Most of us go through a change in our careers at least once or twice, whether it’s a new workplace, a new position, or a new field entirely. Nonetheless, going through a career change can be stressful. So, what can you do to make the transition easier and cope with stress throughout the process of changing careers?
Common Stressors During Career Changes
First, here are some common stressors people encounter during career changes:
- A higher level of responsibility. Say that you’re in the healthcare field, and you just landed your first job working with clients one on one. Or, maybe you got your first position in management. Both of those things come with high levels of responsibility, and as excited as you may be, it can be a lot on a person’s plate to know that people rely on you and your work.
- Adapting to a new routine. The most positive of change is still an adjustment. Even if you landed your dream job or are getting a major boost in income from your new position that’ll improve your life overall, you may still face mental health strain while adapting to new places, people, tasks, and so on.
- Fear of not being “good enough.” Especially if the new job is one you’re passionate about, it’s natural to experience a high level of stress or worry related to doing our best and building a positive reputation.
- Financial gaps. There might be a couple of weeks – or longer – where you aren’t making money in between jobs, or you might need to make a purchase such as a new uniform before you have the money to do so.
- The reemergence of mental health-related symptoms. For those who struggle with a mental health condition, life changes – again, even the most positive – can contribute to a spike in symptoms.
Of course, this is by no means an extensive list. Work stress is a widespread concern for people in all industries and positions, and some of what you’re going through might be unique to you and your line of work.
When you’re stressed out, you may feel an increase in nervousness or anxiety, have trouble sleeping, notice that you’re more irritable with loved ones, or experience various other signs and symptoms of stress. The good news is that you can take steps to mitigate stress and succeed in your career.
How To Cope With Stress While Changing Careers
Here are some ways to help yourself cope with stress while changing careers:
- Use self-compassion. First and foremost, be kind to yourself while you adjust to your new job or career. Everyone was new once, and this change will feel more comfortable as time goes on.
- Welcome mistakes as a learning opportunity. If you make a mistake and get feedback while learning, take it in stride. Try to approach it with the thought, “This is great – I know how to do better now!” instead of “I’m bad at this job.”
- Keep some routine comforts outside of work. When coping with change, it can be helpful to have something that is still the same to turn to. This could be keeping a routine date or movie night with a partner, engaging in a comforting hobby or activity, or something else.
- Implement research-backed tools for stress relief. Time in nature, journaling, listening to music, physical activity, social support, and meditation are all proven by research to promote stress relief. Make sure that you’re using self-care and are taking care of your fundamental needs, such as getting enough sleep.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help at work. It shows that you care about what you do!
- Take it one day at a time. Approach every day one by one instead of worrying about how things could go wrong tomorrow. If you struggle with worry or rumination about the future, mindfulness techniques and self-talk can help you stay in the moment.
- See a therapist. A therapist can help you cope with change and stress related to work, your personal life, or anything else that’s on your mind.
Find A Therapist
Therapy is a safe, confidential space to talk about what’s going on in your life. To find a therapist, you can contact your insurance company to see who they cover, utilize an employee assistance program, ask your doctor for a referral, search the web, or sign up for a reputable online therapy platform like BetterHelp.
All of the providers on the BetterHelp platform are licensed, and online therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy is without insurance. Regardless of how you find a therapist, you deserve to get the support that you need, so don’t hesitate to start your search today. Also, read about the best 20 Friendship quotes to send your friends