Making the jump to a new career can feel impossible, even when we yearn for something different. Here are some common barriers to making a career change—and how to overcome them.
Not knowing what to do next. If you know you want something new but can’t express that goal clearly to yourself or others, start by doing some research. Give yourself a simple prompt, like listing 20 companies you might want to work for.
Limiting mindsets. If you find the prospect of a career change so overwhelming that you become paralyzed, start with small experiments. Take part in temporary assignments, do some freelance work, conduct projects in areas of interest, or volunteer.
Inadequate networks. Not knowing the right people—or not knowing where to meet them—can make your dreams feel unattainable. But there are ways to expand your network and market yourself. Start by reaching out to your “weak ties” (acquaintances rather than close friends) who might be able to offer you insights and connections that can help you make a change.
Lacking the right skills. This one is relatively simple: Go out there and learn! You can do this formally by pursuing certificates or degrees or informally by taking online courses.