Change Your Career Before Your Career Changes Your Life

Jessica walked in for our career counseling session. She was a bundle of nerves. She apologized for being late (she was about a minute late); for being a mess (it was rainy); and for not printing out her resume (she had already e-mailed me her resume so there was no need). 

Jessica described her job. Her boss was demanding and the layers of management above her boss were even worse. Many of her co-worker friends had been let go over the last five years. She was working harder than ever just to make sure she could keep her job. Jessica peeked at her phone. It was 6 pm but she noted that her boss would give her assignments at any time of day.

We started discussing the psychological impact of Jessica’s job. “I wasn’t always like this, I used to be pretty happy. Now, I’m on edge.”

A larger part of my career counseling work overlaps into “life counseling” than I would have thought a decade ago when I started this work. It makes sense. Work takes a lot of time. Time is life. The impact that one’s career has on one’s overall happiness is highly significant.

Jessica and I created a plan. It would likely take 3-6 months to execute the plan. But, much like a prisoner who is plotting an escape, Jessica felt hope. “This is the best I’ve felt in several years.” I said “you mean about work?”

“I mean about life.” she responded.