Significant Reasons For Switching Career.
- January 4, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
The assumption that people can “burn out” when they feel that their work is no longer significant, everyone senses that their work should have relevant meaning to them but if the person is not happy with their place of work then the next question to address is why they choose to do it through a particular career. Why does one person achieve a sense of meaning by being a teacher, another by being a nurse, by being a manager, by being a engineer etc?
Psychoanalytic theory makes a significant contribution to the theories of life career development by adding the dimension of unconscious career choices. As noted by Pruyser (1980), the psychoanalytic vintage point is psychological determinism. It assumes that “the work that any person undertakes in almost any environment, excepting only the extremes of slavery and imprisonment, is to some extent determined by personal choice, made at several levels of consciousness” .
According to psychoanalytic theory, people shape their world both consciously and unconsciously. Childhood experiences (both positive and negative) and familial heritage have a major influence on vocational choices. People choose an occupation that enables them to replicate significant childhood experiences, satisfy needs that were unfulfilled in their childhood, and actualize dreams passed on to them by their familial herita1ge (Pines & Yanai, 2000; Yanai & Pines, 2000).
The Case of Jack
Jack (age, 32 years), a lawyer, came for counseling to help him deal with burnout, frustration, and a lack of significance and success in his work.
Jack’s father is a senior manager in a bank and a “warm, sensitive and wise” man who expresses his creativity in carpentry. His mother is a researcher in a detective agency and is “practical” and “inquisitive” with wide interests. Both parents feel actualized in their work, but their marriage relationship has been difficult.
In terms of skills and abilities, Jack is brilliant. It seems that he received from his father the managerial, numerical, bank-related skills as well as the capability of creative expression through a hobby. From his mother, he received the inquisitive, interrogative aspect of his personality. From both of them (both parents work as employees), he received his lack of interest in being an independent entrepreneur. His failure as a lawyer (as well as a failed love relationship) caused him to question the extent to which he allowed himself true self-expression. Jack was ready for a change in his life that would give him a sense of accomplishment, significance, and success.
The proposed solution
Jack’s problem could be addressed if he worked as a lawyer for a large governmental agency such as the Internal Revenue Service, which combines banking (his father’s part) with investigation and inspection (his mother’s part), and learn painting as a hobby. Jack’s excitement about these changes totally eliminated his feelings of burnout.
The Case of Adam
Adam (age, 30 years) came for counseling because he felt burned out in his work as a house painter. He wanted a job that would enable him to express himself, work with his hands, be more creative, and help people.
Adam’s father owned a store for electronic equipment. He was unhappy in his work and every once in a while would close one store and open another. Adam’s father was a closed, distant, and rejecting person. Adam’s mother did not have a defined profession. She worked as a music teacher, an aerobics teacher, and a secretary. She was dominant, active, and warm and loved to help people. The parents’ marriage was not good, and neither felt self-actualized.
The work as a house painter enabled Adam to work with his hands and move from one job to another (like his parents). Now he felt burned out and wanted a work that offered a greater intellectual challenge and an opportunity for self-expression.
The proposed solution
After taking a course in electronics, Adam could open a lab for repairing electronic equipment, which would enable him to be an entrepreneur (like his father and in his father’s area), work with his hands, and be intellectually challenged. In addition, it was proposed that Adam could work as a volunteer in a crisis center helping people in trouble. Adam thought that these changes were a step toward self-actualization and a meaningful life.