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It’s ok to resign from a “dream job”!

It’s ok to resign from a “dream job”!

Maybe you were surprised to read that it’s ok to resign from a dream job” because you don’t feel like it’s ok at all or maybe because you were waiting a long time to find someone telling you that. Unfortunately, I experience that resignation is still often a very Tahoe topic in our modern society. And this, especially when it comes to resigning from a so to say “dream job” with a high position and high salary without a ready-made plan B. Due to the fact that resignation is such a Tahoe and not done when it’s “just because you don’t feel comfortable in the job”, lots of young and older people stay in difficult or even toxic work situations way longer than they should in order not to experience lasting mental health-related struggles.

Resignation from a job is often not a funny story, especially when you don’t have a well established “what to do next plan”. But sometimes it’s necessary in order not to encounter sufferance at work any longer. So, you may now have the impression that you are back at the “starting square” of the game again. Happily, this is certainly not the case. Therefore, this article aims to highlight how resignation can be a great springboard to a happier and successful career!

In some situations, it can happen that you are forced to resign from a job while you didn’t expect to. Many reasons can contribute to your decision. If you resign without a new project in mind, most of the time it has to make with the fact that you don’t feel so well anymore doing that job, in that company or surrounded by those colleagues, supervised by that manager.

Resignation from a dream job is OK

When you resign from a job it means that you have good reasons to do so. Feeling guilty can happen when talking to friends and family. Sometimes you can experience negative ruminating spirals. By example: you can start to put that decision into question again and again. Some questions asked by your relatives can happen to have what I call “a killing effect” on you: “it was such a nice company, why did you quit?”, “You had such a good salary, what’s wrong with you?” and so on. Sometimes it can also happen to be complicated to explain exactly what made you quit the job as violence at work is an accumulation of situations that don’t look very serious when taken apart from each other.

You made that choice and you were right to do so. It was a difficult decision, the moment after it isn’t easy neither but all of this is ok. Don’t start to blame yourself. Moreover, you could look at the opportunities this situation is going to offer you: thinking about your career, about your way to live your life, taking a bit of time for yourself. Furthermore, this is a great opportunity to get to know yourself better and this will help you not to fall in the same traps again and again.

As it’s your decision for you, it’s certainly a good one

Feeling bad about that episode right now is completely ok too. Besides, resignation is hard as work is a very important part of your life quality, security and also part of your identity. Actually, for some persons, losing their job can be paired with the loss of a piece of their identity. And, this can be very painful. You need to take the time to acknowledge and accept that loss to be able to reengage yourself in a new pathway in a harmonious way.

The reasons why you resigned from a dream job

Many reasons can push you to quit your job: the job didn’t meet your expectations, you experienced a difficult or traumatic situation at work that made you feel bad at work, you experienced violence or harassment at work, you experienced a burnout, there were conflicts, promises have not been delivered, … But most of the time, when you don’t have a plan B it means that quitting became urgent and that maybe you didn’t have the energy anymore to start looking at offers for another job.

I am sure that you thought probably more than enough about it. To help you accept that it was the right thing to do, you could make this simple exercise:

Write down the reasons that made you quit the job on a paper. Try to note them as facts and the associate a feeling you had to those facts. Write about the effects this had on you. Also, write what you tried to better the situation.

So, this exercise will serve you as a reminder of the reasons that pushed you to take that decision to resign from a dream job. Every time you feel that you start to blame yourself, go back to that paper.

Be grateful to yourself that you took the decision to resign

You took a decision for yourself and that’s great. It means that something is changing in your life. Acknowledge that change and be grateful to the new opportunity this situation is helping you to create in order to learn about yourself and what you truly want in your life. So, yes, it’s ok to resign from a dream job!

What did you learn about this experience of resigning?

You may be thinking that you are stuck now and that this was a fucked up experience that just helped you feel bad. And even if you feel quite bad now, I would like you to take time to ask yourself:

What did you learn about this experience? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the job you would like to do in the future? What are things you don’t want ever to happen? Which skills did you develop or do you need to develop even more in order to feel good in your work environment?

Do you feel you could get even more support in this period? Wanna have someone to talk about with? Then, maybe I could be that person. Don’t hesitate to contact me via this page.

Tips for a successful online meeting

Tips for a successful online meeting

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, we are all forced to use the technologies of online meeting in our work a lot more than before. Although this phenomenon can sound quite cool in the beginning, after a few weeks of online meetings, lots of us are tired and fed up with it. This tiredness is due, among other things, to the technical issues we have to endure but also very often to a bad utilization of the online meeting technology.

