What’s Stopping You

The top 9 barriers to making a career change

What’s stopping you?

Fear of what

You know you are not happy in your current job and yet somehow, you never seem to do anything about it. What is going on? There must be a barrier of some kind that is getting in the way that is stopping you from moving out of the painful place you are in at work.

Well yes.  There is a barrier or perhaps I should say there are several and you could find that one or many of them are operating for you.

So if you are feeling stuck in your career and are not doing anything about it, it is well worth taking a careful look at what the barriers to change might be for you.

Michael Neill tackles this in his audio programme Effortless Success and he has identified the top 9 barriers that prevent people from making the changes that they know they need.

Here they are:


This may seem obvious, but I often hear clients say to me ‘I just don’t know what to do’. It may be that they have an idea of the kind of change they want to make, but they just can’t work out how to make it happen. All that is missing is information.

Perhaps you would like to run your own business but you don’t know how to set one up.  Perhaps you know you want to retrain as an HR professional/lawyer/hairdresser but you don’t know how.

The first step along this road is to find out more and these days with the information available on the internet that is not a big hurdle.  Take a look at my article on Researching Career Change Ideas. It will set you off in the right direction.


You know what you want to do but you don’t think you are good enough.  So what can you do to gain the skills you need? You are not born with a fixed set of skills  – you are adding to the pot all the time both consciously, through formal training and unconsciously through what you just assimilate through life experience.

So what will you do to gain more of the skills you think you need? Time to go back to school, take an evening class, seek out training opportunities within your company. You will never know what you can do till you try, so don’t write yourself off before you have tried.

And take a look at the personal skills audit on my website.


Maybe you just don’t believe it can be done, or perhaps more specifically you don’t believe that you can do it.

Time to check in whether this is really your belief or one that you have picked up along the way from your family, your friends and your culture.  Take a look at my article on limiting beliefs to begin to tackle this particular barrier.


Do you just feel too stressed and overwhelmed to even contemplate it? This is a common sticking point and a very important one. When are you going to put your needs first? Will you wait till you have a total health breakdown to get your wake up call?

Start tomorrow with small steps – literally that could be a walk in the park at lunch time, a healthy salad rather than a cappuccino and muffin for your meal, going to bed earlier and getting more sleep… These are all simple things that could make a big difference.

Other people

Are you constantly put off by what other people say? Do they discourage you and tell you it will be too risky? Are you heavily influenced by the opinions of others? Whose life is it when it comes down to it?


Time to get into the driving seat, time to take control and decided what you think is best for you. Take a look at my article on having Big Conversations – it could give you some useful guidelines.


Do you find it hard to motivate yourself to take the necessary action? What lies behind this? Is a career change it really that important to you? Do you care enough about the difficult situation you are in to do something about it? Are you clear what changes you really need to make? It might not be your career

Take a look at my article on self motivation and see if any of my tips can get you moving.


Too busy? Running round like a headless chicken and never have time to stop and think? It may be that you need to step back and set some priorities. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just pick three small things you want to achieve in the next month, then work out what you need to do each week to achieve them, and each day just decide what you have to focus on next to move towards these goals.

And at the end of the day, just relax, knowing that you have done those 3 things you set out to do. Yes, there will always be more on your ‘to do ‘list, but just be content that you have done what you planned for the day.


This is a biggie.  You know what you’d love to do but you don’t think you can afford it. Maybe right now that is true, but it begs the question – what could you do to change that? You financial status is not fixed permanently; you can take action to change it.

Take a look at the I Can’t Afford It section on my website.  There are practical steps and ideas for managing your money mindset.


Are you scared of stepping out of the familiar but uncomfortable place you are in? Do you worry about what might go wrong?

There are two strategies that may help.  First recognise that it is your thinking about what might happen that is the problem, because the things haven’t happened yet. So your task is to challenge your thinking first. Secondly, build your confidence as this will help you overcome your fears.  Take a look at my article on The Confidence To Defeat Fear

So which of these resonate for you?

I hope that the links to articles on my website will help you tackle some of these barriers, and you might also like to take a look at Michael Neill’s Effortless Success CD set.  His programme is full of great advice.

You can find it on Amazon here



What do you think?

  • What are your three biggest stumbling blocks?
  • What will you do to overcome them?
  • When will you start?

From The 5 Minute Career Coach November 2014

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Amy Thomas

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