Why do I feel so empty and unfulfilled in my profession? How do I overcome this?

59 Answers
Last Updated: 02/08/2019 at 9:09am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Melissa Fisher Goldman, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I have experience in grief work and the related challenges of growing a family (infertility, miscarriage, PPD, etc.). I can help you through your life transitions.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
May 26th, 2017 7:52pm
Maybe it's not the right profession. Search for the things your enjoy doing, or topics that are interesting to you. Or, seek out new projects and responsibilities in your present job if starting a new careers isn't an option right now. Alternatively, start volunteering and increase your network outside of work to find something you enjoy doing.
FeriWitch
June 4th, 2017 7:24pm
Very few of us wind up in a career that feeds our creative, passionate side and still brings in the money we need to live. For the rest of us, it's important to find things in our jobs that we can connect with personally - whether that's arranging our desks in a way we find pleasant, or practicing our acting with counter customers, or even just enjoying the sunshine on the walk between the garage and work. Find something to enjoy and look forward to, even if it has nothing to do with the "official job" itself.
kindRabbit11
June 11th, 2017 2:17pm
Perhaps you're in the wrong job? How did you get into this field in the 1st place? If money is no issue, what would you rather do, I mean, is that something you enjoy and feel passionate about?
Kate
August 24th, 2017 12:00am
It can be extremely conflicting when you begin to feel lost and unfulfilled in your current profession. I think it's important to first distinguish what it is about the work that you don't like. Is it specific details about your current organization that may be different in another? Or is it the topic of work itself. If so, it may be time for a career change. Don't make any drastic moves until you work through what exactly it is that's causing you to feel unfulfilled. You deserve to be valued and challenged in your job and this could be a conversation to have with your supervisor or someone else in management that you trust to have an open and honest conversation with.
Anonymous
October 19th, 2017 11:47pm
Whenever I feel empty and unfulfilled in my profession, it may be due to one or more of the following reasons: (1) Burnout. It is hard to sustain enthusiasm for something that I do every day. I am often hard on myself, and this hardness tends to drown out the love I have for my field. Burnout often happens when I take in too much without not enough breaks. When my schedule gets busy, this is hard to do, but now I try to be more aware of what my body is telling me, and my mental state of mind. I try to meditate and stretch before work, which helps, and after a particularly busy cycle, I make a note to reward myself by being lazy and not feeling guilty for being lazy! (2) Politics. This is rather difficult, because politics at work are often things outside of your control. When you are passed over for a promotion or tenure or a job due to your experience, race, sexuality, it can really hurt - especially if that position goes to someone more underqualified and inexperienced. If you don't foster good relations with the "right kind of people" at your work, this too can make things difficult. I would argue that sexism and racism still play a big part in the professional world (and the world in general), which also may cause to stop caring in their profession. When I find myself embroiled in work politics, I journal about it and/or see a therapist to help me. Lately I have been learning from my past experiences and treating work as work, and separating my private life from my work life. It has been helping tremendously. (3) Being a perfectionist. Perhaps this ties into reason (1). I am often very critical of myself, and feel as though I am not delivering my best. This in turn takes a toll on my self-esteem and my love for my profession. I have been more aware of my negative attitude towards myself, and have been trying to be more emotionally removed from my output at work. In other words, I've been learning to concentrate on the task at hand without assigning judgment to it. This is extremely difficult for me and I fail most times, but when I can get into this frame of mind, it works wonders.
lovelyBreeze65
November 8th, 2017 4:42pm
Learning how to properly balance work and personal will help elevate stress on both sides. Having a good balance can not only help with that empty feeling but it can help you with new refreshing ideas. Also getting good rest is a big factor.
Anonymous
November 10th, 2017 12:59pm
Look at different hobby’s or New activities in your area. Branch out try new things! Maybe a new path will occur in your life.
aHandIntheDark38
December 6th, 2017 12:41am
Only by truly enjoying what you do, you will feel like it is worth it. To overcome this issue, the best thing is to find what really suits your talents and personality. Working for a company, boss, or position that does not fit, will never fulfill anyone... it is good to keep looking and change whenever possible - in the meantime, keep trying or even aim for a different position inside the same company, find activities and tasks that you like and focus on them, open up constructively to a boss if you feel like there can be some improvement of any sort. It is important to be happy at work as so much time is invested there daily... so, not to settle and keep searching, looking for other ways to improve your quality of life at the job - is key to success, both from a personal and a professional point of view.
iliketurtlesthemost72
December 13th, 2017 1:56am
I don't have a job, but I go to school. I love my friends and the interesting classes. I don't like math, though. It's really hard and I feel stupid. I try to overcome math by drawing happy things in my notes.
Skybringslight
January 3rd, 2018 1:42am
Well...what brings us a sense of purpose? That usually is helping others. Ask yourself, how do I help others in my career path? How do I actively make a difference for others who are less fortunate?
InsertYouNameHere
January 12th, 2018 11:31pm
Answering first question, it would be helpful to learn more about yourself. Try to figure out when do you truly feel happy and fulfilled. That might indicate, what brings you true joy and if you can replicate it at work. Answering second question - almost any activity may bring fulfillment if we learn something meaningful from it. Try to find what skills are necessary for you work, try to improve on them and reflect on your results.
JJill1
February 10th, 2018 9:58am
Personally, when I am feeling exhausted doing the things I used to love, it is not the act itself, but outside of that act.. Maybe there is another area of your life that is making you feel this way. Sometimes as the seasons change as well, it can make you feel more "empty."
ifyouknowtocountcountwithme
February 16th, 2018 2:52pm
Hey! You're not alone. Many feel like this too. Maybe you studied something and at the end it's not what you thought at all. Within your possibilities keep looking for what you love. It worked to me to asked to my family and I realized it was there all the time. Within my hobbies.
