How to reduce career barriers


What stops you from changing jobs or applying and getting that promotion? Is it the abusive, irritating boss who won’t take you seriously? The skills that you don’t think you have,  the fear of rejection or the fear of potential perceived discrimination? These are what career counsellors call career barriers and originally they were used to try to explain barriers to women’s career progression. Now  research around barriers has centred around barriers to ethnic minority career progression mainly in America.

So what should you do if  you feel that you are stuck in a dead end job? Here are some quick tips to smash those career barriers, in order to reach your goals.

  • Write a plan of your career goals and what you want to achieve in immediately, in the next 2 and 5 years. Visualising this and putting it some where you will see it, will help make the goals more real and increase your chances of actually making things happen. 
  • Find a career role model/ a mentor,  someone who has succeeded in the area that you want to go into. If you can find someone who you think can and will help you,  approach them. Literally go to networking events, google organisations or people, find people on Facebook or Linkedin.  That’s what I did and it  does work, you will find someone who takes you under their wing. What is hard is keeping in touch with your mentor and not expecting them to hand you a job on a plate. 
  • To increase the confidence in your ability to succeed, take part in as much work as possible, for free,  put your self forward for additional projects, ask for a secondment at work,  voice your opinions and get your views heard. Make sure people know who you are in your organisation or the organisation that you want to get into and work hard and eventually people will accommodate you. The bottom line is, when people know you can make them money, they will pretty much tolerate most things. 
  • Network, Network, Network, this I know sounds a bit vague, but believe me it works. Have you heard of the saying, “its not what you know, its who you know.”- its true, nepotism is rife in every industry especially ones like law, consulting and media. Have you ever wondered how some wierdos get their jobs when they have poor qualifications, no social skills and no job knowledge- networking is how. There are many professional networks who run dinners, marketing and recruitment events,  in specific industries. Find out, google them, you never know who you might meet and believe me CEOs and MDs do go to these events so they are worth a try.

 So I hope this has given you an insight as to how to over come career barriers, and remember to stay positive. I just realised I sound like rev run or something.

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