What Is The Most Difficult Challenge Facing Your Career?

The Most Difficult Challenge Of My Career
The Most Difficult Challenge Of My Career


“What is the most difficult challenge facing your career right now”?

Your most difficult challenge may be about how to get a job or how to improve your skills or how to get promoted on the job

Perhaps your most difficult challenge is about how to transition out of or into a business analyst or computer programming or database developer career.

Whatever your challenge is, just go ahead and post it as a comment on this page and I will deal with it for you.

I may answer it by writing a new article that addresses your concern or by posting a comprehensive reply to your comment.

The concern or challenge facing you is important to me, so go right away and post it as a comment on this page.

Thank You,

72 Responses to "What Is The Most Difficult Challenge Facing Your Career?"

  1. Poornachand   January 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Hi am a Bachelor in Technology graduate in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, currently working as Data Analyst in Chegg India(Visakhapatnam) since 8 months, .
    I’ve a list of questions to you-

    1. I want to know whether this position will help me in future?
    2. What is the later positions of Data analyst?
    3. Does this exp. counts(As a data analyst)?
    4. to enhance in this position what are the things i have to follow? 5. I am interested in DB area, will this Data Analyst exp. help in achieving it?

  2. Mary Jane   October 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Coach,

    I have a rather unique problem: I have absolutely no clue as to where to take my career next. This in itself is not unique, but here are the factors that make my problem so difficult for me to unravel:

    I have a National Diploma in Business Administration, but when tested by a Career consultant, I tested strongly in the following 5 career paths as well: Public Health, Legal, IT, Architecture and Engineering.

    I have had many jobs, including working in Conveyancing (3 years), Banking Loan Applications (2 years), Bookkeeping (2 years), Trainer (4 years), Forms Administrator (1 year), Stock Controller (1 year), Personal and Executive Assistant (3 years), and most recently, as a Clinical Data Manager and Operations Coordinator (5.5 years).

    I also have Project and Risk Management experience (5 years).
    I have always been interested in IT and very much enjoy Training/Coaching/Mentoring others, but I have no qualifications (or experience) in IT at all, but I do have an internationally accredited Training Certification.

    I am confident and comfortable sharing my expertise, but I don’t like working in a team environment with deadlines and timelines and too much of a fast pace. I feel like a bit of an outcast, because most employers want a “Team Player” and I very much prefer to work alone and preferably with inanimate objects or data (I am a very strong C on a DISC personality profile).

    I really do not like multiple telephone conversations, lengthy ineffective meetings, unnecessary red tape, bulky processes, or micromanagement. Are there ANY jobs out there where my skill set and personality would be considered an advantage for the employer?

    Any advice on how to zone in on what my true passion is and what I might be good at and enjoy at the same time?
    Thank you.

  3. Simon   October 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Coach,

    I have a BBA ( MIS Major – 1990) from a top twenty university and worked in IT for about ten years. Here’s an overview of my work experience:

    * Worked for a Big Four Acct firm doing risk management consulting (1991-1992)

    * Worked for a university writing SQL queries to produce various reports using SQL*Plus for ORACLE RDBMS (1993-1997)

    * Worked for a non-profit organization and produced various web-based applications using ASP and SQL Server as well as several stand-alone applications using MS-Access (1997-2001)

    * Owned and operated several retail/hospitality businesses (2002-2011)

    I am now seriously considering going back to IT to work as a data analyst or business analyst and am thinking about doing some of the relevant training that you offer i.e SQL Boot Camp, Data Analysis Boot Camp and/or Business Analysis Boot Camp to help me refresh and build upon my previous skill-set.

    However, I am concerned about the fact that employers are looking for people that have CURRENT work experience and given that I’ve been out of IT for the last ten years, I would like to know if these Boot Camps would provide me with the relevant hands-on experience that employers are currently looking for.

    Also, in view of my prior work history, how would I market or “re-package” myself for the current job market once I complete these Boot Camps?

    Your thoughts / advise / suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You.

  4. Bob   May 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I completed a Biomedical Sciences BSc last year and came out with a 2:2.

