What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Job Search Part 1: What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Are you looking for work? What kind of work are you looking for? The answer What kind of work are you looking for?is critical for success in your job search!  And you have some decisions to make!

So you are looking for work. But perhaps you are not entirely settled yet on the kind of work you want. But the clearer you become about what you want, and the more you know about that kind of work, the simpler your job search becomes. And the more likely it is to be successful.

Deciding on the right kind of role for you is a big decision to make. There is a lot to consider.

Is this going to be a career or are you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself, and perhaps your family, afloat?

Some people take stop-gap work or decide that, for them, life outside work is where their real satisfaction comes from. They have chosen not to make the commitment that goes into building a career, usually because they have made a very strong commitment to something else. Others are committed to making a career. They want to build on their skills and experience and look for promotion opportunities. But, both may be looking for a new challenge at work or a new environment. Where are you?

What do you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?

We all tend to work best at things we like – what do you enjoy doing? Think about your interests and the things that you have enjoyed doing in the past in both your work and personal life. What kind of environment suits you best? Now look in the mirror and think about what have you disliked doing and what environments have you disliked?

What are you good at?

Take some time to think about what you are really good at and what are your key skills? What do you bring to the party? Now, you need to be really honest with yourself – remember nobody is good at everything. What are you not so good at. It helps to be honest because taking a job that requires you to spend much of your time on things your are not good at, is full of risk, And this includes work which is done just to pay the bills.

Note. Taking a stop-gap role while looking for right opportunity may be a good idea. But if you hate the stop-gap work it may sap the energy and motivation you need to follow-up a possible career opening. Perversely, being frustrated and miserable in the day job isn’t always the best place to start a really productive job search.

How do you want to work?

It’s important to decide how you want to work to make sure your search is as accurate as possible. Consider,  for example, whether it is going to be a permanent, employed post or would you take on an interim role “temping” through agency or as an independent contractor? Could you take an internship or volunteer which would give you experience, but is likely to be unpaid. Then think about travelling and commuting. How far away from home are you prepared to work?

What kind of organization do you want to work for?

Think about the variety of organizations that are around – large or small, public or private? Then what about sector, such as, Finance, Education or Health?  Each will have its own culture and opportunities.

What kind of work are you looking for? How much do you need to earn?

When looking for a job it is good to have an idea how much money you are looking for. But you also need to know how much money you need. Work out a budget and be clear about the style of life you want to lead.  How much money is it going to take to support it?  In terms of what you aspire to,  it is worth considering roles both slightly above and those slightly below your target. But be realistic and remember that if an organization wants you, they may be prepared to negotiate.

What kind of work are you looking for?

When you have the answers to these questions,you are ready to begin your job search – you can find help in Part 2 at this link. If you need support getting to the answers email me  at the address below – it just the kind of help I give my clients

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

The next post in this series is at this link

Making Changes – Defining Change

Making Changes – Defining Change

Making Changes – part 2 of the series. Be Clear About The Change You Want!Defining change

Defining Change – Making Changes is series of posts about how to make positive changes in your personal or professional life that really work . So, I hope it helps you. Perhaps, you have comments, or would like further help? If so, my email address is at the bottom of the article.

In the last post in this series  I discussed the need to face reality,  admit that a change is needed and take responsibility for action.  Now is the time to be quite clear about what you need to change.

Be as specific and detailed as you can in the way you define the change. Starting with a clear and detailed description is important. If you don’t really know what you want, you can find yourself very disappointed after you made the change.

Defining change – tips!

Here are some tips to help you and define change and be clear about the problem you are trying to solve.

  1. Start with what you know now! Write down as much as possible about the thing you want to change, why you want to make a change and how you plan to make it.
  2. Consider what other information you might need. What gaps are there in your knowledge about the change you want to make. Do you understand completely how you are going to make the change and what the full effects might be?  For example, will other people be effected?  Do you need their support in making the change and are you likely to get it? How much time and money will it cost to do it and do you have those resources available?  Does making this change mean you will need to make others – what will they be?
  3. Collect the information you need.  This could include both facts and the opinions of others about the change you plan.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. What has been their experience in making a similar change – what has worked for them and what has not?  Try to gather as much information as you can.

Now you are ready to define the change you want to make.

If you have gone through the steps above, you are ready to set down in detail what your change is and how you want to make it.  Write it down and make it as clear, colorful and detailed as you can.

