Why switching careers will make your whole life better

The tragic helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant prompted another sad memory of JFK, Jr’s tragic plane crash. And, as self-absorbed as this will sound, also reminded me of that time in my life: the weekend of July 16-18, 1999. I was at a private law firm and miserable. The bigger problem I concluded was that I was not only unhappy while at work but that I was unhappy – that particular weekend- even when I was not at work because I would think about work.

My clients at Career Counseling Connecticut tell me the same thing. Obviously, we all should strive for happiness at work – why would you give up being happy for such a large chunk of life? – I am certain that the epidemic of depression/anxiety in our society stems from the transition to a knowledge economy where our work follows us home.

Here’s what I mean: I worked on an assembly line one summer before college. Grueling, physical, boring work. I did not enjoy the 40 hours at work. But when I went home, I didn’t give work a second thought and not just because it was a summer job but because there was nothing to think about.

Even 20 years ago, there were plenty of office jobs that were similar. The work day did not bleed into the night or the weekend. Today, the problems of work follow us home through e-mail/text/phone and just in our minds.

Work is work. But more than even work is also life. You owe it to yourself to find happy work so that you can have a happy life.