Anxious Over the Uncontrollable

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

In the past, I was always an ambitious individual that worked hard towards school and managed to get good grades. Even though I wasn’t particularly interested in a subject, I still managed to put all of my effort in to receive a great mark. However, now that I have been launched into the “real world” I am finding it harder to stay motivated and put all of my effort into work that I don’t love.

A few months ago, I was let go from a job I didn’t particularly enjoy, however being let go was a huge shock to my system. Even though I didn’t enjoy my job, I still maintained that I would stick it out for the experience. This event has left me anxious about starting any new job because I feel as though I will fail and experience the same event of being let go again. I have completely lost self confidence in my abilities and I am experience paralyzing moments of anxiety when thinking about going back to work.

Initially, I tried to think of it as a positive, that I can use this free time to find a career path that I will love however, nothing seems to click and I find it very frustrating. Trying to force myself to find my passion and thinking that I will need to find a job soon because of the lack of funds is causing me great anxiety. I can’t control it, it’s starting to take over my life and I feel that it is preventing me from being productive in my job search and career search because I feel so stuck in between the two. What can I do?

A: Your instinct about using this time to find a career path or calling is the right idea. It sounds to me like the best effort would be to start experimenting with the things you like.

Don’t try to find the perfect thing right now, but rather, try to sample a few different things. What kind of work are you interested in? Whatever it is trying to find an entry-level job just to get your feet wet. Nothing you are going to do over the next span of time is likely to be exactly what you want, so the goal is to sample a few things. This sampling allows you the opportunity to put your toe into the water and see what you’re interested in. Even if for the next several months the financial picture isn’t so great, the passion you will likely to find by sampling different experiences is likely to be the push you need to launch your career.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Anxious Over the Uncontrollable. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/29/anxious-over-the-uncontrollable/

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