The next post in this series is going to cover handling emotions when making changes in our lives. No significant change is made without some impact on our emotions and knowing how to manage that impact can be key to success.

I would love to hear your experiences in making changes in your life

Working with a coach can help you to change successfully – email me at the address below for information on how I can help you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

The earlier post in this series

Making Changes – First, Admit A Change is Needed

Making Changes – Admit A Change is Needed

Making Changes – part 1 of the series. First, admit you need a change.Making Changes

Making Changes is series of posts about how to make positive changes in your personal or professional life that really work . So, I hope it helps you. Perhaps, you have comments, or would like further help? If so, my email address is at the bottom of the article.

Change happens

Making changes – yes, change is inevitable. And, you can’t avoid it, but sometimes we do our best to try!  At the end of the day, though, we all get caught up in it.  If you look back at your own life, and your career, you will know that this is true.

Some change is positive and some negative. But change is inevitable. So how do you make the most of it for you, your family and your career?

Facing reality

The secret is to recognize and truly acknowledge when a change is needed. Often it is hardest to admit to yourself when that change needs to be made within you.  Start to watch  and listen to the world around you and how those about you are responding. How do they respond to you? How have things changed? If they have changed, how are you going to respond? The world is changing constantly. So make scanning your horizons a regular part of your routine.

At home and at work

At home make sure you take time to really listen to those about you including close friends. It is all too easy to get into a busy routine that leaves no time to really talk to others outside of work. So, when you ask questions about how they are feeling, be ready to listen fully to an honest answer. And, give them time and space to fully express themselves while you take time to work out how best to respond.  Staying tuned-in is an important part of maintaining healthy relationships. If a relationship isn’t healthy, be ready to take the steps necessary to put things right

At work, ask your boss for feedback about your performance if it isn’t volunteered. Begin to see how others are working now. Listen to what your boss and your colleagues are saying about the future. Read the professional and trade journals for your sector and take part in your professional organization. Keep in touch on the internet with others in your market place through organisations like LinkedIn.

Making changes – admit you need a change.

Before you make a change, you need to truly acknowledge and accept you need one. Sometimes, it will be about something within yourself or the way you act.  Are you doing all you can to keep your relationships healthy?Are you fully meeting the needs of your job as it is now,  It is all too easy to assume everything has stayed the same. The reality is that probably it hasn’t. But of  course many of the changes may be for the better. How best to respond is really up to you.

Admitting you have a weakness is painful.  It is far more comfortable to blame your partner, the boss, your colleagues or your friends. It is easier to make excuses and rationalize the situation, than admit to things as they are really and begin making changes.

Making Changes – taking the first steps

Facing reality,  admitting there is a problem and taking responsibility for action set up the conditions needed for a successful change.  They are your first steps in making changes.

Look out for the next post in this series. It will be about being clear about the change required.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

How to handle a jealous boss

How to handle a jealous boss

Bosses, like all of us, come with a range of human emotions and one how to handle a jealous bossof them may be jealousy.  Given the number of visits to this post, I guess a lot of people think their boss might be jealous. So here is some advice on how to handle a jealous boss.

Jealousy is usually shown in quite subtle ways in the early stages.

How jealousy might be shown;

  • Have you been relegated to the dreary corner?
  • Do you always seem to be given the most boring work?
  • Are you often given just too much work?
  • May be, you are subject to sarcastic comments?
  • Your manager might just find fault with everything you do?
  • Or start to niggle away at a few small faults you do have?

If some of these apply to you, you need to know how to handle a jealous boss.

Steps to take!

how to handle a jealous boss
Wendy has a concise and practical eBook on how to get on better with your boss. You can find it at this link http://amzn.to/2mshlVJ

First, directly confronting a jealous boss rarely works. Go carefully, particularly if you need to keep the job. It is sad, but in most organisations, unless there is a clear case of bullying, reporting your boss rarely turns out well. The benefit of the doubt will usually be given to the more senior party. Calling on the support of senior contacts against your boss might well rebound. They may not thank you for the information. They may value your boss for his/her technical abilities and your boss may have an otherwise good record.

Hard as it sound, the best approach is usually to make your boss feel you are on their side. They need to believe that, even though you might have it in you to upstage them, you will never do so. They need to feel that you really will support them.

