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Can I use career vouchers for stress and burnout?


'I feel stressed by my work and lifeless. What can I do about this?' This is one of the situations for which VDAB indicates that you can apply for career cheques (VDAB, 2020a). So part of the answer to the question 'Can I use career cheques for stress and burnout?' is 'yes'. But there are also numerous situations in which career cheques cannot (yet) be used. Much depends on the level of stress, for instance, and whether it is career-related or not.

If you experience stress-related complaints, whether career-related or not, it is always best to visit your GP first. He or she can make a diagnosis, help you on your way with initial advice and refer you to counselling that suits you best at that moment. In case of mild stress at work, you may be referred immediately to a career coach but in case of more severe stress symptoms or burnout, he or she may refer you (first) to a psychiatrist or psychologist or to a stress and burnout coach. In case of severe stress symptoms, it is important that you first recover and have sufficient energy before you can start working on important career questions in your life. Is your tension moderate and not career-related? Then your GP can also refer you to a stress and burn-out coach.


What does a psychologist/psychiatrist do?  

If your tension symptoms are accompanied by depression, addiction problems, etc. and are therefore 'complicated', it is best to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. This person can, for instance, help you deal with old traumas, get over an addiction and so on.

What does a stress and burn-out coach do?

Together with a stress and burn-out coach, you first make an analysis of your stress symptoms and sources of stress and you look at your energy givers and energy consumers, both in your private and professional life. In this phase, you will already take a limited look at where your stress might come from and you will mainly recuperate by, for example, resting, applying relaxation techniques, reducing worrying and giving your emotions a place. Next, you will learn how to deal with stress and emotions and look together at where you can put a focus of growth. This can be e.g. by looking at where you have influence, how to deal with stress, where your limits are, how to increase your self-confidence, etc.

What does a career coach do?

If, according to your doctor or psychologist, you have enough energy and your tension symptoms are career-related, you can contact a career coach with career cheques (VDAB, 2020b). Together, you can look at what talents you have, where your motivations and values lie and how this can be translated into a job. This way, you can give your career a new direction or see how you can deal with the current situation differently.


Author: Vicky Van Woensel



VDAB (2020a), Is career guidance something for me? Consulted from:

VDAB (2020b), Career guidance. Consulted from:

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