Labor Day was designed to be a holiday where we take time to celebrate the accomplishments and the sacrifice of the American worker. Recently in my psychotherapy practice, I have begun to offer more and more sessions on executive or vocational coaching, because a rewarding work life as part of a satisfying career is a key component of a person’s mental health. Some of the challenges my clients conquer with these services include how to deal with a difficult boss, how to manage stress in a demanding job, how to balance the necessity of work with the equally important home and personal life, how to get along with a challenging co-worker, how to plan for the long-term development of a career, how to ask for a raise (when it feels nerve-wracking!), how to change careers, and how to network to achieve new career goals.
The people who do this kind of work on themselves know part of a happy working life is actually “working on your work” — that is, building new skills and keeping an eye on the long-term while you’re actually doing the day-to-day tasks of your job. This involves combining some of the traditional elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (where are a person changes their circumstances by changing their thoughts, which in turn changes their feelings and behavior), with some more modern techniques that come from career and life coaching about setting goals, identifying new skills to acquire, troubleshooting roadblocks, and making a plan that will give a person measurable progress in their career plan. This is achieved by using inspirational material from many different authors, adapting it to your particular situation, and drawing on various exercises and even role-plays to build new skills and create a new awareness of how you can advance your career goals. Usually this work is part of other goals in therapy, such as improving relationships, taking care of one’s health, resolving old hurts and traumas, conquering old habits, and managing depression or anxiety.
A comprehensive approach that includes many goals may be challenging, and a lot of work, but it’s also rewarding. Having a career path that is satisfying and rewarding, and having a work life that is both lucrative and enjoyable, are key components of a person’s mental health, and a big step toward Having the Life You Want. If career coaching is something that interests you, give me a call and let’s see what we can do, together!