Have been thinking a lot this weekend about how I find purposeful and meaningful work in 2017. My “dream job” didn’t work out and I am now exploring how I can use my skills and experience to support others. Poetry and creativity is important and so is collaborative working – I’m no good at being on my own and need colleagues by my side. I also know that more focus would be good – energy sapping distractions are habits that I’d like to break.
I believe that I can help folk in the workplace and provide creative ways for folk to look after themselves in trying times. After all we seem to be having unprecedented stresses and having bounced back after two lots of adversity I feel I do have some credibility when it comes to healing work wounds and emotional scars caused by repeated exposure to tricky relationships.
Burnout is seen as very negative and I can see why folk would be loath to admit that they might have got to the end of the line. Burnout is horrible – I know because that was way I left the University but it isn’t the end of everything – it can be the beginning. I had lost my way and felt that I had no connection with what the work was all about. I thought that “rescuing” a small third sector organisation would be the way forward but it wasn’t going to be the case. I have learnt a lot from my recent experiences in the workplace – what I expect from colleagues. I now know that it should be up to them to accommodate new people and not for me to second guess what’s expected of me. I have been confused and dismayed by recent interactions but not downhearted.
What I do know is that people are suffering and in despair – parallel processing can mean that those helping distressed folk in health care settings can themselves end up mired in suffering and despair. When we are helping others we could do well to have another pair of eyes and ears on our practice – someone who can listen and attend to our experiences. We can do with someone who can provide a framework for us to contain the experiences and help develop clarity and coherence – not direction or advice BUT a “making sense of” containment – a safe and generative space. I know I can do that for folk and after all these years I am beginning to think that if I don’t start the conversation then no one else is going to suggest it….