I chose to focus my practice on career counseling because I believe that finding meaningful and satisfying work is an incredibly important step in achieving overall mental well-being. As a therapist, I saw how work stress impacted other aspects of my client’s lives, and I also saw how finding the right job or career led to significant improvements in their mental health. I also supported clients who were going through career changes by helping them learn new skills to cope with the challenges of changing jobs or adapting to new life roles that impact their work life, such as becoming a parent or deciding to retire. It was rewarding to watch people grow and find the courage to try new things or create better balance in their lives, and I found I wanted to concentrate on helping people with their work issues.
But I also have a deeply personal reason for doing this work. I entered the counseling field as a late career changer and had to deal with many internal and external challenges, so I know how difficult it can be to start a new career later in life. I recently wrote an article for Career Convergence magazine, which is a publication of the National Career Development Association, on how career counselors can support late career changers. The editors told me that the article received a record number of responses, which of course felt great, but it also showed me how important it is to recognize the needs of people who are working to make a change in their careers. I love working with this population because I know that, despite the challenges, it is incredibly rewarding to find the right career at any age!