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Overcoming obstacles in your career

There are many various career obstacles you may face in your work life. They begin during the time you are searching for a job and continue throughout your career. Some of the biggest obstacles include:

• Not being selected for a job you applied for.

• Being fired.

• Being laid off.

• Being demoted.

• Being passed over for a promotion.

Some of the reasons may be lack of experience or training, not having the skill set needed for the job, lack of knowledge, age, politics, mistakes, etc. These can be avoided by taking advantage of all the training available, both internal and external, going back to school, volunteering for assignments, etc. Many job opportunities can come down to who you know. This is a good reason to build your network inside and outside your company. Learn who the “movers and shakers” are and develop relationships with them. Join professional and trade organizations. Become active in your local Chamber of Commerce, church, social organizations and volunteer to serve on committees and work on projects in the community.

Stay up to date on technological changes. Lack of staying up to date and making changes is risky for a long term successful career. Some of the reasons people are averse to change are listed below.

• Being comfortable in their position even though not happy.

• Compensation is good and more than they can make in doing something they love.

• Being afraid of the unknown, scared of making a change.

• Not believing there is anything better out there.

• Not feeling they deserve a better job.

• Not knowing where to start in a job search.

Assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as well as where your interests lie is the first step in establishing a path toward building a career that is successful. Support from family and friends is important for a balanced life. The lack of balance is an obstacle or pitfall that will prevent career success. Even the most talented, hard-working and well-meaning people hit a snag in their career at some point in time. The difference between people who are successful and those who aren’t is not because of the roadblocks and obstacles they face in life, but the way they navigate through the challenges in their lives.

You can find happiness and fulfillment in your job by focusing your time and energy on the best part of each day and the pluses in your position. Focus less on negative and troublesome co-workers who constantly complain. Following are some tips for coping.

1. Build positive relationships with co-workers.

2. Practice appreciation and show gratitude.

3. Stop complaining and whining.

4. Take breaks for lunch and coffee breaks and get away from your desk.

5. Reward yourself on accomplishments.

6. Keep a to-do list and mark off when completed.

7. Eat right and exercise.

8. Smile and be friendly to everyone.

9. Help out co-workers and volunteer for projects.

10. Think about the good things that happen each day.

11. Set aside time for personal activities.

12. Develop relationship with your boss.

Your job will never be perfect. The pasture is not always greener  on the other side. Your attitude and satisfaction, not money, is the most important thing in finding true happiness on the job. The biggest obstacle to being happy and fulfilled in your job is your belief that your circumstances and situation have to change. You have the power to make things happen and create your own experience.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.