As a result, some persons have to endure all day online meetings in bad conditions. This can happen to be quite unproductive and stressful. Indeed when the effort to listen to a meeting is too important to make, people tend to disconnect and lose their concentration. As a consequence, they can miss pieces of important information and they have to compensate by using other strategies in order to get to those pieces of information (asking colleagues, mailing, phone,..) or in the worst case, they compone without.

For these reasons, I believe that we could take care of each other by thinking about the next points when organizing online meetings and inviting lots of people to them:

Let’s start with a quite basic question:

Is this meeting truly necessary?

Online meeting is a rather time and energy-consuming activity for everyone. Therefore it can be very helpful to ask yourself before planning one: is this meeting truly necessary? Is there no way I could communicate through other channels of communication (e.g. mail, sending a recording, a simple call).

Define the purpose of the meeting

Is it only an informational meeting? Do you need to have the other’s opinion on some points? Is it a workgroup? Is there gonna be a discussion time? This first step is crucial in order to design the instructions you are going to give when sending the link to your collaborators but also to determinate who you are going to invite.

But also ask yourself: How many persons do you need to invite to this meeting, for what purpose do you need them to participate?

Define a clear way to operate:

In order to avoid frustrations due to the bad use of the technology you are using to propel your online meeting, it can always be useful to:

-Send the link of your meeting room well in advance in order to allow your participants to download the application and test it before the meeting

-Create (or find on Youtube by example) a short animation movie with the basic operating instructions. You can also create different animations: one for the main speaker, one for the participants by example.

-Communicate a link where people can test their internet connection in order eventually to move from the room before the meeting to avoid extra perturbations during the meeting

-Ask them to mention their name and eventually function (e.g Mark HR) when entering the meeting room, it’s way easier and more pleasant for everyone to know who is talking

-Include some instructions about the way you want the meeting to function: “please when arriving in the meeting, when possible activate your camera, and mute your micro”

Manage the time wisely

Keep it short and constructive. Online meetings tend to dure for hours without clear breaks but our focus can’t hold it that long. The temptation can be big to start doing something else. If a longer meeting is needed, plan break times.

Maintain the attention of your participants

Maintain the attention of your audience using different tricks:

-ask them to put their camera on;

-ask them to write from time to time in the chat;

-ask them to summarize what was just said, asking them if there are questions;

-switch between a screen share and your face;

-invite them to discuss in breaking rooms with a smaller amount of participants,..

Be creative in order to transform a boring online meeting in a dynamic and constructive experience!

Stay professional

Even if an online meeting can sound cool and your colleagues have a more relaxed clothing style, try to keep it professional.

Be careful on the environment you are going to show through your camera ( a messy kitchen or a stack of laundry won’t give a good impression).

Communicate to your family that you are now till… in an online meeting for your work and that you need to be focused and not to be disturbed. A good tip can be to put a colour code on your “office”s door. By example: red for occupated, please not disturb and green for ok you can come and ask me something.

When you are in a long meeting and you need to go to the toilet by e.g, if you take your device with you, don’t forget to mute yourself and to switch off your camera to avoid tricky situations (we have all seen very funny but also humiliating videos on Youtube!)

Let’s go!

When animating an online meeting make sure to:

carefully choose your meeting environment: calm, enough light,.. in order to provide a good experience to your participants. It’s also very important that you appear well on the camera. If you have a laptop you can for example put it on a staple of books in order to have the camera on the height of your face. This will make eye contact easier for your participants and they will have a better experience when looking at you. Avoid the “kin” or “ceiling” view… Also, be careful to the background you will appear on the video with.

ask a colleague to support you with the technicalities of the meeting: watching the chat, muting people, communicating in the chat so that it doesn’t cause you extra stress. This person can also keep an eye on a phone or mail, in case someone comes late or can’t connect.

connect with your co-animator about 10 to 15 min before the meeting in order to test all functions you will need during the meeting

put a welcome message in the chat and remind the participants the technical instructions: muting their micro, switching on their camera, how they should tell you when they want to interact

in the beginning in the meeting remind once again the technical instructions and mention that they are written in the chat. Announce also how the meeting is going to take place in order to let your participants know that there will eventually be time for questions, breaking rooms, breaks,…

Dealing with the unexpected

Lots of kids are already back to school but not all of them. How to react when by example a kid comes and jumps in the room where you are giving your meeting?

This can so to say happen to everyone at the moment. Give a good example to your colleagues or participants: use non-violent communication!

