If you are fortunate enough to have a real friend at work (“real” – defined as someone that you can discuss your career issues to without worry), then you are lucky to have at least one person who understands your unique work place. Otherwise, your complaints about your boss, your work projects, and your company to your friends require a great deal of explanation (“I really hate producing our”TPS Reports because… oh, let me explain what a TPS report is…!).
Moreover, when you are with your friends, you likely want to escape thoughts about work and might dismissively say “my job sucks” or, even worse give the misleading impression that all is fine: “my job is ok”. Lack of discussion about a matter that affects your emotional well being is unhealthy.
Countless career counseling clients have emerged from our initial meetings commenting about the cathartic effect of our discussions. ”I just needed someone to talk with about my job…”, “No one really understands what’s been going on in my head.” ”I felt so alone”.
My career counseling work is very practical. I help career counseling clients move on to more suitable career paths. The emotional benefit is the add-on that makes me feel even more fulfilled on a human level.
But, I often urge my career counseling clients to find at least one good friend with whom they can share their struggles. (Parents, by the way, rarely fit into this category). Otherwise, my clients wind up immersed in conversations alone in their head, talking to no one but themselves about their unhappiness. That’s not healthy.