Career Obsession, in Moderation
February 12, 2014 10:51 PM Subscribe
How can I stop stressing myself out endlessly about career decisions, while also still making the appropriate decisions/choices?
posted by elephantsvanish to Human Relations (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have finally come to the (likely very obvious) conclusion that my career/future type things are intrusive, obsessive, and problematic. I'm a few years out of school and have been figuring things out like other folks with similar backgrounds. I've had some jobs that I've generally liked, have made a few decisions to try out new territory, took notes, had mixed success, whatever! But the thoughts! Oh the endless, endless calculations. I really just want them to end, at this point, so that I can focus a little bit on enjoying my life, doing things that make me happy, etc. PLUS, when the time comes for me to actually make a decision (for example, I'm waiting to hear back from a second interview), I wrack my mind with over-analysis and unnecessary contingency plans when, most often, continuing to wait is the best bet.
Though I have had employment for most of the last three years, it has often been precarious -- low-paid, not enough hours, temporary assignments, etc. -- and I've noticed that this kind of uncertainty (like will I start to run up credit card debt this month?) is a huge trigger for my anxiety. I feel caught between two modes -- a breezy string-things-together-and-experience-things! mode and a make-serious-moves-to-establish-a-career mode, but not really reaping the presumed benefits of either. In terms of my personal beliefs, I really don't value money-as-such and don't want to get pinned down by debt or getting used to an extravagant life. But I'm finding that my thought processes about "should I say yes to this deferred grad school admission in a field I'm only iffy about" or "should I drop everything and pursue nursing?" type thoughts are just tearing me apart. Essentially, I'm at my wits ends with this.
Just to be clear: I'm in therapy. I meditate (sometimes). I've always been someone who likes to plan new projects and think about the future, but I find that I'm not being very successful with anything like projects or plans these days because of the hulking career future uncertainty and the accompanying cognitive somersaults.
tl;dr: Help me make peace with my sudden-onset storms of career planning, please please.