If you’re feeling unsure about your career path, working with a qualified therapist can help you figure out the best career choices for you with the help of personality tests, aptitude tests, and other techniques. Even if you’re not experiencing any mental health concerns, therapy is a helpful tool to learn more about yourself, define your goals, and set realistic expectations about your future career.
Whether you’re wondering what you can do with your major or experiencing stress in your current position, therapy can help you navigate your situation. From finding the right therapist to exploring different career paths, here’s what you need to know to make the most out of therapy.
How can therapy help me choose the right career?
Therapy can help you choose the right career with personality and skills assessments or simple one-on-one conversations with your therapist. Therapy sessions are dynamic—and each session will vary depending on your therapist, your current situation, and the type of therapy.
For example, during Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), your therapist might ask you to identify situations that cause workplace stress. Then, with the help of cognitive and behavioral techniques, you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms to successfully navigate these situations. CBT can be especially helpful if you’re experiencing workplace stress or burnout.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in career development and guidance, career counseling might be the best option. A career counselor will ask about your desired work-life balance and salary needs, as well as your interests, skills, and values, to help you choose the most suitable career path.
Your counselor will also help you navigate the certifications, licenses, and education requirements for potential career choices. For instance, if you’re interested in an IT career, your counselor might recommend pursuing additional education, taking a CCNA test, and signing up for a coding boot camp. In most cases, career counselors can provide you with helpful resources to facilitate your transition into a new career.
What if I’m dissatisfied with my current job?
If you’re feeling dissatisfied in your current position or experiencing communication issues, it might be challenging to achieve your career goals, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and foster positive relationships with your coworkers. When you work with an experienced therapist, you’ll have a valuable opportunity to sit down, navigate your workplace challenges in a safe space, and gain an outside perspective into your situation.
“Maintaining a cooperative and positive work atmosphere is critical to streamlined operations and effective productivity,” according to Stephanie Gooding, an experienced private-practice therapist in North Carolina. “If you are struggling with a fellow employee, or are having difficulties communicating with management, then speaking with a therapist could be a productive first step.”
Whether you’re working toward a promotion or you can’t stand your current job, therapy can help you make the best decisions for your career. During your therapy sessions, you’ll be able to explore your thoughts and discuss potential solutions so you can move forward with confidence.
How can I find the right therapist?
Whether you’re interested in CBT or career counseling, finding the right therapist is essential. It’s important to work with someone you feel comfortable with, especially if you’re exploring difficult emotions surrounding your career. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, strengthening your therapeutic relationship—the relationship between you and your therapist—can help improve your mental health outcomes.
To find the right therapists, consider asking friends and family for referrals. Alternatively, many university career centers and employee assistance programs (EAP) offer short-term counseling services. If you’re searching for something longer-term, therapist directories can help you find qualified therapists in your area.
Choosing the right career isn’t easy—but therapy can help. From defining your preferences and values to evaluating your personality traits, working with a therapist can help you choose a productive, fulfilling career path.