Career and Workplace Counseling
How satisfied are you with your work and career?
Work is a huge part of your life. And it’s not going well. You may feel anxious, depressed, bored, angry, resentful, and stuck. You may dread going to work and be thankful each day when it’s over.
You may be in a toxic workplace. You may have advanced as far as you can go. You may just not like your work anymore. What you do know is something has to change. But you’re not sure what. You’re not even sure how to go about it.
You lie in bed at night worrying about your job and career. It’s affecting your whole life. You may be short-tempered with your partner. You may be impatient with friends and family. You may not enjoy the things you normally do.
If only you could just figure out what to do. If only you could get some good advice from someone who’s been there.
I’ve been there and I can help you.
What you should and can feel is pride, strength, peace, support, and a sense of accomplishment. You should look forward to each workday and the time should go by quickly each work day.
Before I became a psychotherapist, I was an Executive Vice President of North America for an international lodging company. I was also an entrepreneur of a start-up company.
I’ve managed a team of professionals. I’ve managed and met plenty of deadlines. I’ve also missed a few. I’ve hired and fired people.
I’ve both met and fallen short of ambitious goals. I’ve had great bosses and some not-so-good ones.
I’ve been through restructuring, downsizing, and strategy shifts. I’m very familiar with the demands of a high-pressure job.
I know what the stress feels like. I know what it’s like to not enjoy your work or your boss or your company. I know the anxiety of a new position or a new company. I know what it’s like to feel stuck where you are with no good options.
I also know what success feels like. The sense of accomplishment. The satisfaction of being part of something bigger and better than you alone. The gratification of a promotion. The perks and benefits of climbing the corporate ladder.
I know what it feels like for work and career to have meaning and purpose. To feel part of something bigger than yourself. For work not to feel like work. To look forward to it every day (well most days).
I can offer the following:
- How to handle a difficult boss
- How to have good working relationships with everyone
- How to write a professional resume
- How to look for a new job
- How to minimize your stress
- How to celebrate your success
- How to plan your career
Together we can plot a course of fulfillment and satisfaction in your work life.
The nature of jobs and careers are fluid. Think of it as a state of impermanence. No job or career you have will stay the same. That’s just a fact of life. You can use that fact to uncover opportunities for yourself and stay ahead of things.
Everyone who has ever worked has, at some point, experienced that feeling of “This isn’t what I want.”
What you don’t want to happen is to stay too long where you are. You have to think ahead, see the landscape and take action if you want a successful career.
Your pursuit and experience of work is influenced by many factors including cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, geographic location, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and language.
That’s a ton of factors. And there will always be times when they are not aligned.
What does your work and career mean to you?
Work has a pervasive impact on your identity and quality of life. There is a strong influence on your behavioral, emotional, and physical health.
The more your work means to you, the more you will enjoy it and the better you’ll be at it. Many studies have shown that the most important factor in work and career is meaning.
The Work and Meaning Inventory
Work can mean a lot of different things to different people. The following items ask about how you see the role of work in your own life. Please assess how true each statement is for you and your work.
- I have found a meaningful career.
- I view my work as contributing to my personal growth.
- My work really makes no difference to the world.
- I understand how my work contributes to my life’s meaning.
- I have a good sense of what makes my job meaningful.
- I know my work makes a positive difference in the world.
- My work helps me better understand myself.
- I have discovered work that has a satisfying purpose.
- My work helps me make sense of the world around me.
- The work I do serves a greater purpose.
If taken overall, these things are not true for you, there is not enough meaning in what you do and you’re probably unhappy, perhaps miserable with your work and career.
Do you need a tune-up or an overhaul?
Sometimes all you need is a reset and a new perspective. Sometimes you need a career change. Sometimes what you need falls in between. Regardless, the best investment you can make is in yourself.
Retooling or changing a job or career has lifetime benefits. It will pay off in many ways with your health and your financial security.
If we decide a job change is best, we’ll do the following:
- Write a resume
- Craft a perfect pitch about you
- Identify possibilities
- Assess the fit
- Apply for a job
- Practice interviewing in person
- Practice interviewing virtually
- Follow up with employers
- Evaluate an offer
- Negotiate an offer
- Reject an offer
- Accept an offer
- Create a first 100 days’ plan
Should you consider a career change?
This is dicey and it’s not for everybody. I know because I’ve done it. It’s both very terrifying and immensely rewarding. It’s a long process and you must think long-term. The risk is higher but so is the reward.
This requires a much deeper look into your life. Back to childhood and adolescence. We’ll explore and discuss in detail things that may not seem obvious or relevant, but are both of those:
- Family history of work
- Childhood and adolescent activities
- Childhood trauma
- Performance in school subjects
- Influential people in your life
- Cultural considerations
- Stress tolerance
What is a calling? Also known as a vocation.
- A job is something you do for others and is not very fulfilling.
- A career you do for yourself and is fulfilling until you stop advancing.
- A calling is part of who you are and is fulfilling for life.
A calling or vocation is a strong inner impulse toward a particular type of work or career. A calling utilizes your natural gifts. Each of us has skills, and we also have some natural gifts, which often emerge early in our lives. These gifts are more than just talents. They are what makes you feel fulfilled and happy.
"Every calling is great when greatly pursued." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Your work and career attitudes are directly related to your overall well-being. Many studies show that people who approached their careers as a calling reported greater meaning in life, greater life satisfaction, and better career decision-making competence.
“Finding a calling requires deep exploration and courageous experimentation.” – Michael Ferraro.
Yes, that’s my own quote.
What if I’m in a crisis?
Then getting you out of crisis mode becomes the top priority. You can’t think if you’re in crisis. We’ll get you stable enough to deal with your situation and we’ll get to work.
I have no idea what I want to do.
That’s frustrating and challenging. It’s also an opportunity to flip that script and not be bound by where you are. You’re free from your past and present and can focus on the future.
I’m in a dead-end job.
Most jobs become dead-end at some point. I believe with conviction that everyone has skills and experience that work somewhere. We just need to bring them out and put them to work for you.
I have too much fear and self-doubt.
Those are terrible feelings. And they are perfectly normal. We’ll explore and process those feelings. We’ll figure out where they come from and make them manageable and motivating.
I’ve waited too long.
No, you haven’t. I went back to grad school at age 57 and found a calling. And I’m not special.
Think about it.
Having a satisfying job or career comes at the intersection of three things (credit to Mark Manson):
- What you value
- What you’re good at
- What the world values
Together we will perform a comprehensive assessment of your situation. We will then craft a systematic plan that has clear goals. Then we’ll execute the plan and modify it when necessary.
We’ll have a variety of assessment and guidance tools at our disposal. We will focus on what works best for your personality and your strengths.