Not surprisingly, this card has kept me up in bed just thinking, pondering what it could mean.
Anyway, I mishmashed some of your responses with some of my drowsy thoughts, and arrived at a possible interpretation:
Not being totally true to your own feelings and trying to avoid confronting them fully on, out of the fear of seeing that one has trotted down the wrong path, of choosing the career that is at odds with one's heart, or even of choosing one that isn't.
Perhaps rethinking would be just "too much", especially if the person "has been through the ringer". Or maybe it is fatigue, or lack of confidence, or fear of what others will say. Perhaps this indicates closing one's eyes to ethical breaches at the workplace, either one's own or others', or combined.
If nine of swords upright indicates doing the right thing and the pain that comes with it, reversed it might represent suppressing one's own intellect, and just going along painlessly but also without enthusiasm, joy, or integrity.
With surrounding cards, some pieces of this made more sense than others.
Thank you all for your contribution!