We change careers or reenter the workplace for a variety of reasons, both positive and not-so-positive. Career counseling is a place to explore one’s potential, to discover talents and inclinations, and generally to get oneself in the right place, mentally, to tackle the major life change that career transition entails. We will work to ensure that this is a positive moment, an opportunity for growth and personal development, as well as a way to meet one’s practical life goals and needs.
It’s not surprising that our work lives hold as much power in our lives as they do: other than our homes, the workplace is the setting where we spend most of our time and energy. Ideally, work brings meaning and satisfaction to our lives. At its best, it is an outlet for both our creativity and our ambition. But much can go amiss in this important realm. Here are some questions that career counseling might address:
• What, if anything, can I do about a job that is not fulfilling?
• Others seem to be promoted more quickly. Am I sabotaging my own success and chances for promotion?
• Am I doing the work I am “meant” to be doing?
• How can I get the courage to make a career change?
• What can I do about work relationships that are not harmonious?
• How can I achieve a better work/life balance?
• How will my life change when I retire, and can I cope with that?
• How can I emotionally manage an unexpected job loss?
Career counseling is an invigorating therapeutic area precisely because it is an opportunity to explore ways to reinvent oneself, to take new paths that, while intimidating, may be the chance at a life overhaul. Career counseling can involve practical work, like trouble-shooting and organizing and planning. Or it may be more internally focused, as we look at ourselves in relation to others and assess our strengths and areas for growth. Or maybe we seek career counseling for support, as we go through a challenging time in our career lives. Whatever the case, talking with a counselor who has career counseling experience will provide clients a partner in the process of exploring the intersection between our lives and the work we do.
Common reasons for career changes include:
• Frustration and disillusionment: I’m not using my best abilities in my current job.
• Redundancy or business closure
• Working in a diminishing industry
• Realignment of personal/spiritual values--midlife re-evaluation
• Poor fit with one’s workplace
• Financial: My current employment cannot support my lifestyle and responsibilities