Chaotic. That’s how I’d describe my state of mind over the past 3 weeks.
As a coach, I should be in a good position to deal with this.
I’ve a. worked from home for long enough to have the process mostly down, and b. spent many years learning, teaching and practicing the wellness and emotional coping mechanisms we all need right now.
But here’s the reality. The first weeks of homestay were completely overwhelming, for me and for most of my clients. In a blink everything changed. The whole of the disruption was compounded by relationship challenges, income adjustments and in my case, 2 teenagers at home, making all of life feel precarious.
Suddenly there are so many things to worry about; job security, aging parents, family and friends and kids and finances and loneliness and toilet paper.
The national news was so depressing. Searching for answers from my local community, I turned to a neighborhood chat group. Rather than practical information, the members (my neighbors) were arguing about whether a bad actor posting inappropriate content should be allowed to return to the forum.
After days of tracking this drama, it struck me how odd it was to get sucked into a virtual disagreement with neighbors I’d never met, but there I was. Strange and eerie.
And then, my work started requiring Zoom video. My first run-in with the video made me look 10 years older, which made me even more depressed.
Family, work, life; everything felt out of my control. It took a full blown meltdown to redirect my striving nature. After 2 days of intermittent crying, feeling sorry for myself and basically coming unglued, I saw I had a whole lot of stuff to deal with.
No amount of goal setting can fix this situation. Hard as it was, I had to start letting go of deeply entrenched expectations, including of how I “should have” coped.
We all need time to acclimate to this new environment. For me it was important to salvage as much pre-Covid normalcy as possible. But I needed to change some things too. I had to make an extra effort to hug the kids and praise them for what is working instead of harping on what isn’t. I had to practice gratitude.
I began by taking more time in the morning to start my day right. My morning now includes a simple routine, which helps to keep you out of “fight or flight” mode this situation has evoked for many people.
I realized I needed to reassess my values and priorities. I had been on track to grow my business by promoting my new Women in Leadership workshops to corporate clients. I worked hard on the program and was on the verge of launching. But in the current moment, I realized I had to pivot to shift my extra time and attention to my community.
I thought about how I could help. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while. I called an aunt I rarely speak to except in person, but now is the time to breach norms. I called and texted people I don’t usually contact out of the blue. It felt like an effort, but it paid off in spades.
I re-assessed my work with clients to recognize comfort and connection as top priority needs right now. It really resonates. When you’re focused on a goal, like finding a new job, you always feel like you need to be doing something. My role is normally to help clients stay on track and focus on results.
But right now, it’s important to give yourself permission to put on your mask first. Which, in times of uncertainty, means finding comfort in the familiar.
Coaching note: Feed your soul with the music, activities, food and memories that ground you. Here you’ll find the stability and strength to move forward.
I limited my news and social media access. “Coronavirus stress syndrome” is a new term used to describe the anxiety and panic caused by the constant media coverage of the illness.
Experts report, the more stressed a person is, the more their immune system is weakened, watching round-the-clock news about coronavirus actually makes people more vulnerable to it.
For those who suffer from depression and anxiety, and most us are feeling anxious these watching the news, especially twenty-four-hour news, can worsen their symptoms. If you’re already feeling hopeless or anxious, the news just increases this feeling.
Coaching Note: Rather than avoid news altogether, allocate a specific 30-minute window in the afternoon to catch up.
In the 3 weeks since that meltdown, my mental state has improved tremendously. I’m honoring my energy levels, prioritizing well-being over productivity and appreciating all we have to be grateful for. I’m thankful every day that by following the social distancing guidelines, my family and friends are safe. And my heart goes out to those directly effected by this horrible disease.
I know from personal experience that everything else, the stress, the financial insecurity, the material loss, is overcome-able.
Wishing you comfort and connection during this challenging time.
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Hi All - I wanted to share about a substack I'm writing called Memoirs of a Working Girl.
Personal work and life ruminations, critiques, and commentary.
I wanted to share in case anyone was looking for a fun read:
*please let me know if such a post is not allowed
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I struggle with some challenges in self-worth based on others perceptions. While i'm working on it - it will be a lifelong challenge.
