Pursuing an Alternative Career: Dealing with Obstacles

Last week, I wrote about developing a plan to pursue an alternative career path, but before you can put that plan into action it’s important to consider some of the major roadblocks you will encounter along the way. For me, there are only three types of obstacles that keep most people from switching careers including:


  1. Time – Most people tend to be afraid of not having enough time to invest in changing careers or they may be afraid of ruining everything that they’ve managed to accomplish in their careers over the past few years by pursuing a new career. I’ve found that most people fear both of these situations.
  2. Money – Let’s face it, if you never had to worry about having enough money to pay the bills, then you would have pursued the career of your dreams a long time ago. No one wants to worry about where their next paycheck is coming from and the fear of not having enough money always keeps most people from pursuing a new career.
  3. Lack of Experience – Your lack of experience may keep you from feeling confident about your skills, so you’ll be less likely to pursue any new opportunities.


If you notice, these three categories are more mental obstacles, than they are real obstacles. While it’s pretty obvious that you’ll have to invest a lot of your time and in most cases money to get to where you want to be, you shouldn’t give these obstacles more power over your future than they deserve.


Here are some ways that you can begin dealing with these obstacles before they stop you in your tracks:

  • Set up a daily schedule that allows you to work on your career goals a little bit at a time. Give yourself an hour, half an hour or at least fifteen minutes every day to complete one career-related task.
  • Determine what your priorities are. Would you rather watch TV or call someone that may be able to help you with your career goals? All of us make small decisions every day that have a big impact on our progress.
  • Conduct some detailed research on how much money you’ll need to get started in your new career. Explore your options and ask a lot of questions – don’t just assume that you’ll have to fork over some serious money to make things happen.
  • Put together a bare bones budget. A bare bones budget excludes all of the monthly expenses that you don’t absolutely need to spend on. Using a bare bones budget should give you the opportunity to save up the money you need to pursue an alternative career including several months of training, work materials or just extra savings to get by on until you can begin making a steady income.
  • Make a list of any of your personal or professional experiences that can help you in pursuing your new career path. Think back on the skills and resources that you came up with when you wrote a rough draft of your plan.
  • Find different ways to get the experience you need. Contact professional organizations, speak to other professionals in your chosen field or try to offer your services on a freelance basis.