4 Things that Can Get in the Way of Your Career


The longer you’ve spent building your career, the harder it is when things go wrong. For instance, if you get fired after spending ten years working for a company, it’s not always easy to find a new comparable position with another company. You might have to take a pay cut and work your way up again after proving yourself worthy. It all depends on the company.

If you plan to build and grow your career, there are an infinite number of things that can get in the way and derail your efforts. Here are some of the most common disruptions along with some solutions.

1. Dealing with an unexpected serious illness

Nothing can disrupt your career quite like the onset or diagnosis of a serious illness, especially if it’s something that makes it hard or impossible to continue working. One such illness is mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer that occurs when asbestos particles get lodged in bodily tissue.

Since symptoms take decades to become noticeable, most people don’t know they have mesothelioma until it’s progressed pretty far. Even with visible symptoms, many are misdiagnosed, which only prolongs treatment. With pleural mesothelioma, symptoms mimic pneumonia, which makes a misdiagnosis from a general physician likely.

Although it’s rare, thousands of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. If something like this happens to you, regardless of the unexpected illness, you might have to completely change the direction of your life.

You can’t change what’s happening in the physical world, but you can alter your mindset. No matter how much you love your career, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t be doing any of that work if you didn’t need a paycheck. The best thing you can do is figure out what really makes you happy and do more of that. Focus on things that make you happy because that’s what truly matters. Even if you love your work, it’s ultimately just a means to an end.

2. The birth of a child

If you have a baby, you can expect to have your career disrupted for quite some time. Depending on what you do for work, you might have to take more time off than you want. However, if you’re fortunate enough to work for a company that allows remote work, you’ll probably be back in action sooner than later. If so, make sure you embrace a healthy work-life balance.

Even if your company doesn’t currently have a remote working program, ask if they’ll make an exception for you. You might not be able to perform all of your job duties from home, but if there’s anything you can do remotely, your boss might appreciate that – especially if you’re hard to replace.

3. Moving house

When you have to move into a new home, it will change everything. The farther away you move, the more your routine will be disrupted. For instance, you’ll have to take a different route to work and learn new traffic patterns to avoid being late. If you decide to keep your current job, it’s going to take time to get your groove back.

You do have the option of switching jobs to work for a new company closer to home, but that could be a gamble. If you have to move pretty far from your job, try to get a remote position, even if you have to take a pay cut. The money you’ll save on gas by not having to commute will probably make up the difference.

Otherwise, if you absolutely love your current position, request a raise to compensate for a longer commute. It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you’re a valued employee. Many employers go out of their way to keep loyal employees happy.

4. Your company is moving out of state

There’s always a chance that a company will move its headquarters out of state, sometimes for tax purposes. If this happens to you and remote work isn’t an option, you’ll have to move or find another job. Sometimes companies can’t keep out-of-state employees because it complicates things too much.

If you’ve been thinking about looking for work elsewhere, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to find a better job. It can seem like a disruption, but might just be a blessing in disguise.

Career disruptions are unavoidable

Since you can’t predict or control everything, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected changes. You might need to pause your career or shift gears for a while, but if you plan ahead, even the biggest disruptions will only be temporary.