    The highest level of formal IT education I have done it GNVQ ICT with a distinction and then there were the data handling skills modules with my degree where I always achieved a 1st class mark.

    Having said that I have a lot of un-official experience in IT. From web design and proficiency in photoshop to basic CSS.

    I have good knowledge of Excel, Word, PPT. during my degree I found that compared to all the student studying with me I was very good with computers and had a significantly higher knowledge which made me think maybe I would to better in IT.

    My problem is as I dont have an IT degree, and my science degree is a 2:2 and I have no idea where I can apply what kind of jobs i can apply to and be in for a chance in getting them with out having to study further as I need a job as soon as possible?

    All the careers advice I have had so far has been for science jobs so now I want to change my career path to IT – what next?

    • ITCareerCoach   November 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      There are lots of jobs that you can apply for with knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Web Design, Photoshop and CSS.

      I think that you have a few problems. You have the right background but you probably do not understand how to package your current knowledge & skills.

      First of all, try and forget about your GPA and who you performed relative to others and also try and forget about your lack of an Information Technology Degree.

      Focus your attention on what you can do for others … like in, the types of jobs you can perform.

      Focus also on strengthening relevant job skills. I would say that the relevant job skills which matter to you right now are:

      Web Design

      You probably have to add a couple more skills to be better rounded or well rounded:

      These skills would be:

      WordPress Web Development

      So, your final inventory of skills should look like:

      Web Design

      However, I would advice you not to apply for full-time jobs immediately.

      Focus more on freelance web design & web developer jobs because these jobs have little or no requirement for college degrees or information technology (IT) backgrounds.

      As a matter of fact, building up your freelancing portfolio first, is a better stepping stone in your situation than trying to apply for a full-time job

  5. Ash   May 9, 2010 at 6:44 am


    My biggest and difficult challenge at the moment is my career transition phase.

    I have been working as a programmer for more that 8 yrs now.

    Last 4 yrs i have been working on legacy system and was casual enough towards updating my skillsets with newer technology(probably because of growing family commitments).

    So now i have reached a point where i find difficult working with latest tech and look as a career change(as a BA) to bring the growth.

    Do you think i am doing right or is there any alternative to improve my situation?

    Please advise.

    Thanks in advance

    • ITCareerCoach   November 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Are you choosing to become a business analyst (BA) simply because, you are behind the technology curve required for your software developer career?

      #1. Learning Curve:

      Well then, consider this. It will take you as much time to learn all the skills required to be a business analyst as it will take you to update your computer programming skills.

      #2. Background

      While you can transition your career into business analysis, have you considered the fact that .., your previous work experience / current background is that of a computer programmer and not that of a business analyst.

      So, you are going to have to do a lot more work to convince employers of your suitability for a business analyst job versus your suitability as a computer programmer.

      You will face an easier challenge applying for computer programmer jobs after, e.g. six months spent on updating your skills to the latest technologies because you are already a programmer and you have your background as evidence of that.

      But while you can become a business analyst, do you realize that you will have a tougher job selling yourself?

      #3: Family Commitments:

      Have you really considered your family commitments?

      You are probably going to have a much harder time finding a business analyst job than a computer programmer job.

      So, your family is actually going to suffer more financially and you are going to put yourself through more trouble and uncertainty.

      So, considering all I have pointed out, will your interests and your family commitments be better served by changing your career, right now?

  6. Andre   March 30, 2010 at 7:55 am

    The most difficult career challenge for me, has been trying to make the move from technical support analyst to software development.

    I’ve taken courses to update my development skills and even built my own CV website.

    I’ve even applied to entry/junior level jobs, and I’m still met with the “Sorry, you don’t have enough experience” speech (yet I was under the impression that that was the POINT of entry level jobs – to the the doorway to GETTING the experience).

    Additionally, I’ve tried networking, and contacting people in my area of interest, but so far nothing has panned out.

    I’m currently unemployed (laid off) and may end up having to take a job, not in my career field, just to keep a roof over my head. I’m just not sure what more I can do.

    • ITCareerCoach   November 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

      This is how you can transition your career from technical support analyst to software development

      Software development is a marketable, lucrative, in-demand career, if you focus on the right combination of skills.

