Career is an area where intense shame can occur. Shame can come from well-meaning parents who are not satisfied with their children’s career choice. Shame can come from self judgement; not feeling like you’re as advanced in your career as you ‘should’ be or feeling like you’re stuck in a dead end job.
Some people may be blaming themselves for things related to their career that is beyond their control ie job insecurity. Some of us feel like we should have full time permanent jobs with benefits like our parents’ generation did. When in fact, many people have precarious employment, working part time or contract with no benefits or job security because the economy has changed and companies no longer want to invest in human resources. This also can be a source of shame for people. Though people must realise this is a systemic issue not an individual issue.
The reality is we are not our careers. We are so much more than that. Yes, fulfilling work does contribute to quality of life; however, we can learn to accept ourselves and our lives from this place right here regardless of where this place is. It all starts with self compassion and self acceptance. Feeling shame won’t change the situation you feel shame about. If you begin to have self compassion and acceptance then things can begin to flow from there. Perhaps you will be led to a new calling, perhaps you may serendipitously meet someone who will connect you to another opportunity or maybe you may get the energy to start that business you’ve always dreamed of.
At the end of the day, we live in uncertain economic times. This affects us all. Even those who we perceive to have the so called perfect career. Let’s learn to accept the things we cannot change and have the courage to change the things we can. Shame doesn’t have a place in any of that.