Show your boss that you respect their ability. And ask for their advice. It might be difficult for you at first because you feel that you too are an expert. But it will help to build your relationship.

Make sure you try to make your boss look good. Be ready to share your ideas. Accept that sometimes your ideas might be presented as theirs.  If you have contacts higher up the office, be ready to share them with your boss. And, if your boss has unsung talents, make sure your senior contacts know about them.

If you do find yourself relegated to the dreary corner, see what you can do to brighten things up. In most kinds of work, there is some opportunity to make a positive mark if you look for it.

Remember though if jealousy turns into out-and-out bullying there are legal steps you can take to seek redress.

Overall!

Keep your dignity but turn yourself into an asset for your boss, and not a threat.

There has been a lot of interest in this subject and I’ve received lot a of questions. So, I’ve written a concise and practical eBook on how to get on with the boss. In it you will learn how to make a great first and lasting impression at work. You will find out how to help your boss help you. Don’t be made unhappy, suffer stress and lose confidence because you cannot get on with the person in charge. Poor relationships at work can damage life at home as well as your career. There can be long-term effects on health and on your motivation.  My little eBook can really help you avoid the pitfalls and build a strong, positive, relationship with your boss. There is more on the eBook below but here is a quick link http://amzn.to/2mshlVJ

How To Get On With The Boss covers;

•What it means to get on with the boss
•Why it matters
•How to know whether you get on with your boss
•Getting it right
•What your boss really wants
•How requirements can change over time
•Making a good first impression
•Keeping respect once you are experienced in the role
•What to do when things go wrong
•Bosses with problems
•Demon bosses
•Putting things right
•Moving on when it is time to go
•Bullying

Here is a link to the book

And if you would like a coach to support you as you deal with your boss, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written also written a little book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Going For Change

Going For Change

Friday Quotes on Going for Change

Some quotes to help you along when you need help to get going for change

  • If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything. – Win Borden
  • Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. – Raymond Lindquist
  • The key to change… is to let go of fear. – Rosanne Cash
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
  • People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
  • Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  – Unknown
  • If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.  – Lao Tzu
  • “Don’t let the past steal your present – Cherralea Morgen
  • Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was. – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  – Plato
  • One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.  – Unknown
  • Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.  – Jerry Seinfeld
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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What Makes A Good Boss – Quotes

What Makes A Good Boss

Quotes – What Makes A Good Boss

What Makes A Good Boss – some quotes to help you decide!

A good boss makes people realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could. Charles Erwin Wilson

One of the great things we do is recognize people. Those things are greatly appreciated by family and friends and colleagues. It’s so hard to define every certain instance. We have to use our own good judgement. Carl Persis

A good boss is a person who can tolerate my complaints and still manage to say hello to me every day. Byron Pusifer

My boss… always stands by me if I get in trouble. He always stands by my decisions. He is very polite and intelligent. Kristina Smulkstyte

She encourages her staff to participate in decisions that affect the workplace and come up with ideas to make things run more efficiently – and then turns those ideas into practice. She has an almost magical ability to get people to “go beyond” and do more than the job requires. Anon

He makes others feel valued and appreciated. He enjoys helping others become better people and better employees. He does not jump to conclusions; he gets all the facts and lets it simmer before taking any action. He listens to everybody’s input on the company and reminds us it’s our company too. Anon

I really want to know what they need from me …. not all employees need the same things from their manager. Susan M. Heathfield

Keep your own office door open most of the time, but respect your employees’ need for privacy when busy or with clients. Anon

Developing and sustaining self-awareness ought to be at the top of the list for every boss. Anon

In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way. Tina Fey

 

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How To Get On With The Boss

How To Get On With The Boss

How To Get On With The Boss – are you having difficulties getting on with the person in charge at work? Lots of people seem have problems with bosses. For one reason or another they can’t get on with them. But bosses How To Get On With The Bosshave a huge impact over as large parts of your daily life. And unhappiness and stress at work usually leaks out to affect the rest of your life.

Bosses are human! If you’re lucky they will be understanding, supportive, encouraging and inspiring. But, being human, they will probably have at least one characteristic that makes them difficult at times.  And if you are really unlucky they might be lazy, unmotivated, weak, over-emotional and sarcastic – all at the same time.

You’re not a powerless victim

Even in very difficult circumstances you can usually do something to help the situation. In most cases you really can learn how to get on with the boss. And, you’re more in control than you think. So, it’s a case of understanding what makes them tick, why they react as they do, and then approaching things in a way that gets the best out of your boss.