      It is important that you focus on the right combination of skills because there are big differences for the demand for one software developer skill versus another.

      For example, Mainframe Developers are not in-demand especially when compared to Microsoft .NET Developer Jobs.

      So, if you have taken courses to update your software development skills and you are still not able to get a job, you are probably learning the wrong set of programming languages.

      There is even more to this.

      Not only should you specialize and pick the programming languages carefully, there are aspects within a programming language that matter more than others.

      For example, Web Software Developers are much more in demand than Windows / Desktop Software Developers or Mobile Phone / Mobile Apps Developers.

      So, just learning Microsoft .NET Development is not enough, you must focus on web application development to the detriment of other types of software development.

      So, this is reason #2, why your bid to get a software developer job is failing.

      Reason #3: you must learn a suite of skills and not just a single language.

      You can’t just learn Microsoft .NET Development in isolation. You must learn that coupled with Sql Server Database Design & Development.

      After all these learning takes place, you must then start working on getting real-world software development experience in web applications using a combination of C# and SQL Server Database Skills.

      If you address these issues, you will be able to transition your career from technical support to software development.

  7. sharma   March 8, 2010 at 2:09 am

    I have 9+ years of software developer experience.

    I would like to be project manager/project leader?

    can you give me the direction to become a project manager?

  8. Lola   March 1, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Thank you so much for the opportunity

    My main career is to become a bussiness analyst but i just completed my MBA and have basic computer skills, how can i work on myself to achieve this goal?.


    • IT Career Coach   March 15, 2010 at 5:52 am

      you need to get some handson business analysis experience and you also need to learn business analysis formally.

      Having an MBA is not to be confused with being a business analyst because there are different skills, training, roles and responsibilities that goes with that.

      So, start a new chapter in your career development by learning business analysis and at the same time, start working on how to get business analysis handson experience.

  9. Dennis Finigan   March 1, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Age: I am 61.

    Experience: I am overqualified.

    Education: I have an MBA. I’ll want “too much money; I won’t “stay with the

    • IT Career Coach   March 15, 2010 at 5:44 am

      market yourself better. If you have an MBA, you’re qualified to do certain things very well. If you’re 61, you are more experienced, more exposed, wiser than most people.

      Build a brand around your qualities (experience, education) and use that to your advantage.

      You have to use what you have … to get what you want 🙂

      Approach your situtaion like a Marketer who’s selling a new product. The marketer expects opposition and negative obejctions and prepares a well-rehearsed scritp that anticipates these and overcomes it!

      There is nothing new under the sun …. and there is nothing new about age discrimination or bias!

  10. deepak patha   February 28, 2010 at 6:35 am


    I am working on MAINFRAMES my job profile includes analysis, providing or writing logic and to code it through cobol or dyl280 from past two years.

    My concern at this point of my carrier is viability of mainframes in times coming ahead.

    Is it still a good option to be with mainframes in that case i am confused?

    how to upgrade myself with the new or upcoming technology in the same platform as the programming does not interest me much anymore now so any other option or up gradation of skill you can recommend for me or that would be worth if i seriously think of saying good bye to mainframes ?


    • IT Career Coach   February 28, 2010 at 7:03 am

      Switch from a Mainframe career to modern, object oriented programming languages like Microsoft.NET, Visual Basic, C#, ASP.NET and also learn SQL Server along with that.

      It is okay to continue working with Mainframe Technologies if you like your job or your supervisor or even your pay.

      But you have to widen your horizons and your career options my learning the technologies I just mentioned to you.

      You have to learn all of them as a family of languages … the only exception being that you may choose either Visual Basic .NET or C#.

      I would recommend that you choose C# and not VB.NET

      Assume that learning these languages will take you about six months.

      There are plenty of resources / articles on this website to guide you through the reasons why you must make this career switch or transition.

      You can also get more information on software developer career tracks by registering with this link

  11. Daniel Mamo   February 17, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I am working in the university library. After I got my BSc in library and information Science.

    Before six month ago I received also my BSc in Computer Science.

