Most common psychological issues my clients encounter in their professional life
Many of us can tell some recurring professional stories, for example: I work really hard, perform my duties the best way I can, I am a devoted and valuable member of the team, I care about the company goodwill everywhere it depends on me. I presume that all this will make my boss notice and appreciate my efforts and I will receive a significant raise, a yearly bonus and, eventually, a promotion. But this never happens. My boss sets me as a role model for new members of the team and uses my skills and devotion in difficult situations (replacing a colleague at a challenging presentation or working after hours over an additional report), but the financial gains or the promotion I expect never come. How does it happen? Perhaps I have fallen into one of the corporate (or professional) traps, for example:
- I have engaged in performing my tasks so much that I have neglected building my image and position in the company. I believe it is enough to work hard and wait for the reward to come
- I have neglected building “strategic relationships” – relationships with people who make decisions relating to career paths, promotions and raises. Why should the decision makers remember about me considering a promotion when during company parties I never talk to them or never talk to anybody and while presenting a project I emphasise the success of the team, never mentioning my input
- I was not assertive in situations in which I should have been assertive: I have never refused accepting new tasks despite being overloaded already, I have never mentioned my needs, I have never criticised absurd projects, at the same time working hard and believing that my superiors realise how much effort I put into my work, how much I sacrifice and that they will guess my expectations. However, the truth may be quite opposite: my superior believes that I am more able than my coworkers, that I perform my duties effortlessly and that I am happy with the status quo
- I have underestimated myself, my work, my skills and input in task performance, striving for perfection and constantly feeling not good enough. I have never found the courage to claim explicitly what I feel I deserve, so it would be taken into consideration
- I too much trusted the reassuring corporate messages and boss’ speeches at team meetings and focusing on the benefits of the company and of my team, I haven’t put enough effort to take care of the benefit of my own and of people close to me
We may name many more mistakes made employees, who in spite of objective professional achievements, are not adequately recognised and rewarded by their superiors and employers, but probably many of my clients would identify with the ones listed above, as those are the most common. When a client comes with such difficulties to my office, we begin psychological work over the change in their professional life, but often also an individual psychotherapy (problems at work may be rooted in functioning and behaviour pattern much broader than merely professional). We need to remember that every psychotherapy is very specific. Every client is in a specific professional situation, has different experience and different psychological resources to help them manage the situation.
Your decisions during the psychotherapeutic process and during each session on what you want to work, which topics you want to discuss and what you do not want to discuss with the psychologist, in what areas you want to modify your functioning, are the key elements of every therapy. I, as a psychotherapist, may suggest specific issues or ask about specific issues if they are related to you and are significant for the psychotherapeutic work, but it is always you that make the final decision.
I conduct the therapy at my psychologist’s office in Warsaw. If you feel that you can introduce positive change in your professional life, you want to stand up for yourself, but have no idea how to do it, contact me. We can work together on the mechanisms that will help you develop your professional position.
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If you need psychological help, contact me.