Working with Mental Illness: Thriving in Your Career

Pursuing a career you love can be incredibly fulfilling. It gives you a reason to get out of bed, it shows you how you can impact the lives of others, and you can feel accomplished and driven. Despite all of these benefits, working with mental illness can seem elusive and difficult. But, it is totally, completely possible. All of these wonderful things can find a space to exist in your life.

It’s not uncommon to feel ashamed in this career-focused society when we can’t work or we’re not working full time. Other people tend to judge us by how we make a living. We even judge ourselves-treating ourselves like a less worthy person simply because we aren’t in “a good career” at that moment. Labor does not define our worth.

This shame is toxic. It’s heavy and hard to carry. It alone takes a toll on our mental health. This feeling can make it harder to take the important steps in starting to find our way in the career world. It’s so important that we don’t let the opinions of other people get in the way of our work. If we did, our mental health would be at risk.

Many of us really want to work. Not because society tells us we should, but because we genuinely want to. Yet, even with this desire, working with mental illness is no easy task. We require specific accommodations. Often, we have a limited array of jobs we would feel comfortable doing.

How do we balance our mental health needs while engaging in a career we love?

Working with mental illness is totally possible-we just need to seek out the right environment

Even with all these specific needs, it is possible to find and create a work environment perfect for you. There is something that exists-something that accommodates you, feels fulfilling, and is a perfect match for your skills.

The first and most important step towards making this a reality is to have a clear idea of what you want your career to be. In this episode of Arien Inspires, I share the key questions you need to ask and answer to find this clarity.

Releasing the pressure of needing to work because we’re told to, while knowing how to create a work environment perfect for you, is the ultimate blend you need to find a fulfilling career. This self love, plus a dash of clear insight, will propel you towards the perfect job. You will find that working with mental illness is not only possible, it’s even enjoyable.

Related blog: Live Your Dreams: The Essential First Step

Working with mental illness is something you are capable of doing. The perfect career is waiting in anticipation for you. Sure, it takes navigation and problem solving, but I believe in you. I know and trust that you have all the skills you need to make this career a reality.

Throughout this episode, I’ve stressed the importance of clarity. You have to know where you’re headed if you’re even going to reach your dream destination. Give yourself a chance to find some of this clarity by answering these two questions in the comments below:

What is your ideal career and what accommodations do you know you need?

What are the factors holding you back from making this career a reality?

I am here, 100% ready to support you. I’ll be sure to read your comment and help you navigate the challenges you’re facing around finding the perfect career. 

Before we part ways, take a second to think about a loved one or peer who could benefit from hearing this message. When you share this blog with them, you’ll be supporting their journey, plus telling them that they deserve to have all their needs met and respected. This blog may be exactly what they need to hear.

How close are you to thriving after abuse? Click here to take the quiz!


  • Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS
    September 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Wonderful inspirational advice, thanks for sharing. I am happy that you over coaching calls, you are able to help so many people.

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