If you feel like there’s something holding back your career, but you’re not sure exactly what it is, then you’re certainly not alone. Countless capable professionals find themselves stuck in a long job search, and feel cut off from that one big change they’re dreaming of. More often than not, these people are their own worst enemies. Here, I’ve listed some of the common things that hold people back from climbing the career ladder.
A Lack of Confidence
Lacking confidence in yourself can be a major barrier in all facets of life, especially when it comes to developing your career. You may be too afraid to apply for a more senior position, thinking there’s no point in making the effort if you’re not going to get it anyway. You could be scared of acting too “outside the box” at work in case your boss doesn’t take kindly to it. You may be in a mindset which means you depend on senior approval to follow through with any decision. Try to dispel these niggling worries! Employers and higher-ups are much more likely to value someone who will go for the things they want, take risks and stand by their decisions. Don’t be reckless, but don’t be too bent on playing it safe either!
Poor Written Communication
While written communication may not be an essential skill for the job you’re gunning for, it’s pretty much non-negotiable when you’re looking to advance your career. You need to remember that you’re going to be up against people who have a natural way with words, and the standards of resumes for executives are considerably higher than those for the entry-level job that you stepped into all those years ago. Have a thorough audit of your resume, and get rid of anything that could be weakening your pitch. Don’t force in any buzzwords, make sure there isn’t a single mistake in the grammar or spelling, and don’t stray into anything that’s irrelevant to the field. If you’re using a template cover letter, then make sure you’re tailoring it and tweaking the tone to each position you apply for. Company cultures can have more sway over a hiring decision than you may think.
While I sympathize with people who aren’t all that confident with using technology, it’s an inconvenient truth that technophobia is going to hold you back in the modern job market. It’s 2017, and that means if you don’t have a LinkedIn page, need help with using new programs, or can’t show experiences which demonstrate an ability to take to new technology easily, then it’s going to be a black mark. A little technophobia is no big deal if you’ve reached a point that you’re happy with and you’re still able to hit your targets. However, if you’re looking to climb that corporate ladder, and you’re unable to use the same modern tools as everyone else, it’s really going to hold you back. Go out of your way to overcome your technophobia and develop your technical skills. The more you work at adopting tech, the easier it will be!
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