Agony Aunt helps to gain career clarity, remove age barriers and maintain a healthy work-life balance

Waiting to explore

I am a 30-year-old man. I have been working at a business firm for about two years now. I find that my job isn’t offering me any scope for new learning. I am doing this exact same work since the time I joined and I want to learn more and explore different areas related to my work. I cannot quit, because I am the only supporting member in my family and my income is really important. I want to apply for new jobs, but have low self-esteem. I don’t know if I will get selected for a good-paying job or no. What do I do?

Ans: The concerns that you have with respect to finding new job and about your income has a lot to do with your low self esteem. The vicious cycle of low self esteem leads to not being able to invest in what you aspire thus leading to unhappiness and overall discontent with life. A couple of sessions with a psychologist for gaining self confidence could help to initially start on the process of being decisive and taking chances that are possible opportunities.

The age barrier

I am a 46-year-old married woman. I left my job soon after I had kids. So, I haven’t been in the business since 20 years now. But now that my children are off to their college and are married, I have ample time to start working again. The problem I m facing is that I cannot find a good job, because of my lack of work experience and age. Also, the fact that I will be working with people half my age at the same position bothers me and lowers my self-esteem. I really want to get back to work but I don’t know how to go about it.

Ans: There are a few ingredients for approaching a goal – enthusiasm, faith, efforts and consistency, form the basis. The problem here to focus is probably to find a job as per your liking as the other issues mentioned are more to do with low confidence. To begin with you can start work from home, so that you can get into the process of understanding how the current work scenario is. At times we levy certain expectations on self which may not always be within our capacity to achieve. Thus, focusing more towards what kind of work you wish to engage in rather than how things “should be”, would help.

Agony Aunt helps to gain career clarity, remove age barriers and maintain a healthy work-life balance

A nurse’s agony

I’m a 28-year-old woman. I have been serving as a nurse in a hospital since three years. I have realised that my work affects my personal life to a great extent. Being in a heart hospital, we witness patients with very serious conditions and eventual deaths every day. I joined the health sector so as to save lives and help cure people. However, the numbers of casualities are increasing day-by-day and it makes me feel helpless. It makes me feel like I’m never going to be able to serve my purpose. This affects my mood severely and I find it difficult to be happy and satisfied. I sometimes even have nightmares about this whole situation. What do I do?

Ans: Often the theoretical expectations differ from practical realities and we experience conflict when the difference becomes too difficult to handle. Your profession involves complete involvement of the self while taking care of the patients, thus, after a point of time detaching yourself from that environment is important in order to create a healthy emotional distance. Since loss is also a part of your working environment speaking about it to your fellow colleagues as a group catharsis could also help.

Taking a pause

I’m a 40-year-old man. I have been working at a marketing company since 13 years. My job pays me well enough. But now, I’m tired of this monotonous routine and want to do something else. My children are grown up and I feel like I have missed on most of their childhood, because of my work. I want to travel to places I haven’t been before and want to spend time with my kids and wife. I want to take a break from work, but I need a steady source of income as well. I am confused about what to do.

Ans: To start with, a change of job is not essential, just a few alterations in your timings at home, reducing gadget time and using that time in having conversations or spending some quality time together. To talk about the break, you could have a conversation with your supervisors and work something out. Meantime, looking out for a job which is less taxing and gives you more time to spend with your family as well could be one of the options which would solve your purpose of spending time with family and having a flow of income also.

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