fear of change or loss

We’ve all heard so many quotes about fear. Over the years, I’ve noticed that individuals hoping to make a career change fear things like finances, security, job availability, transferable skills, qualifications and experiences. Some of these fears are based on logic and others are based on emotion. Here’s the thing, though, failure can help you understand your weaknesses and strengths, reexamine your expectations, and make you even more grateful for opportunities because they haven’t come easily.  If you’ve failed, it’s because you tried, and action is what leads to results.

Not enough confidence

Confidence can be developed. Surround yourself with someone who has gotten a lot out of life and inspires you, and your confidence will grow. My clients often say that their perception of their career accomplishments becomes more positive after seeing their résumé.  A well-written résumé can also help build your confidence.

Overwhelm

Getting job-search rejections, burnout and the average hours worked per week can all make following up hard. When you feel overwhelmed, replace it with organization. Following through is the key to making a career change or getting a new job. Track your job-search tracker efforts in a metrics-driven way. You can also try scheduling your time so that your brain is charged to focus.

Also, remember to build on the momentum. Your most productive times are usually right after you’ve had a win.

Poor energy or motivation

Lifestyle impacts our career growth, job search and ability to make a successful career change. You know how much I love linking lifestyle, energy and burnout with the things that matter most to you. People can also be energy drainers. Be aware of people influencers like friends, family, managers, colleagues or your partner. To stay motivated, address your energy and reflect on what you want in your next career move. Here are some common career desires:

  • More social impact

  • Greater work-life balance

  • Career progression

  • Greater financial rewards

  • Utilizing different skill sets

Identify your biggest internal roadblock and make a promise with yourself to do something today, to move toward getting over it.

This article first appeared on my Forbes column and was featured on the channel page.