How To Overcome Challenges in the Workplace (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 22, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated July 22, 2022

Published December 12, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You'll likely face many challenges throughout your professional life. Each step on a career path can bring new expectations and obstacles to overcome. Preparing for these challenges and learning tips and strategies to overcome them can help you reach your career goals.

In this article, we discuss a few of the most common workplace challenges and we offer tips you can use to overcome them.

What is a challenge?

A challenge is an obstacle that must be overcome to achieve a goal. When you apply the definition of a challenge to the workplace, it is a problem that is stopping you from achieving workplace or career success. Employees of all levels will face challenges in the workplace. Each workplace is made up of different management styles, personality types and personal goals, sometimes leading to workplace conflict or challenges. Additionally, employees can have challenges of their own, including a lack of experience or the hurdle of finding a new job.

Tips for overcoming workplace challenges

You will likely face challenges throughout your career, including while searching for a job, starting a new role or receiving a promotion. Fortunately, there are methods and strategies you can implement to overcome almost any obstacle, including:

Remain positive

Staying positive will help you to be motivated and focused on overcoming any challenge, from job rejections to coworker conflict. 

Admit when you need help

There are times when you will need to ask for help. Whether it is asking a friend to do a mock interview with you or asking a supervisor for skills training, assistance can help you develop confidence.

Look at the challenge from all sides

It is a good idea to consider all aspects of a challenge. Write down a list of all of the possible solutions to a problem, even the ones that do not seem feasible. You can then choose the solution that seems best from that list. 

Know when to delegate

If you are in a management role, you will need to know when to delegate a challenge to another member of your team. Not only does delegation help your workload, but it also allows employees to learn new skills and stay motivated. 

Set small goals

Try to divide each challenge into smaller pieces that you can complete instead of trying to do everything at once. This can assist you in tracking progress and identifying barriers to your project completion.

Common challenges in the workplace

You can expect to encounter workplace challenges, whether you are an entry-level employee or a senior manager. Here are a few of the most common challenges you might come across in your career, as well as some tips you can use to overcome each one:

Job search challenges

You may meet challenges from the moment you begin looking for employment. This time can feel overwhelming and confusing as you attempt to find the right position for you. The job search process involves filling out numerous applications, creating customized cover letters and, hopefully, scheduling interviews with potential employers. Some challenges you might face during this time include a lack of experience, going to uncomfortable interviews or never hearing back from hiring managers.

You can overcome job search challenges with the following tips:

Use education as experience

Depending on the industry, your educational experiences may fill in for your lack of professional experience. Volunteering, work experience and roles in campus clubs can also fill out a resume when you lack career experience.

Do a practice interview with a trusted friend

Mock interviews allow you to test out different answers and to become comfortable with some of the most common interview styles, including the STAR method. Ask a friend to practice with you so you can feel prepared and confident for your interview.

Always use a cover letter

It is possible that employers won’t see your resume or are just scanning it. It is vital to grab their attention as soon as possible, and a cover letter is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Use a cover letter to highlight the skills that will directly apply to the open position.

Read more: What to Do If You Aren’t Hearing Back From Employers

New hire challenges

It can take some time to move from being a new hire to an employee who is familiar with the policies, expectations and culture of the business. Additionally, each time you switch companies, you will have to get used to the process all over again. A few of the most common new hire challenges are coworker conflict, unclear job expectations and the inability to complete expected work tasks.

Try these tips to overcome new hire challenges:

Know when third-party intervention is needed

You can handle some disagreements directly with your coworker, but if open communication does not solve the issue, then it might be time to seek a third-party resolution. Many businesses have open-door policies that allow you to discuss your concerns with your supervisor. Additionally, the human resource department can be a helpful resource.

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor

During this meeting, ask for clear job expectations so you can meet the expected goals. It will also help you learn more about the role and if you are still on track to meet your career goals. 

Create daily to-do lists

You might find that creating daily to-do lists or dividing your larger tasks into smaller tasks helps get everything done. If you are still struggling, you might ask your coworkers for help and advice. 

Read more: How to Succeed in Your New Job: The First Week, Month and 90 Days

Challenges after receiving a promotion

You will probably receive promotions throughout your career. In some ways, promotions are much like being a new hire, since you must become used to new tasks and responsibilities. You may encounter feelings of inadequacy or an overwhelmingly busy schedule after a promotion.

To confront these challenges, try to:

Formulate goals

Create goals and work toward meeting those goals in your new position to help overcome feelings of inadequacy. Keep in mind that if you received a promotion, it means that someone recognized your hard work and has confidence you can succeed in your new role.

Know when to delegate

It can be helpful to compare your previous and current roles and identify the specific tasks you can delegate. As an employee in a higher position, you may have the ability to delegate some of the time-consuming tasks.

Challenges in a management role

If your career path includes management roles, you may face a new set of demands. Two of the most common challenges in management roles include having to terminate an employee and not meeting performance goals.

Try these tips to overcome these challenges:

Be honest, clear and prepared

If you need to terminate an employee, it is best to tell your employee honestly the reason why. Have a concise answer formulated so you can be direct. While it is best to keep it short, try to avoid sounding harsh or distant.

Evaluate each of your goals individually

Your success is dictated by much more than your performance as an individual. Your employer may evaluate you on the sales of the company, the morale of the office and even things like employee retention rates. A transition to management often requires a shift to strategy and organizational implementation.

It can be helpful to evaluate the individual requirements of each goal and identify the obstacles. Recognize where the inability to meet the goals lies, and then create a plan to overcome them.

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