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  • Writer's pictureDominic Schmuck, Ph.D.

Career Change: New Opportunities, Challenges, and Mental Health

Updated: Apr 18

Are you pumped about starting a new job but also have a creeping feeling that you might not be good enough? Or do you find yourself daydreaming about switching to a new career or job altogether? Maybe you're feeling stuck in your current position and want to explore new possibilities. Whatever your situation, know that you're not alone! Career transitions are a normal part of professional growth and can lead to awesome opportunities for personal development and fulfillment. But let's be real, they can also be challenging and might affect our mental wellbeing.

Career Transition Therapy, new job counseling, career change

New Opportunities

Starting a new career or job position often comes with countless opportunities! You get to learn new skills, connect with new people, and push yourself in ways you may have never imagined. Additionally, you might enjoy a higher salary, a greater sense of fulfillment, and improved work-life balance. All of these exciting changes can build your confidence, enhance your self-esteem, and increase your motivation. So, don't be afraid to embrace those feelings and use them as fuel to propel yourself forward into this new and exciting chapter of your professional life!


While the excitement of a career transition can be invigorating, it's also understandable to feel overwhelmed or exhausted as you adjust to new routines, coworkers, and expectations. You might even feel isolated or anxious without your usual support network. Additionally, if you had a strong attachment to your previous job, it's normal to feel a sense of loss or grief. Your new job might even pay you less and be less fulfilling than your previous job that you had to give up or lost. Just remember that these challenges are common and that it's important to take the time you need to adjust to your new situation.

Career Transitions and Mental Health

Making a change in your career can be a great opportunity to improve your mental well-being, especially if you were feeling unfulfilled or undervalued in your previous job. Hopefully, your new position will align more closely with your values and aspirations. However, not all career changes are positive. It's important to acknowledge that transitioning to a new career can bring up challenging emotions such as imposter syndrome, anxiety, burnout, and depression. Losing the stability of established routines and support systems can also add to feelings of stress and difficulty coping. Some may struggle with self-doubt or negative self-perception. That's why taking care of your mental health is crucial during this time of change.

Self-Care During Career Transitions

It is important to take care of your mental health during a career transition. Here are some tips you can implement to look after yourself:

  • Acknowledge your feelings and emotions related to the transition, whether they are positive or negative

  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting boundaries

  • Practice self-compassion and be patient with yourself during the adjustment period

  • Take breaks and prioritize relaxation to manage stress and avoid burnout

  • Set realistic expectations and goals for yourself. Remember that you are learning a lot of new things when transitioning to a new job

  • Stay connected with friends and loved ones for emotional support

  • Engage in physical activity and regular exercise to reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing

  • Seek out new hobbies or interests to maintain a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment outside of work

  • Practice mindfulness or meditation to help manage anxiety and negative thoughts

  • Consider seeking support from a mental health professional if you are experiencing significant challenges with your mental health

When to Seek Therapy for Challenging Career Changes

If you notice that your mental health is taking a hit during your career change, it could be a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional for support. A therapist can offer helpful tips and techniques to manage stress, deal with tough emotions, and adjust to new circumstances. They can also offer a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental environment to process any complex feelings and handle the challenges that come with changing careers. Remember, seeking professional help is a smart way to prioritize your mental health, not a sign of weakness.

At TruU Psychology, we provide specialized and evidence-based therapy for professionals and individuals going through difficult career transitions. We can help you navigate imposter syndrome, increased stress, productivity issues, boundary setting, anxiety, relationship complexities with e.g. your boss/coworkers/employees, and many other difficulties you may experience. If you have questions or concerns about any of these or other life transition issues, or if you want to begin the process of healing, contact us by calling/texting (385) 200-0204 or emailing today to get started. You can also schedule a free 15 minute consult here. If no timeslot appears through the link, then we likely have a waitlist. Call/text/email instead.

I can work with clients in over 40 PSYPACT participating states.


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