Anonymous
March 7th, 2018 1:58pm
Maybe your profession isn’t really what you enjoy doing. Pursue your passions, you can make money out of it. Just have to be brave enough to take the risk.
RINM1230
March 28th, 2018 9:04pm
Maybe trying something new, maybe work towards another profession. You may feel empty because once you obtained the position you are in currently you realized it was not exactly what you 'Needed'. Maybe working towards learning more at your profession will also help fill a void. Best of luck.
Anonymous
March 31st, 2018 8:52pm
Maybe your profession isn't what you should be doing? It maybe not be challenging enough for you. You could look for something else. Find something that will not make you feel empty.
dreamdavid
April 4th, 2018 8:46pm
you might be looking for something else, its because you might be missing love,wisdom,peace,friends and one more important thing, oh btw idk who wrote these questions
luna2490
May 24th, 2018 7:46am
It is hard to say without knowing more. My questions would fall under; what do you do for a living. what had you wanted or dreamed of doing for a living. Are you personality and hobbies/interests polar opposite from what you do for a living. Is money, family or other reasons compelling you to have worked there unfulfilled? In a basic level, maybe something is missing. Maybe a change could be good. Maybe you are wanting something else and dont want to start over so you run in place wishing it had more to offer. Taking a real look at who you are and who you are at your job might be key.
caringBerry61
May 27th, 2018 7:10pm
Did you ever wonder if your job is the one you always wanted to do? Is the job that picked you or did you pick it? Does it make you feel good and happy? If it's your dream job then the reason of your unsatisfaction could be hidden somewhere else. But it's also perfectly acceptable to feel sometimes under the weather and not happy with our job, it's not a tragedy, it's human and can be accepted as part of the way situations of life unfold.
KurtCups711
June 16th, 2018 1:13am
Some jobs really are not fulfilling. There is no shame in supporting yourself and or your family. Fulfillment can come from sources outside of work and if you're lucky, one of those personal or volunteer activities may lead to a more fulfilling job.
ElaineSaysHello
July 12th, 2018 11:32pm
Perhaps your profession is not your passion. While this career is steady for you at the moment, you're not happy. In your free time, you can consider alternative career paths that fit your style and try to do more research on it.
Serenity023
July 29th, 2018 11:08am
Take some time to relax. After that, reflect with your self. Is that the profession you really wanted? What to be considered when you decided to leave your job? What will happen next? In that way, you'll realize why you should stay or not and you'll be motivated to work harder because of your priorities and dreams.
niceRainbows39
August 1st, 2018 9:25pm
Maybe it is that you don't like the job that you are at, or you don't feel like it is a very useful job. You can overcome this by understanding that every job has a purpose, no matter how large or how small, or finding a few things that you love about your job.
KristieKay
August 10th, 2018 10:34am
One of the reasons could be the job is not in your line of interest. Otherwise the environment is not challenging or does not have an opportunity to grow. The best course of action in all cases would be to move on to a better / different job. If you are in a field that interests you, and the environment is also not comparatively bad, then it is time for introspection. Something in you is stopping you from performing your best. Finding this root cause and working on your strength and weaknesses would definitely work. All the Best!
AngieWillListen
August 12th, 2018 2:59pm
I believe if you’re unhappy with your current profession, then it’s time to explore other options and seek what will make you smile!
electricFriend52
September 20th, 2018 10:53pm
If you're not happy at where you are then you don't love what you do and really there is not much you can do to help that feeling. I know it might sound like a bad advice but life is too short to be stuck at a job that makes you feel that way. Maybe it's time to look for a different opportunity. Maybe explore thing that you already have am interest on and who knows you might just find the perfect job for yourself. Don't get stuck somewhere that makes you hate your life. Happiness is so important
GirlFromTheWoods
October 19th, 2018 11:06pm
There are two ways to approach your profession: either you work to make money to be able to live your life the way you want, or as a way to fulfill your calling and leave your mark in the world. Few lucky people have a job that combines both of these benefits, most of us struggle with just one - or even none. The first step is to acknowledge what your career means to you. Maybe you are not the type to work a well-paid, but otherwise meaningless corporate job? Or maybe devoting yourself to a higher cause for a meager income is not as illustrious as it seemed to be when you were an idealistic college graduate? Be honest about your needs, try to find out your strengths and figure out your deal-breakers. Once you are equipped with this self-knowledge you will be able to move forward with your career in a less frustrating, more fulfilling direction.
Shivam501
October 20th, 2018 1:36am
People often go for a job just to make money. If that's your path of doing what you're doing just to make some good amount of money out of it to support your family than it would be a bit hard to change. See, many authors, CEOs & entrepreneurs has said about doing a career that you love. Most of us are not this lucky to get a profession we love. I suggest to start by making a positives & negatives list on a paper of your current professional - What you like in this job (even minor details) & what you don't. Once done, start finding positives in your negatives. Since I'm considering you've no other option than to do this job for a while. You've got to start loving the positives of your current profession in order to feel fulfilled. Period.
Anonymous
February 8th, 2019 9:09am
Maybe you feel unfufilled in your profession because your heart isn't in it, by that I mean its something that pays the bills but it's not something you enjoy doing or something that suits you. Not every jobs fits everyone. If it was me I would try to figure out why my job makes me feel the way it does. Write it down, keep note and slowly explore the reasons in yourself that you feel it's not making you feel like you've achieved anything. You could try talking to someone you trust be it family or a close friend and see what they have to say, sometimes we just aren't suited emotionally or mentally to the job we are doing, which leads to unfufillment