Career Planning and Development Counseling
Studies have suggested that over a lifetime, an individual may hold over a dozen different jobs and may make several career changes. Furthermore, the hours that we spend at work can consume a significant amount of our waking hours, and have the possibility of bringing us a sense of accomplishment or extreme amounts of stress. In our success-driven culture, finding enjoyment in your job is key to managing stress and remaining fulfilled and productive.

Many common issues may arise around career planning and development ranging from managing day to day stress levels, choosing and transitioning into a new career, or debating a return to school or graduate school. Here are some you may encounter:

Managing and Maximizing the Day to Day
Every job brings with it some level of stress and anxiety. To a degree, this is normal; however, when stress levels remain high consistently, the effects can be damaging. Not only can poor stress management impact your day to day effectiveness, but can also be physically dangerous, increasing risk of illness and injury. Symptoms of poor stress management include: crankiness and frustration; difficulty focusing on tasks or conversations; constant worrying or ruminating; and poor self-care habits, such as maintaining good sleeping and eating patterns. If you think you may be struggling with the day to day aspects of your job, please see STRESS MANAGEMENT for more information.

Choosing a New Career
If you’re unsatisfied in your current career, it may be time for a change. However, planning and executing a move to a new industry or discipline can be a difficult and frustrating process. Some key steps include considering what would be purposeful and meaningful to you, what your key transferable skills are, and determining what you value in a career, all before planning out careful steps toward achieving your goals.

Debating a Return to School
Returning to school, full time or part time, is an enormous commitment of both time and resources. Earning a degree can open up your career options enormously and increase your value as an employee. However, the process of returning to school requires careful consideration and financial planning. Researching programs, meeting with professors and admissions counselors, taking requisite entrance exams, and finally beginning courses are all uniquely stressful.

Transitioning In and Out of the Workplace
While the ubiquity of the stay at home mom has faded with the changing cultural landscape, many women and men are opting to rethink the ways in which they choose to raise young children. Supporting a family on one income can be quite difficult, and figuring out how to create flexibility enough in your career to make space for a child can be yet another source of additional stress. And of course, just as difficult as choosing to leave the workforce can be, so can re-entering it after a period of absence. For more information, please see CHALLENGES OF PARENTHOOD.

Unemployment is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences one can face. Whether a result of a poor economic climate, recent completion of a portion of your education, or something else, the absence of a steady income and a regular schedule can not only be extremely frustrating, but can exacerbate other preexisting issues in one’s life. Individuals who are unemployed and actively seeking out work often experience feelings of anxiety or depression, which may worsen over time.

If you are facing any of the above situations, call Symmetry Counseling. We can help you explore your career options, determine a path that fits your unique talents and abilities, and acquire the knowledge and skills to begin pursuing a change.