In Need of Career Counseling?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: I am a 24 man who has been working in the engineering field and found it very hard to adjust. I have trouble getting up and going to work. I sometimes often have severe panic attacks thinking about anything related to work or my future. In the past I have seeked professional help but eventually stopped going. I know that many people dislike going to their jobs but I feel that this a lot worse and it is starting to take its toll on me mentally and physically. My stomach hurts and I can’t eat anything. I want to seek a new career but I feel that it is too late and that I may never be able to have a content life. I am not concerned with being happy I just don’t think that working in an office is right for me. I have no idea what to do.

A: It’s possible that your whole system is telling you that you’re right — you’re in the wrong job or at least in the wrong office. I’m glad you sought professional help. I wonder if you turned to the right profession. I think seeing a career counselor is the place to start.

Did you know that 91% of Millennials like you expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years. That means that people in your generation may have as many as 15 – 20 jobs in the course of their lives. Further, the average American changes jobs 7 times before they settle into a career. Partly it’s due to the economy, it’s true. But a big part of it is that young people don’t want to settle for a job that makes them unhappy and so they keep looking around until they find a better “fit.”

Nearly every college and university now has a career counselor for alumni. These people help you think through what you want to do and can help you network with other alums who are doing things you might like to do. Talking with people who love their jobs (and why) can give you new information and inspiration. Make it a project. Network like crazy. You’ll meet some interesting people and you’ll get a better idea of the scope of possibilities that are out there.

Also — get really involved with LinkedIn. Reconnect with people you knew in school. Read the articles. Network! It’s connections not job postings that get people into careers.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Aug 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). In Need of Career Counseling?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/08/16/he-needs-a-career-counselor/