Learn to recognize the signs of career distress

Blog located in Career Coaching posted on September 10, 2015

Most people will experience career malaise at some point in their lives.  You can overcome this phase by recognizing the symptoms first, and acting upon them next. Avoid the quick fix. Examine the real issues, determine what you want, and get yourself back onto a positive and rewarding career track.

The signs

Reflect on your emotions. Does your job fulfill you? Have you identified what you’ve liked and not liked? Does the thought of going to work in the morning make you grind your teeth? Do you like your boss? How about your coworkers? Do you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything? Other people are happier than you? Feel better on the weekend?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, chances are you are going through career distress.

The prescription

Sadly, there’s no miracle cure. Solving a career crisis requires work. That work is sometimes painful. Let’s outline the high level remedies.

First, you need to determine what you want.  Identify what’s really true about yourself, such as your values, your priorities and your life purpose.  Dismiss any fear of disapproval from your family, friends or spouse. This is YOUR life. You owe yourself the favour of doing what you want.

Then, understand your career crisis. Look at what’s changed. For example, do you have a new boss? Have you changed departments? Are you in a different industry? Are there any other needs or values that are now more important to you? Confront the possibility of making a change instead of avoiding it.

Third, get support. You may think you can solve the problem by yourself. You may also see asking for help as a sign of weakness. In fact it’s the opposite. Asking for help is a sign of awareness and willingness to live differently.

You’re not alone

There are many reference manuals written on career distress. It addresses a huge demand. The rapid growth of change, globalisation and the multicultural working environment are contributing to increasing stress and leaving people in disarray. That’s normal. The fact that other people are not in that state does not make you a failure. Set your own compass to evaluate your success. Ask yourself: what could I be doing differently? How can I  get more of what I want?

As a career coach who has worked with hundreds of clients, I’ve come to believe that there are several warning signs of career distress and that there are effective ways of dealing with them. You will get out of that rut much quicker by seeking help. Choosing to do it on your own may result in damaging other areas in your life.