    Now I want to change my career into programmer. The place which i am working is not suitable to change my career.

    I want to be a Programmer or data administrator.

    What shall I do?

    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Become a Computer Programmer by learning a web development language like ASP.NET and C#.

      Computer Programmers are also required to master databases, so you have to add learning a database like SQL Server.

      You should learn this family of languges (C#, ASP.NET, SQL SERVER) because they are designed to work together.

      I am also asking you to learn them because you’re virtually guaranteed a good job in today’s world, if you master those languages.

      Don’t go and start mixing these languages with others … because othe programming languages are either not as marketable or much harder to learn …

      FYI: Computer Programmers who know how to program in these languages are known as .NET Developers

  12. asu   February 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

    i am a young statistician by profession.i want to know how do i translate my knowledge into database management analyst as well as being business analyst

    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 4:06 am

      Mastering SQL Query Writing and Databases is key to using your statistical training in the Information Technology Industry.

      1. Most of the data you will be analyzing or working with is going to be accessed through relational databases. So, you have to be skilled at writing queries and even translating statistical principles into their SQL equivalent.

      2. IT Managers will be more inclined to hire you because of your additional database + SQL skills because this assures them that they can go to you for all their needs versus getting someone else to assist you with the database platforms.

      3. You also have to be comfortable with creating reports using SQL, report writing languages and report writing tools. You have to be able to translate the results of your analysis into tables, charts, graphs, etc., and present that in a live, database aware page to management. That will help managers get their data in a timely fashion and in a format that they can digest or read.

      4. In some places, you have to build or design the data collection forms that you will be using. If that becomes part of your job description, then you will be looking at creating data entry forms with some input validation, saving those results to the database, etc. That means being conversant in a database development tool like Microsoft Access or ASP.NET

      That does not mean that you’re becoming a programmer, it just means that you know enough to do your job!

  13. Tus   February 16, 2010 at 1:27 am


    The challenge i am facing is very general, I am an engineer in electronics then did my MBA (Marketing & IT)

    Did subjects like data mining, Business Intelligence, landed in a wrong job through placements in my college

    From the past 6 months i have learned nothing i guess i was the top performer during my training at the company,

    I feel i have enough qualification to become a BA and i Will become whatever it takes

    So this is the challenge i dnt wna continue this job, its a sales job , anyway i dnt know how to move my career ahead

    i have a appetite of technical skills here m wasting all , already spent a lot in my MBA cant even thing of spending more.

    Kindly let me know the way out rather than doing a course or smthing how can i move forward n become BA

    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 4:17 am

      With your background and education (MBA in Marketing & IT, Business Intelligence, Data Mining), you have enough knowledge to succeed in a wide variety of careers …

      But then again, you are on to learn something new again … become a business analyst.

      If you want to become a business analyst … you can simply register at the business analyst boot camp here: http://www.it-career-coach.net/shopping-cart/business_analyst_boot_camp.html

      But you, need to figure out what is wrong with your career, first.

      Why are you still searching even though you have a solid educational background and you’re a top performer?

      1. Could it be that you really don’t know what you want to do … so you keep trying different things?

      2. Are you using all that you already know? Are you fully using all the MBA, BI, IT Training and experience that you have, right now?

      3. What is really driving you? Are you looking for more money? More challenge?

      4. Why do you want to leave your current career?

      5. What will change in your life … when you become a business analyst?

      It is time to take a long, hard look at where you’re heading 🙂

  14. mnombo   February 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    my most challenge is getting a job,after completing my degree, a path towards being a business analyst seems bleak, do i gain work experience first or go for honours then BA training or take up MBA

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      1. get handson experience by working in an IT Department or company.

      2. Take some formal business analysis training like that offered at the business analysts boot camp or study business analysis on your own or get some coaching … in other words, learn business analysis

      3. Get creative in doing business analysis work. There are opportunities around you, you just have to be aggressive in getting them. Note that no-one will give you BA Work without you being qualified for it.

      4. So, don’t go around looking for BA Work unless you’ve first learnt how to do it … otherwise you will be wasting your customers time and your own as well.


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