Career challenges like reorganizations, layoffs, and a lack of personal fulfillment can feel like big bumps in the road, but instead of seeing them as obstacles, start to look for the opportunities. Personal career development is critical for resilience in the face of uncertainty and change. The authors, who train over 100,000 people a year in career development, have identified four common challenges that get in the way of people’s growth. They categorize them as when, who, what, and where challenges. Here’s how you can think and act creatively to overcome these challenges and continually invest in your career development.
Change and uncertainty are now a given in our careers. As a result, people are re-evaluating what they want from their work. For many, the traditional career ladder has been replaced by “squiggly” careers — non-linear career moves where progression goes beyond promotion and allows people to develop in different directions. In the context of constant change, personal career development is now a must-have rather than a nice-to-have.
But the reality is that career development rarely gets prioritized. The demands of the day-to-day take precedence over our improvement, and investing in our future rarely feels as urgent as the issues in our inbox. This presents a long-term risk to our engagement and enjoyment at work, as putting ourselves last means our careers can stall and our skills start to stagnate. In the short-term, failing to spend time on our personal development decreases our career resilience in the face of external job impacts like layoffs and reorgs.
At our company Amazing If, we train over 100,000 people a year in career development. We see four common challenges that get in the way of people’s growth. We categorize them as when, who, what, and where challenges. Here’s how you can think and act creatively to overcome these challenges and continually invest in your career development.
4 Common Career Development Challenges
Reflect on which of these challenges feel familiar for you. It’s not uncommon to experience a combination of two, three, or even all of them at the same time.
The “when” challenge
Sounds like: I’ll get around to career development when I have the time.
Career risk: Your development feels separate from your day job.
The “who” challenge
Sounds like: I don’t have anyone who is helping me develop my skills.
Career risk: Your progression becomes dependent on other people.
The “what” challenge
Sounds like: I’m not sure what I want to develop in.
Career risk: Searching for the one “right” answer stops you from getting started.
The “where” challenge
Sounds like: There are no career development opportunities where I work.
Career risk: You feel frustrated …….