There are a number of reasons you might not be able to achieve your career goals. Most of them all boil down to two main points. I will explain them and give you a few ways you can meet your career goals.

Education – This is a stinger for sure. I remember applying to jobs which had education requirements almost exclusively. I knew I could do the job, but I didn’t have the papers to meet the requirements they had. It felt like a daunting challenge.

In many cases you have the option of supporting your candidacy with equal parts of job experience. Mentioning specific tasks or projects which relate specifically to the education they’re asking for can be helpful too.

Time – You need to get training, study for a class, or read several books, but you’re balancing a family or even two or more jobs. It seems like time isn’t a commodity you can spare.

In almost every case, you can find time to achieve your goals. The amount of time you get to spend might not be what you would find to be ideal, but the only thing that guarantees failure is not trying. Spend 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have.

Money – A word of warning – if you see some plan that says you can get everything you need to achieve your goals at no cost, or a very low cost – it probably isn’t worth it. It’ll rob your time and probably your money too. If you already have challenges making ends meet, it’s a sure fire way to be a waste.

What do you need money for? Training, being more active & joining professional organizations (see the next item), and even sprucing up your wardrobe (you have to look the part you want to become. Even here, the challenge can be overcome by buying smart, and prioritizing your continued personal growth over frivolous spending. Remember you are investing in your own future!

Network – Ever been looked over for a job or promotion because the winning candidate knew the boss? They’ve got an in that you don’t have. It feels really unfair.

Fact is, you have to start working the relationships. That doesn’t mean you have to put on airs or pretend to be someone you’re not. Despite what you might think, those brown-nosers don’t get the wins as much as you might think. Successful networking takes authenticity, a sincere desire to help others, and the bravery to ask for what you need.

Seek out a professional association in your desired field. You might have to spend a few bucks to join them but the knowledge you’ll get in this field from the people doing it today is huge. Not to mention the fact that you could even get your next job through that group!

Title – My background is in the technology world and I can tell you that titles get very confusing. I worked in both Seattle and Chicago. The title “Network Administrator” means something completely different in each place. It’s bewildering and frustrating.

Try not to get hung up on what your definition of a title is. Read the description closely. You might find that in many cases, what you want to do has a very unusual title, or one you didn’t expect. I like to think of this as a case where you can be right about the title you want and not find the job, or you can be happy about the job you get because you do exactly what it is you enjoy.

Income – Larry is a friend of mine who has been looking for a new position for a long time. He has a picture of what that career pays and it’s pretty high. I think he’s right – it takes a lot of education and experience to excel in the position. Yet every position he finds just doesn’t pay that well. So he doesn’t take them and just keeps looking.

I don’t know too many jobs you’ll get rich from. Most of the time you’ll see lower salaries, sometimes lower than the average pay in your area, and it can be a turn off. There’s a couple ways to approach this: ask for a higher salary. Maybe split the difference between what their top end is, and what your bottom end is. Separately, or as part of the starting point I suggest, negotiate your first raise. Use some metrics that you and the employer can agree on reaching to get that first raise.

Personal Time – Once Larry gets that job, he might find that the job is getting into his free time much more than before.

My best advice to you is right there above; networking. It opens the door to so many opportunities and can give you insight into the career you’re hoping to have, to make sure you’re prepared.

Author's Bio: 

Wade Stewart is the author of Personal Retreat: Helping You Define Your Success, and blogs about personal development at

He is sharing his journey of personal development and is passionate about helping others find the kind of success that he is enjoying.