Notice I say “hard” but by no means “impossible”...
1. The glass ceiling.
The intent in most companies is to level the playing field by having performance reviews and being organized into working groups with managers overseeing those groups. The way It’s supposed to work is that you work hard within your team, make your boss look good , make money for the company and you will be promoted so that you can ascend the corporate ladder.
Although this might be the intent, in many places promotions work a little different. It can be about who you know and how well you get along with them instead of just performance based. So to get to that level that you aspire there might be some unwritten rules to do so and that’s if you have a chance at all, because some lines just cannot be crossed.
Who you know, what you do, what you say, what's your last name, how much socializiing you do, etc. are all things that can influence when and even if you get promoted.
The funny part of this is that the ones who get promoted probably don’t believe the above and the ones who don’t do.
2. It takes a long time.
I realize that nothing in life worth having comes fast and easy, but the "drip" method of saving and investing that you get with a job and the limited earning potential (see #6 and #8 below) makes building wealth with a job a slow process.
3. Your job is wrong for you.
There are two elements to this factor: choosing the wrong carer for you and choosing a career that doesn’t pay well.
For the first one; many, many people find themselves just a few years into their new careers and realize they don’t enjoy that career field or down right despise it. That’s ok you say… just start something new, you are free to choose.
The problem now is that you start again in a new field in more ways than one. Starting a new field many times means a lower salary, little or no benefits and several years of getting to speed in your new field before your income grows.
And if that second career doesn’t work for you then you are free to start again…and again and so be it while in the meantime your wages, savings and investments (if any) keep on suffering. By the way the same can apply to layoffs and company closures. You now have to find a new job that might or might not pay the same.
The second type of wrong career is choosing one that doesn’t pay well:
4. Your job doesn’t pay well.
Sure, there are jobs that inherently pay well but what if you are a teacher, a police officer, a social worker, a retail employee, etc?
There are jobs that just don’t pay well. Even though they might be fulfilling and something you really enjoy doing just realize that some lines of work make it harder to build wealth.
5. The people you work with.
I have worked alongside people that just bring you down.
Due to their way of thinking, their work ethic, their overall view of life. They can suck the life out of you. They lack ambition or desire to progress and be more.
The problem is that you might not have a choice and have to spend a lot of time around these people!
Since you don’t get to choose who your company hires (unless it’s YOUR company) you have to accept the people that are there already or come in after you. However, you get to choose wether you associate with them or not, wether you adopt their way of thinking or not.
6. Your job pays you based on time not performance.
Whether you are an employee or self employed if your compensation is tied directly to the amount of time you spend working on something then there will always be a ceiling on how much you can earn because you only have so many hours in your life.
On the other hand getting paid based on performance can potentially produce a lot more since to a degree there is no limit to how much benefit you can bring to others.
7. You have no control over your employment.
Try as you might to be a valuable employee the needs of the company will always come first and even the best of employees will fall on the chopping block at some time in their careers, no fault of their own.
8. You are trading security for income potential.
Until 100 years ago or so, survival pretty much depended on your hard work on your farm or your own business of some kind where your income would vary based on the realities of your trade.
Then the industrial revolution came and introduced a new work model where by working for a corporation you were guaranteed a steady income for your work. In order to get this “security” you basically are agreeing to earn a defined but steady amount rather than a limitless but infrequent amount.
9. You are encouraged to spend your paycheck because "you work so hard".
Expensive vacations, constant shopping, expensive hobbies, luxury cars all of which are paid on credit cards, are justified in your life because “you work so hard” that you deserve this…
Your work colleagues talk about the new car they bought or last trip to Disney World. You want to do the same…
Sometimes all of the above are nothing more than “medication” that is needed due to doing a job you hate…
Yet spending this way now is exactly what will keep you from building wealth later.
10. Pensions don't exist and 401k's suck.
In many corporate environments more and more the purpose (albeit hidden) of the corporation is to enrich the owners/stockholders/top executives rather than giving employees the opportunity to do the same.
This is part of why pensions are all but extinct and a 401k is at best a mediocre substitute.
So your job will really not help you build wealth, it’s really up to you.