Reply To: Ask the experts
It’s totally understandable that you’re frustrated! It’s exhausting and depressing to spin your wheels and feel like you’re not getting closer to an answer. And while it can be hard to give a nuanced answer in a format like this, I definitely have some thoughts to share with you!
So, first of all: You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re not broken, and you’re not incapable of working in a way that feels fulfilling. It’s critical that you don’t go blaming yourself for the experience you’re having!
And, when we’ve tried a bunch of external things–various jobs, quizzes, articles, and even courses, and still nothing is clicking, here’s what that tells me: The root of the issue is deeper than finding the right career. It can be very tempting to believe, and I was once super guilty of this, that when we find the right career that things will click into place and we’ll be energetic and excited and fulfilled. And YES, being in a field that’s wrong for you can absolutely wear away at you, exhaust you, and depress you. And YES, finding something that aligns with you more can be a balm to your spirit.
BUT, as I’ve had to learn the hard way myself, the right career can’t replace a deeper, more existential crisis. When you say “I feel so drained each and every day and have no energy,” I wonder if that’s a clue to something deeper that needs addressing. Finding the right career isn’t the thing that makes us whole, happy people–it’s usually the *byproduct* of doing that work. If we feel like we’ve abandoned ourselves, and can’t remember the last time we felt passionate and alive, that’s about more than just work. That’s indicative of deep, non-contextual inner work that needs to be focused on first: Healing old wounds, learning to process emotions in a healthy way again, resetting our nervous systems, establishing a sense of self, learning how to trust ourselves and sometimes something bigger than ourselves. And when we become *that* person, the happy career is the byproduct of that.
That’s the work we do in coaching. And, because you don’t have a disposable income right now, that’s also work that a good counselor/therapist can help you do. And those types of services are generally more accessible, since insurance can cover it and there’s often a sliding scale. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going with the first person you find, because not everyone’s approach/style might resonate with you! But it sounds to me like you might very much benefit from someone who can help you dredge up some gunk and get you reconnected with who you are (and if I were you, that’s exactly what I’d tell anyone I was considering working with, as a gauge to see how they could support me!).
I know this isn’t the easy answer, but that’s because this issue is incredibly nuanced and complexed, and acting like there’s a quick fix would be doing your question a disservice!