Last month I spoke to a career counselor who I found really helpful. I’ve been feeling very directionless and uninspired when it comes to my career future. I’m about to (finally) get my license as professional counselor. I just didn’t know what I wanted to do after that. I know I need to make more money. Not tons of money, just more money. “Enough” money. My counselor had of course stated that going into private practice as a counselor was definitely the elephant in the room and we needed to decide if that’s the direction I wanted to take or if we were going to take it off the table. Honestly, going into private practice scared the crap out of me. What if I fail? What if I get no clients? What if I can’t support myself? What if my clients hate me? Who would want to see me anyway? What do I have to offer?! There were all these huge mental hurdles getting in the way. I was also extremely concerned about burn out. I’ve been hitting that a lot at my job because it’s so repetitious. I’ve also been very frustrated with the lack of control that I have with working with a large institution. I dislike having to be here for set hours even when there’s no work to do. I dislike the office politics. I want more control! I want to choose my working hours and make decisions that are best for me and my family.
I actually really enjoy counseling. I love being in session with my clients. It does make me nervous at times. I do fear being unable to help someone, or saying the wrong thing, or just not being the best that I can be for them. Choosing to continue in a career of private practice would mean facing those fears, daily.
On the information sheet I filled out for my counselor, it asked what I liked to do in my leisure time. At the time I was filing it out, the only thing that could come to my head was all the stuff I did BEFORE I had a baby and how I have no time to do any of that stuff anymore. Then later, I asked my counselor how she kept from getting burned out. She said that she finds the things that energizes her and does more of it. That marinated in me for a few days and suddenly I started thinking about what I actually DO in my leisure times these days that fulfill me.
Connecting with other mothers.
I realized that since the birth of my daughter, I have blogged about motherhood, I have set up a facebook group to connect other mothers going through the ups and downs of motherhood, I have written a guide to pumping breastmilk at work, and I created a 30 day daily e-mail of encouragement that I send out to all my friends for the first 30 days after they have a child. Supporting mothers is clearly important to me. I feel passionate about it. I suffered from severe baby blues or even mild postpartum depression and I just felt like I didn’t know how hard it was actually going to be. I felt so unprepared and alone at times. If it weren’t for this blogging community, I think I’d feel like a freak at times.
So, I’ve decided that I want to set up a practice with an emphasis on mothers/want to be mothers/women, etc. I’d like to create more support networks and programs. Possibly developing an online component. I want to do this.
This is going to take time. I have a goal of getting things set up for next summer and perhaps reducing my hours at work next summer and transitioning toward a private practice. I have a big vision in my head but I struggle with the details sometimes. Though, for the first time in a long time I actually feel excited about something. I actually feel like I want to accomplish something. That feels good. It feels hopeful.