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I Have Zero Career Goal; I Hate Working

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 22, 2019

Question

I am 21-year-old girl living with my parents. Recently, we took out a loan and bought a house. Before moving to this new state, I thought I would work and help with finance, but my mom knew I would back out; and that’s exactly what happened. I applied to jobs such as part-time jobs you don’t need a degree for, but due to my lack of experience I didn’t succeed.

I really dislike working. Since I was a baby, unless it was to get approval, I would rather play and have fun. At age 16, I developed depression and anxiety and had to drop out of high school, and then after re-enrolling and graduating I started college. The anxiety and worry about what career to choose and such stayed with me, which led me to failing all my classes when it got too tough, and now taking a year off to work on my anxiety (from the book Feeling Good by Dr, Burns/CBT).

Basically, I have zero career goals, aside from perhaps becoming a novelist or a blogger. However, I think reading is a waste of time even though I read all day. This is something I am constantly trying to stop. But the point is, I am only working on myself right now.

From trying to build praying habits (which I have), to hygiene habits as I still don’t shower daily, to exercising and such. Therefore, I get overwhelmed about thinking of a career. Basically, I worry so much that after marriage I will have to work.

So now, even though I just want to focus on myself, and building my foundation to tackle mental health and my overthinking, I worry that if I am to die now, I will go to hell.

The reason being that I am not contributing financially nor doing my chores, especially since I get annoyed if I am asked to do anything. I really hate doing any work unless I am in the mood to. I am working on CBT technique to at least try to do cleaning for 5-10 mins, but I am already working on my praying habit and losing weight and brushing, so I don’t want to add too much and fail.

Another reason is also because I spend time doing things which don’t bring money. Will I go to hell for reading, writing about my habit-building journey online, or writing stories? I really have lot to work on, from fixing my anger to learning to empathize to fixing my constant desire for approval.

I decided to try to really focus on four habits at a time which I am doing, but I’m so worried I will go to hell for not having career goals or for not doing chores. In other words, for how I spend my time.

Counselor

Answer


I Have Zero Career Goal; I Hate Working

In this counseling answer:

•Sister, until you resolve the depression and anxiety, you will continue to struggle with daily living chores and goals.

•I highly suggest that you seek counseling from a therapist in your area.

•A career specialist may be able to help.

•Allah knows your heart, and he also knows if you are struggling from a mental illness such as depression.

•Helping and contributing in even a small way, helps others and assists us in healing ourselves.

•Make du’aa’ to Allah.


As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your concerns. It sounds like you’re going through a lot right now. You are trying to get your prayers more on point, develop a closer relationship with Allah, overcome your mental health issues, improve your hygiene habits, stick to an exercise plan, as well as thinking about a career and family obligations. All of this seems to be causing you great stress.

Struggling with Depression and Anxiety

Sister, you had discussed in your question the fact that when you were 16, you developed depression and anxiety and had to drop out of high school. For you to have to drop out of high school, it must have been severe. I am wondering if you saw a counselor for your depression and anxiety and received treatment?

The issues that you are describing such as lack of motivation, lack of regular hygiene, not wanting to do chores, and so forth, are classic signs of depression. In my humble opinion, and I cannot diagnose you, but it sounds like you are still suffering from possibly severe depression and anxiety. Sister, until you resolve the depression and anxiety, you will continue to struggle with daily living chores and goals.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

Ongoing Counseling

You have great insight and aspirations of how to resolve all your issues. However, people with depression often need formal counseling/therapeutic sessions to resolve the depression. Some people even need medication because of changes in biochemical structures that can occur in the brain when depression or anxiety is prolonged.

Often medication can correct this and greatly assist in overcoming depression. I highly suggest that you seek counseling from a therapist in your area. You may wish to present your CBT outline of how you are proposing to work on your healing process. A therapist can help you work on this plan as well as give you further insight as to how to make your plan of action even more successful.

Getting counseling on an ongoing basis if you are depressed or have anxiety, is critical to healing. As you are now 21 and have been suffering from depression and anxiety since 16, perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider ongoing counseling.

Jobs, Career, and Helping Family

As far as your move to another state and your family buying a home, I am sure that your mom is familiar with what you are going through regarding depression. It sounds like she understands and has much empathy sister, Alhumdulilah. In addition to possible depression and anxiety, it is hard to get a job without experience, and more so if you do not have an education or even a direction.

These factors can put much emotional stress on you, especially as you do want to be productive, work and help your family. Regarding this, a career specialist may be able to help. In most US cities there are free centers you can go to and discuss career options with a counselor. They can help you find the direction which may be best for you. They do this by giving you career tests to see where your interests and strengths lie.

They have lists of career options that are in alignment with your strengths and interests that you can choose from. Some centers even offer free classes or can link you to organizations that will pay for tuition should you decide you would like to go to college.


Check out this counseling video


These are all options that you may wish to consider regarding your future career aspirations. What is most important right now, however, is addressing your depression and anxiety. Even if you had a direction and knew what you wanted to do as far as a job and career, research has shown that depression and or anxiety can negatively impact one’s successful attempts to engage and work at career-related tasks. Therefore I highly recommend that you begin with counseling.

Going to Hell?

You are very concerned about not contributing financially and fear you are not using your time wisely. You fear that you will go to hell for not having career goals and not helping with chores. You worried about this because of our Islamic values of how we spend our time. Sister, no one can say you are going to hell. Only Allah knows who is going to hell.

Allah knows your heart, and he also knows if you are struggling from a mental illness such as depression. Allah in His mercy can make exceptions for those who are struggling with such mental health issues. Allah is also most merciful and loves to forgive. However, it is incumbent upon us as Muslims to try to remove any barriers to productivity and healthy daily living.

 Allah says he will not change the condition of a people until they themselves try to change it. This means if we are depressed or suffering from a mental or medical illness, we are to do everything in our power to seek help to resolve it. When we take it upon ourselves to improve our state of well-being, Allah will bless us.

Conclusion

Sister, please do make du’aa’ to Allah regarding your depression, anxiety and lack of motivation. While you are very motivated to resolve your depression and anxiety, and it is commendable, you would still highly benefit from professional therapy. Insha’Allah, you may wish to make counseling a priority on your list things to do to help yourself. 

In addition to all that you already are already doing, please do section out sometime in your day to read Qur’an, do dhzikr (remembrance of Allah) and gain Islamic knowledge. You may find that these Islamic acts of worship will not only bring you closer to Allah but will bless you and many ways as well.

I also kindly suggest that you section out a part of your day to help your mom and do chores. This would be a great relief for her and also make you feel good. Helping and contributing in even a small way helps others and assists us in healing ourselves. I am confident that insha’Allah you will get through this. You are a very bright and loving young lady. Your insight and desire to overcome these issues are amazing. Insha’Allah, soon you will feel the joy and blessings that await you.

We wish you the best,

Salam

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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