Those who have taken any first year psychology class are well aware of Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs. The bottom levels relate to survival/physical/basic material needs. Maslov was wise enough to note that we are all not wired to be Buddhist ascetics or extreme minimalists. We need food/shelter and some degree of whatever material goods are required in modern society. To be clear, the needs do not include luxuriousness wants but enough that you do not need to wonder where you will sleep or what you will eat.

But… if you are reading this blog, it’s reasonable to presume that you live in Connecticut or a similarly generally affluent part of the world. You have Internet access so it’s highly likely that your basic material needs are met.

The higher needs are psychological: self-esteem and self-actualization are the two that I’ll address.

Self esteem – how you feel about yourself – and self-actualization – related to making the most of your potential – are in some and perhaps large way connected to our careers.

If your work is lowering your self-esteem, then your mental health will deteriorate. I can’t emphasize this point enough: you need to switch jobs/careers if your mental health is on a one-way track downward due to your job/career. The most common response I hear from clients after meeting is “I should have come here years ago.” Why suffer?

As to self-actualization, that’s a bit more advanced. But basically, if you feel that you want purpose/meaning from your work and your current career provides neither, then it’s time to plan leaving. That gnawing feeling that you are wasting your life will not go away.

We can help.