There has been a lot of interest in this subject and I’ve received a lot of questions. So, I wrote a concise and practical eBook on how to get on with the boss. And, in it you will learn how to make a great first and lasting impression at work. How to Help your boss help you. Don’t be made unhappy, suffer stress and lose confidence because you cannot get on with the person in charge. Poor relationships at work can damage life at home as well as your career. There can be long-term effects on health and on your motivation.  My little eBook can really help you avoid the pitfalls and build a strong, positive, relationship with your boss.


How To Get On With The Boss covers;

•What it means to get on with the boss
•Why it matters
•How to know whether you get on with your boss
•Getting it right
•What your boss really wants
•How requirements can change over time
•Making a good first impression
•Keeping respect once you are experienced in the role
•What to do when things go wrong
•Bosses with problems
•Demon bosses
•Putting things right
•Moving on when it is time to go
•Bullying

Here is a link to the book

And if you would like a coach to support you as you deal with your boss, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Communications When Things Go Wrong

Communications When Things Go Wrong

Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

How you handle communications when things go wrong is important.  Bad communications when things go wrongthings happen in all organisations. Sometime the problem lies within the organization. Sometimes it is the environment outside that causes a crisis. To respond well as a manager, you need a strategy that will do the following

  • Deal with the problem causing the crisis;
  • Assist any victims and those directly affected;
  • Communicate with, and enlist, the support of employees.
  • Inform those indirectly affected; and
  • Manage the media and all external stakeholders in the organization.

Seven dimensions

For communications when things go wrong, there are seven dimensions to consider. These will be  important if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage. Particularly to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons. But, the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

The seven dimensions to consider for communications when things go wrong

  1.  Candor. A public acknowledgement that a problem exists and a commitment to put it right, usually wins trust. And it will win respect for the organization.
  2. Explanation. Explain promptly and clearly what went wrong. Base this on the knowledge available at the time and any legal constraints. If there is not yet full information, make a commitment to report regularly. Tell people when they can expect more information. Continue making reports until full information is available or public interest dissipates.
  3. Declaration. Make a clear public commitment to take steps to address and resolve any issues raised by the incident.
  4. Contrition. Make it clear that you, and those in charge of the organization, are sorry for what has happened. Show empathy and regret. If there is reason to be embarrassed, then show embarrassment about what has happened and for allowing it to happen.
  5. Consultation: Ask for help from pubic authorities and anyone else who can provide it, if that will help those hurt or prevent this from happening again. Do this even if it means accepting help from opponents or competitors.
  6. Commitment: Be prepared to make a promise that, to the best of the organisation’s ability, similar situations will never occur again.
  7. Restitution: Find a way to quickly pay the price, compensate and make restitution.

Go the extra mile

Show in your communications that you are prepared to go beyond what people would expect, or what is legally required, to put things right. Adverse situations remedied quickly, usually cost far less. They are controversial for shorter periods of time.

This is the gold standard. The closer you get to it, the more respect there will be for you, and your organization. Plus the sooner the public are likely to forgive, if not forget.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Women Who Inspire

Women Who Inspire

Monday Quotes – From Women Who Inspire

Some words from women who inspire to help start your week.

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.- Eleanor Roosevelt

It is  is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. – Rosalynn Carter

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. – Mother Teresa

Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person. – Mary D. Poole

Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing. – Indira Gandhi

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller.

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it – Erma Bombeck.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. – Maya Angelou.

The most effective way to do it, is to do it. – Amelia Earhart.

Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. – Oprah.

Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience. – Sonia Choquette.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Maya Angelou.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Managing traumatic stress

Managing traumatic stress

Managing traumatic stress – given this time when trauma and distress are so common, I thought it useful to  re-publish this piece from the American Psychological Association Help Centre 

Managing traumatic stress – Tips for recovering from disasters and other traumatic events

Disasters are often unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. In some cases, there are no outwardly visible signs of physical injury, but there is nonetheless a serious emotional toll. It is common for people who have experienced traumatic situations to have very strong emotional reactions. Understanding normal responses to these abnormal events can aid you in coping effectively with your feelings, thoughts and behaviours, and help you along the path to recovery.

What happens to people after a disaster or other traumatic event?

Shock and denial are typical responses to traumatic events and disasters, especially shortly after the event. Both shock and denial are normal protective reactions.

