Kathy has since been inundated with scores of replies from professional women between the ages of 30 and 55 who want help leaving unfulfilling jobs to pursue careers they hope will sufficiently challenge and motivate them.
These women report feeling exhausted and disengaged from their professional identities after years of fighting or ignoring stress and feelings of unhappiness. They believe that by changing their careers, they will be able escape these negative feelings and finally realise their full potential in life.
But can a change of career really transform these women’s lives, or do their problems run deeper than that?
Kathy says: “I can’t tell you how many professionals I’ve met (it’s in the thousands now) who have experienced the same types of career problems and challenges (dare I say “crises”) over and over, no matter how many jobs they leave or new organisations they join.”
Sometimes, the problems we face at work have very little to do with the task at hand, or the people we work with, and more to do with ourselves and the way we think and act.
For instance, Kathy reports meeting many professionals who have reoccurring problems with authority figures. These people think that by changing careers they’ll be able to escape particularly domineering colleagues, or controlling bosses – but what’s to say they won’t encounter the very same clashes with the people they work with in their next job role?
Kathy says people who clash with authority figures in adult life typically grew up with particularly strict, controlling parents, which may have instilled in them an intense dislike of being told what to do. The typically hierarchical nature of the working environment can feel unnervingly similar to the oppressive family life these people spent so long trying to break out of. This often results in authority clashes and power struggles that can seriously harm a person’s chances of promotion or progression, leading to the desire to change careers.
Problems like this are extremely complex and take time and effort to overcome.
Although a change of career can transform your lifestyle, it cannot necessarily change who you are. Sometimes you have to address the problems within before you make big changes to your life – after all, you don’t want to tarnish your new life with problems from the past, do you?
Some counsellors specialise in career change. To find out more, please visit our Career Counselling page.
To read the full article, please visit the Forbes website.