Stuckness….the dis-ease that antibiotics won’t cure.

After feeling quite run down for the last couple of months, I was diagnosed with Lyme
disease. What a relief to know that this fatigue, feeling of inertia and inability to think
clearly (amongst other physical symptoms) were just temporary and with the right
medication, there is an end in sight.

As a trained counselor and therapist, it doesn’t take me long to detect that a job
seeking client is stuck for reasons other than just a challenging economy. Let me
introduce the experiences of three people I have met over the last few years:

It took quite a bit of encouragement to get Dan into my office to talk about his job
search, despite his reaching out to me with initial enthusiasm. His ambivalence
soon became evident. Agreeing to one session, Dan and I met and his fears and
anxieties filled the room. In the midst of a very successful career, he had lost his
job while at the top of his game. The rug was pulled out from under him and he was
not prepared to deal with the sense of anger and betrayal that he felt. The negative
chatter in his head had paralyzed him and his frustration was palpable. Starting
the job search made him feel very vulnerable. Dan was going to have to process the
meaning of his job loss before he could move on.

Michael visited my office week after week convinced that there was more that we
could do with his resume before he embarked on his next job search. Not willing
to address the factors that led to his multiple job firings in a few short years, the
resume was the only thing he was willing to focus on.

After more than 15 years in an unfulfilling career, it took Sandra over eight
months to build up the enthusiasm to look for a new one after she was laid off.
Her unemployment was slowly running out, but Sandra was so paralyzed. She really
didn’t know what to do next, and she didn’t know where to start when it comes to
making a decision for herself.

What do these people have in common?

All three of these clients have a 10-foot high mental roadblock standing between them and their next job,
their next career, even their next business. Many of us have been there at some point
in our lives. For others, it is a permanent roadblock; a pattern of behavior which is
preventing them from moving forward in their lives. Either way, such situations call
on us to harness all our psychological resources to literally “psyche ourselves up”,
and mobilizing our energy like that is not easy.

So what’s really keeping you stuck in your job search or career?

I never would have discovered I had Lyme disease if I didn’t stop to take stock
of how lousy I felt. And If I hadn’t, I never would have sought out help. If you have
been stuck in your job search for longer than you care to admit, there
may be a lot more in your way than just the economy. The current job market
may have fewer openings then in past years, but are you letting your fears,
inadequacies or confusion keeping you from getting unstuck?
Antibiotics may not be able to cure this malaise, but a good career coach with
psychotherapy training can discover the reasons behind it and get you moving
toward you new career path!

Have you ever felt stuck?  Leave a comment below or email me at Donna (at) Careerfolk.com to find
out how I can help you.

Donna Sweidan, MCC, LMHC




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