How to overcome career challenges

Building a career is often marked by challenges; these hurdles may come at various times and in different forms, often when we least expect them. Facing career growth challenges can be incredibly frustrating, and sometimes leave us feeling stuck. In this article, we aim to offer you some actionable strategies to help you overcome challenges hindering your career growth. But first, let’s look at some common career challenges that could be getting in the way.

What are some common career challenges?

When you first started your career, you probably had great goals in mind and looked forward to achieving them. But some challenges have cropped up along the way. Having insight into some of these challenges and their potential impact on your career growth will help you be prepared to tackle them proactively. If any of these already resonate, then good news—you’ll be able to tackle this face-on!

Some of the common challenges you may face are:

  • Imposter syndrome. These feelings of self-doubt feel real and yet are often despite evidence to the contrary. To learn more about Imposter Syndrome, read our blog here.
  • Being overwhelmed by a new role is also common. Many professionals begin to question if they can handle a new role when they are promoted. They may struggle with increased responsibilities, how to lead a team, deal with challenging stakeholders, etc.
  • Being scared of the next move in your career is also a common challenge. A professional may be scared to switch to a new career path or even request a promotion or pay raise.
  • Your work may sometimes cause a lot of stress and ultimately burnout, This may cause you to question whether you’re on the right career path and frustration may set in.
  • You may feel stuck, disengaged at work, and even lacking control over what’s happening in your career.

These are just some of the common challenges that mid-career professionals face, and the good news is that they can all be overcome.

8 Tips For Overcoming Career Growth Challenges

Here are some actionable ways to help you overcome your career challenges:

Take ownership:

“No one cares about your career as much as you do”. You cannot rely on others to support your career progression, nor should you wait for others to tap you on the shoulder or invite you to the table. It’s your career; acknowledge that you need to own it and take action accordingly.

Know where you’re aiming for:

 You don’t need to have everything mapped out to the nth degree or know exactly what role or position you want next, but it is important to take time to think this through. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”- Lewis Carroll. Or rather, it won’t! Being purposeful can also help create direction and momentum within your efforts.

Understand where you’re at:

Take an honest look at where you are right now and how you’ve gotten here. A little reflection and self-awareness are important and can be very insightful. This exercise can benefit from a good heap of reality. Some of us might overplay where we think we’re at, and others might underplay it. Getting some external perspectives (and maybe some feedback) on this can also be useful. From people you trust, obviously.

Be clear on your Personal Brand:

 This links nicely to our personal brand. I love this Jeff Bezos definition: “Personal Brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”. Our reputation often precedes us. Are we known for the “right things”? The great news is that we can shape our brand through our actions and words. We can evolve how we want to be perceived over time (if required), but often we can simply show up as a more intentional version of who we are. Much of the time, this turns out to be a more polished/authentic version of how we already show up today. If you could benefit from looking at your personal brand, contact me to learn more about Authentic Me.


Identify your key skills and strengths:

We all have a range of skills and strengths, and it can be useful to inventorise these. 

Skills are things we can do, and typically we have learned them along the way. This could be through formal learning on the job or even by working through it and finding solutions ourselves. We often have a long list of skills from our current and past roles, as well as transferable skills from other parts of our lives. 

Strengths are things we are naturally good at and maybe have been for much of our lives. Because of this, we don’t always recognise or value our strengths, remarking, “Doesn’t everyone do this?”. No, they don’t! While our strengths are not unique to us alone, our particular combination of strengths makes us who we are. 


Knowing how to use our skills and strengths:

Identifying our skills and strengths is an important first step. Being able to recognise the value of our strengths and use them regularly in our work can help us grow further and faster, not to mention being enjoyable to use too.


Put an action plan into place:

Reflection is very useful, but it’s not until we take action that we will move forward. Identify specific actions that will help you make – and feel like you are making progress. Often, breaking things down into baby steps (manageable chunks) is a great way to ensure that we will make steady progress. It’s also been proven that writing down our goals/plans gives us a much higher chance of success in achieving them.

Get accountable:

There is a risk that we have great intentions and make a super plan to take action, and then… we don’t follow through. Finding a way to be accountable can be useful. Many people find being accountable to others easier than being accountable to themselves. A friend, colleague, or manager can help here, but it can sometimes be even better to work with a mentor or coach. If you’d benefit from support with any of these steps, get in touch for a Free Career Discussion.


In conclusion, career growth is rarely challenge-free, but this does not mean that these challenges will swallow your goals and dreams of having a successful career. We believe that the self-help tips outlined in this article will help you as you work towards your career goals. You can also find additional and practical help in our blog post when you click here. Don’t also forget to seek professional help, as a neutral pair of eyes will often hasten your ability to overcome these challenges faster than you can imagine.