If you are a professional or senior executive, you know that your work can be extremely demanding. Professional careers can offer big rewards but have some unique challenges, including:
- Decision-making responsibility that has major impact on business outcomes and people’s lives
- Intense workloads, often well upwards of 50 hours/week
- Pressure to perform consistently at a high level, often with high visibility
- Managing many concurrent, complex deliverables with tight deadlines
- Developing and managing high-performing teams or participating effectively as a team member
- Navigating the “glass ceiling” as a woman or person of color
- Understanding and responding effectively to the internal politics of your organization
- Managing expectations of your availability to respond to work demands, often 24x7
- Stress of responding to crises and strategic shifts in your industry
- Actively managing your personal career development and your professional reputation.
C-Level executives and business owners have the burden of the ongoing viability of their business and the wellbeing of their staff resting on their shoulders every instant.
Common negative consequences of professional work
- Difficulty setting limits with how much work you take on, or when you are available for work
- Difficulty balancing work with family/social/community/spiritual life
- Burnout and fatigue
- Performance anxiety, or feeling like an impostor
- Constant stress, with possible associated medical problems (e.g. heart attacks)
- Feeling alienated and disconnected from your partner, children, family, and friends
- Feeling isolated and unable to talk about professional pressures with anyone, for fear of repercussions
- Feeling trapped because of financial commitments or fear of change
- Feeling out of touch with yourself, your needs, and what would excite you, or stuck in your “professional persona”
- Feeling unfulfilled and empty, despite the financial or professional successes you may have achieved.
Many professionals and executives struggle with these issues but they aren’t frequently talked about because of the pressure to maintain a “game face” and a “can do” attitude. You may love your work, and still feel distress. Or you may feel you need help in dealing more effectively with your professional responsibilities. Perhaps you are ready to identify what it is that isn’t working for you, despite your success.
Many professionals are also gifted individuals. I encourage you to consider whether you may also be experiencing challenges common to gifted adults.
How I help
Before becoming a psychologist, I spent more than 20 years in professional positions, in startups, nonprofits, academia, and large corporations. I’ve held roles as varied as electrical engineer, independent strategic planning consultant, group product manager, administrative dean, and CEO of a policy thinktank. I understand first-hand the difficulties associated with intense professional responsibilities, and this allows me to quickly connect with and “speak the language” of my professional clients.
It can be difficult to seek help, particularly if you are used to being very successful at what you do. I offer a safe, nonjudgmental, and compassionate environment for you to talk about what’s bothering you. It can be quite a relief to have a confidential place where you don’t have to perform or hold it together, where you can just be yourself. I work collaboratively, helping you to identify what’s not working for you in your work and your life, and what’s most important to address to allow you to feel fulfilled in your work, in balance, and in healthy connection with your family, friends, and community.