While the workplace has been, and will forever be, constantly evolving, there are some common career challenges that are timeless no matter how unique we think today’s workplace is. Whether you’ve landed your first professional position or are an experienced CEO, staying aware of the 6 challenges we’ve outlined below will help keep your professional future bright.
Our List of Career Challenges
1. Misusing Communication Platforms
Clear communication is one of our top skills to master, and with that comes using the right channel for the message you intend to send. With options like email, instant message, phone calls, and video chats, it’s important to use each appropriately. Use email for more formal messages and anything that needs to be easily tracked. To avoid miscommunication, make a phone call or use video chat, followed by an email recap. Instant messaging is good for uncomplicated and quick situations. Think about your message, its purpose, and then pick the most appropriate communication method.
2. Not Setting Boundaries
Just like communication, this isn’t the first time we’ve stressed the importance of boundaries! Having unclear or, worse, no boundaries can result in misuse (or exploitation) of your time and lead to burnout. Clear and strong boundaries create focus, organization, flexibility, and aid decision-making. We know building and maintaining boundaries can be hard, especially for the uninitiated. Check out our series of posts around BUILDing boundaries – we’ve detailed the process we work through with our clients.
Boundaries also apply to communication. Just because someone can reach you at all hours of the day doesn’t mean you have to reply at all hours of the day. Boundary creep is prevalent when it comes to communication. Clearly communicating the best way to reach you, setting your status in IM, and making your available hours known will prevent your boundaries from being violated. If you work in a high-stakes position, create a short list of people who can reach you immediately regarding specific topics, and align all others to your availability.
3. Trying to Do Everything Yourself
- Admit you can’t do it all.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage.
- Make the best use of your time.
Delegation is one way to take tasks off your plate. Another way is learning how to gracefully say no: if you’re at capacity, not the right person for the ask, or if the ask is completely out of your job scope, it’s ok to say no. It can be an exciting challenge to be a jack-of-all-trades, but we want to prevent burnout and keep you at the top of your game. Free up time and mental energy to focus on where you add the most value.
4. Lack of Growth or Learning
Real talk: in today’s ever-changing environment, if you don’t evolve, you’re likely to be left behind. Regardless of your industry or position, staying up to date on trends, regulations, and innovations is imperative. Things move too quickly these days to stay stagnant in your knowledge. Work with your team to identify and prioritize learning opportunities to increase your skills. Identify projects with hands-on learning. Find the courses or books that align to your interests to level up.
5. Forgetting Your Network
“It’s all about who you know” so the saying goes. The saying also goes that those people can help you tap into the hidden job market—that is, jobs that aren’t posted publicly . If you’re in the market for a job, your network is a great place to start. Not sure how to go about it? Check out this article (especially 11–14!) for some pointers. Networking isn’t as impactful if you only reach out when searching for a job—it’s a two-way street. Maintain your professional relationships to keep a pulse on and stay engaged in your industry while supporting those who may help you in the future.
6. Not Voicing Your Advancement Desires
You’ll have a better chance at career advancement if you define and communicate your career aspirations. Your supervisor may think you’re happy, when, in fact, you’re yearning for the next step. However, asking for what you want is just the beginning. Planning a course of action to get there, with buy-in from others where necessary, is crucial. Quarterly, mid-year, and year-end reviews are a great opportunity to facilitate communications. Check out our blog for year-end review tips!
Don’t expect advancement to just happen—it takes work to get there. Set goals, develop a plan with your supervisor, and work with mentors and your network to identify or develop skills to help get you there.
What Career Challenges Have You Faced?
Ensuring we don’t fall victim to challenge number four, we’d love to hear from you to expand our knowledge and share with our network. What career challenges have you faced and how were you able to overcome them? What strategies did you use? If you weren’t able to overcome them, what were the obstacles that prevented you from doing so? Drop us a line and let us know!
We’d Love to Work with You
Struggling in your work environment? Need to streamline your processes? Is your work-life balance unbalanced?
We’d love to help you overcome any work challenge you’re facing! Contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss how we can help.