Shock is a sudden and often intense disturbance of your emotional state that may leave you feeling stunned or dazed. Denial involves not acknowledging that something very stressful has happened, or not experiencing fully the intensity of the event. You may temporarily feel numb or disconnected from life.

As the initial shock subsides, reactions vary from one person to another. The following, however, are normal responses to a traumatic event:

  • Feelings become intense and sometimes are unpredictable. You may become more irritable than usual, and your mood may change back and forth dramatically. You might be especially anxious or nervous, or even become depressed.
  • Thoughts and behavior patterns are affected by the trauma. You might have repeated and vivid memories of the event. These flashbacks may occur for no apparent reason and may lead to physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat or sweating. You may find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions, or become more easily confused. Sleep and eating patterns also may be disrupted.
  • Recurring emotional reactions are common. Anniversaries of the event, such as at one month or one year, can trigger upsetting memories of the traumatic experience. These “triggers” may be accompanied by fears that the stressful event will be repeated.
  • Interpersonal relationships often become strained. Greater conflict, such as more frequent arguments with family members and coworkers, is common. On the other hand, you might become withdrawn and isolated and avoid your usual activities.
  • Physical symptoms may accompany the extreme stress. For example, headaches, nausea and chest pain may result and may require medical attention. Pre-existing medical conditions may worsen due to the stress.

Managing traumatic stress – how do people respond differently over time?

It is important for you to realize that there is not one “standard” pattern of reaction to the extreme stress of traumatic experiences. Some people respond immediately, while others have delayed reactions — sometimes months or even years later. Some have adverse effects for a long period of time, while others recover rather quickly.

And reactions can change over time. Some who have suffered from trauma are energized initially by the event to help them with the challenge of coping, only to later become discouraged or depressed.

A number of factors tend to affect the length of time required for recovery in managing traumatic stress , including:

  • The degree of intensity and loss. Events that last longer and pose a greater threat, and where loss of life or substantial loss of property is involved, often take longer to resolve.
  • A person’s general ability to cope with emotionally challenging situations. Individuals who have handled other difficult, stressful circumstances well may find it easier to cope with the trauma.
  • Other stressful events preceding the traumatic experience. Individuals faced with other emotionally challenging situations, such as serious health problems or family-related difficulties, may have more intense reactions to the new stressful event and need more time to recover.

How should I help myself and my family?

There are a number of steps you can take to help restore emotional well-being and a sense of control following a disaster or other traumatic experience, including the following:

  • Give yourself time to adjust. Anticipate that this will be a difficult time in your life. Allow yourself to mourn the losses you have experienced. Try to be patient with changes in your emotional state.
  • Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen and empathize with your situation. But keep in mind that your typical support system may be weakened if those who are close to you also have experienced or witnessed the trauma.
  • Communicate your experience. In whatever ways feel comfortable to you — such as by talking with family or close friends, or keeping a diary.
  • Find out about local support groups that often are available. Such as for those who have suffered from natural disasters or other traumatic events. These can be especially helpful for people with limited personal support systems.
  • Try to find groups led by appropriately trained and experienced professionals. Group discussion can help people realize that other individuals in the same circumstances often have similar reactions and emotions.
  • Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of rest. If you experience ongoing difficulties with sleep, you may be able to find some relief through relaxation techniques. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Establish or reestablish routines such as eating meals at regular times and following an exercise program. Take some time off from the demands of daily life by pursuing hobbies or other enjoyable activities.
  • Avoid major life decisions such as switching careers or jobs if possible. These activities tend to be highly stressful.

When should I seek professional help?

Some people are able to cope effectively with the emotional and physical demands brought about by traumatic events by using their own support systems. It is not unusual, however, to find that serious problems persist and continue to interfere with daily living. For example, some may feel overwhelming nervousness or lingering sadness that adversely affects job performance and interpersonal relationships.

Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers help educate people about normal responses to extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals affected by trauma to help them find constructive ways of dealing with the emotional impact.

With children, continual and aggressive emotional outbursts, serious problems at school, preoccupation with the traumatic event, continued and extreme withdrawal, and other signs of intense anxiety or emotional difficulties all point to the need for professional assistance. A qualified mental health professional can help in managing traumatic stress for such children and their parents understand and deal with thoughts, feelings and behaviours that result from trauma.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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