Stress-Filled and Challenging Times: A Need for Perspective

contributed by Dr. Stephen Bangert

Is your job and career being impacted by these stress-filled and challenging times?  This may be a new experience for you, although such times are not new.  Executive Coaching & Consulting is prepared to assist you in your job search and career management.

Below are some tips for managing your career especially during these challenging times.

Take control.
When stressed and challenged it is easy to feel that the world around you is controlling you, that you are helpless.  While there is much in one’s life that cannot be controlled, there are many things that can be controlled.  And remember, you can influence most everything.  Even in the worst situations, you can control your attitude.  Taking control allows a sense of identity, and power, and confidence, and hope.  It starts with attitude, builds with actions and blossoms with success.

Have a plan.
In times of leisure it is fine to be whimsical, but in times that demand action you need to have a plan.  Without a plan it is too easy to be distracted, to waste time, to go in circles.  While the plan doesn’t need to be elaborate, it does need to successively lead to a defined goal.  All plans need to be flexible, allowing for change when new evidence calls for it.  A plan supports the feeling of hope and the need for control.

Reassess your values and what makes you happy.
This prescriptive advice allows you to align with the foundations of your life, gain perspective and adjust your priorities.  It may bring a sense of rootedness and calm, and is likely to be assuring and motivating as you move forward.

Meet your challenges head on.  When you find yourself stressed and challenged, reflect on the above suggestions for gaining a balanced perspective.  Take action.  Begin moving forward.

Take a broader perspective.  It will give you both appreciation and assurance.  It provides a comparative on which to reflect and from which to learn.  Some suggestions for maintaining perspective include:

• Know that you are not alone in such challenges.  Knowing that others have experienced similar challenges can prove assuring and supportive.
• Do not isolate yourself from others.  Other people can provide support in many ways—helping you to deal with emotions, be objective and stay in touch with everyday reality.
• Remember, this too shall pass.  It is good to recount that you have made it through other events and situations that you found stress-filled, especially when facing it head on.

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