Therapy for Career Challenges
It is estimated that the average person spends about 50% of their waking hours at work, and 35% of total waking hours at work over a 50 year working life period. Many of us spend more. Yet a 2014 study showed that 57.7% of Americans are unhappy at work. This unfortunate reality leads to tremendous emotional burden on ourselves and our relationships. It also produces a vicious cycle, as stress and anxiety often lead to health difficulties and missed work, which further negatively impacts job performance. Negative feedback at work reduces feelings of self-esteem, further diminishing opportunities for improved prospects. At The Midtown Practice, we have expertise in helping you navigate any career difficulties you are experiencing, such as problems with a difficult boss or colleague, how to ask for a raise, or decide whether you are on an appropriate trajectory or if it is time to look for other more fulfilling options. Regardless of your struggles, we offer the support and guidance to help you feel more satisfied with your work life.
Deciding on a Career
Many of us have heard the advice that it is important to feel “passionate” about our career. Conventional wisdom tells us we should love what we do. For most of us, this is actually very confusing advice. What we feel passionate about might have no translation to a conventional job. For example, if you are passionate about your new significant other, this will not help much in the work place. You might love basketball, but few humans have the capacity to play professionally. Instead of focusing on what you love doing, you might consider what motivates you. If you are motivated by the creative process, you might look for a career in the arts or teaching. If you find you are jazzed by competition and growth, look for industries where products and services are rapidly changing. Perhaps security and stability is where you find comfort. In this instance, you might find fulfillment serving as a civil servant, or choosing a medical profession where credentials and training offer job stability. Regardless of who are you are, identifying your core values is essential to selecting a well suited career.
Research has demonstrated that we humans often fail at identifying what might make us happy in the future. When we are choosing a career, few of us have enough information to make an informed decision. Professions can look more glamorous on the outside than in reality. Although we all need to accept the fact that no career is perfect, there are definitely instances when we need a change. How can we tell when we reach that threshold? Sometimes, we need to pay attention to our bodies to determine whether we are ill fitted for a certain role. Perhaps you are chronically exhausted and depleted. You might find that you dread getting up even with plenty of sleep. In other instances, it might become clear that something feels very wrong emotionally. Even if you get promoted you might find yourself uninspired and unmotivated. Your talents and abilities might feel underutilized or your work meaningless. At The Midtown Practice, we can help you decide if your job needs to change, or if something outside of work instead is keeping you from being more engaged and successful. We will help you to evaluate your options and assemble a path towards new opportunities and/or greater satisfaction.
Difficult Conversations at Work
Another common professional challenge is how to discuss sensitive topics at work. Perhaps you need to deliver a negative performance review, or perhaps you are on the unfortunate receiving end. Asking for a raise, promotion, or new responsibilities can also cause tremendous stress. All of this becomes further complicated with difficult colleagues and impossible-to-please supervisors. At The Midtown Practice, we can help you to manage your own emotions during these difficult exchanges. Learning how to calm your nervous system through breathing and other mindfulness techniques can keep you centered and focused during the most inclement conversations. Staying present and grounded is useful even if your discussion partner becomes emotionally unsettled. Our therapists can help you with more than precise and effective communication strategies. We can also help you become better at listening effectively and even offering compassion when appropriate. Listening is essential to solidifying relationships, learning from challenging exchanges, and being well liked by reports, colleagues and supervisors. If you can learn to have constructive communication with those in your workplace, you can build a reliable community that will help you and others thrive at your employment.