I was hoping for some insight. I started at an organization that it didn't take long to see that it was a toxic work environment. I was seen as a threat by the sales team, and for the five years I was there, I had my ideas stolen, I was challenged at every turn, thrown under the bus and bullied. But let me say - I wasn't alone. They didn't treat anyone in the organization with respect, and unfortunatley upper management failed to address it.
Anyway - I brought in millions of dollars, and the ownership knew that, even though the sales team did all they could to sabotage the data within the CRM - again, management failed to address it. Fast forward, the company is sold. The new company has its own Marketing in another country, and the new leader has NO idea about marketing or how it works. Even though the prior owner told them Marketing was the secret sauce to their success.
I'm out of a job because the new leader was given incorrect data and not all of the data and she didn't feel it was worth it to keep me around. Never once did she ask for my insight, my thoughts on how to get the new brand off and running. She didn't want to hear anything from me. Mind you I had been given free reign to do what I needed to do after submission of my marketing strategy, planning and budget was approved for the year - the new owner micromanged me to death. But again, I wasn't the only one.
In the six months she had me stop doing what I was doing, sales rapidly declined. In the months following my departure it increased, and she didn't understand why it was so slow I was told. Its been almost a year and there is no newly branded website, the sales team doesn't have business cards, no marketing AT ALL has been done. She did hire a contractor that used to work for me back on a project basis to help refresh the website (basically do what I told her she should do), but the cost is minimal.
Why do I feel so rejected that I was the ONLY one to be let go. After all the abuse I had taken and the success I created, despite being loved by everyone else except the sales team, i'm the only one without a job.
If I look back, I can see where she was setting me up to be let go. So I was on the cutting block since day one.
I have to wonder is it this leaders ignorance, or did the sales team have me ousted and she believe them? The biggest scam artist got promoted. I would think maybe she had influence, but it turns out she's being micromanaged way beyond what I was. The new leader is basically telling everyone how to jump, when to jump and how high. If you don't wait for her direction, there will be hell to pay.
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I have been interviewing since April.
I am working but I am making about $15,000 less then I was.
I have been over-qualified for positions but I am not getting hired.
Now, not sure if it is my age, I am 60 but look 50. Truly do!! Been blessed.
I think I blow it in the interview. I get very nervous for some reason. I don't know what I am doing wrong! You would think after all the interviews I would feel comfortable or used to them.
Does anyone have any hints for interviewing? All of mine have been over Zoom or Teams. Thank you!
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I made a small error at work.
No harm was done. I placed a message that a patient needed blood work on the wrong chart. This was questioned by my manager. Upon reviewing the chart, I realized my error and the patient never had the blood work done.
I am concerned this could become a written warning. If it is a written warning I plan to request it be a teachable moment instead of a warning since no harm was done. Any other advice on how to handle this?
My manager who spoke to me about this issue has made two huge mistakes that I am aware of. If this becomes a written warning should I question if her errors were also written warnings?
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Can I even negotiate pay at this point?
I entered into an interview process after knowing their comp range which was below what I desired. When they asked if the salary range would work for me, I said it was below my desired range but am interested in learning more. I thought perhaps learning the total comp package would make it better but it didn't. For reference, this is a very large private university, not a small business. After learning more about the role, it's clear that the responsibilities are way higher than the title calls for (I'm very confident of this). This role title would be a "step down" for me but the responsibilities match, or perhaps exceed, my current role.
It's a new role they created and frankly, I'm not sure they know exactly what they want/need. I honestly don't know how many folks would do that job with those responsibilities for that price. It seems like an easy "PASS" and move on but I met the whole team and they are so wonderful.
Here I am at the job offer; can I even negotiate a higher salary considering they told me salary is $XYZ - $XYZ? If so... how? What the heck do I say? This people-pleasing gal is stumped.
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I am on my way into maternity leave (29 weeks) and don't want to return to my job. I want to start a new job after my leave. How common is this? Does anyone else have any experience with this?