Express your surprise, communicate to your child that it’s not the right place to be at the moment, and try to take it easy. Apologize for this inconvenience, and go on. A small joke will help your colleagues forget this episode way quicker than if you react in a very negative way. The same idea applies when it’s your cat or dog disturbing the meeting, show some great humour and try to turn the situation in your favour!

Do you have other tips to share? Share them in the comments!

The synergy of music and mindfulness: a workshop

The synergy of music and mindfulness: a workshop

About the concept

In our daily lives, we are often accompanied by music. Actually, we often listen to music every day when going to work, cooking, driving the car, doing some sport, studying or working. We like to create playlists that we love and which accompany our moods. Music has the power to awake emotions and souvenirs. We listen to music for the emotions and feelings it gives us. Music can motivate us, reassure us, and, sometimes, help us go through difficult moments of our lives or empower more happy ones. However, music is often a background noise that we don’t really listen to anymore.  Let’s ask ourselves therefore:

Are we still capable to listen to music for what it really is? Do we sometimes unconsciously pollute our experience with unrelated thoughts or judgments? Are we still able to perceive the richness of the sounds and sense the physical and emotional effects it procures us?

Music can give us intense emotions that make us this extraordinary feeling to live in the present moment. Therefore, music is a wonderful instrument to practice mindfulness. Likewise, mindfulness can help us rediscover the enchantment of music. Working Muse (http://workingmuse.eu) and Mindfullchanges, a musician and a psychologist, unite their creative forces to offer you the experience of music and mindfulness together in a workshop planned in summer 2020.

This workshop aims to help you rediscover the music, to listen again fully, to bring your attention to every sound, it’s color, it’s expressiveness, and so to ground you in the here and now.

More information to come soon…

10 tips to take care of your mental health during the lock-down

10 tips to take care of your mental health during the lock-down

We are now confronted to sudden changes in our daily life habits and to a lot of uncertainty due to the Corona virus and the lock-downs imposed by the governments in all Europe (and in the other parts of the world). From one day to another our lives have completely changed. Those changes are completely out of our control zone. It’s for sure not easy to deal with this situation in an balanced and healthy way for our bodies and minds.

We have to deel with something that we can not see, not touch, not smell, not taste, something that can be everywhere and that can affect our health and even threaten our life… In such a context, more than for many other changes, strong emotions and lots of fears and feelings of anxiety can appear or be awakened. Many factors directly linked to the living conditions in a lock-down can truly contribute to damage our mental health.

However we are stuck in such a situation and we feel completely powerless, we actually still have some power in our lives. Actually, we have the power to decide that we can do some things in order to maintain our mental and physical health during this period.

In the next lines you will find some tips in order to help you deal mentally with this situation of altered living conditions:

1. Create/keep routines and rituals

It ‘s of huge importance to keep some normality in those crazy times. Therefore I recommend you to keep some routines in your days and also to create/maintain meaningful rituals for you and your family. In this way you will keep motivation and clarity in your head. At the opposite, no planning will result in demotivating you because you won’t be able to acknowledge your achievements during the day. So, let’s think by example about the importance of dressing up in the morning as if you would just start a normal other day. It could be that your mind is most of the time associating pyjama to nice long wake up morning the Sunday. But it can also be that when you stay in pyjama a whole day it means that you are sick… Not so good for your mindset right?

2. Inform yourself on the official channels and plan some offline time

Off course, we all try to feel less alone but also to keep us busy by looking at the internet and social medias for hours. Social media are a huge source of anxiety as they spread lots of negative and false informations contributing to high levels of stress and anxiety. Try to inform yourself mainly on the official communication channels to be informed correctly. Don’t believe informations without a legitimate source.

3. Move and eat well

Moving is important for your mood as moving favorise the release of good hormones in your body and brain. It’s also important to release all the tension accumulated by staying home and working from home. You can do this by moving and relaxing in an active way rather than binge watching tele series. Eat healthy Alimentation has also a big impact on the way we feel. Keep an healthy diet even if in those difficult times you could be tempted to fill some affective needs by eating some trash. Allow yourself to do it sometimes but don’t make it become the rule.

4. Build a meaningful project

As this situation is meant to last and we don’t know how long, it’s important to keep your motivation to wake up in the morning by setting up some meaningful projects/activities in line with your fundamental values for you. They can be of all types: big cleaning project in your house, entertaining you kids in a great way, writing blog posts, thinking about your business strategy, finding a way to help people online, working as a volunteer for some projects …

5. Have a blue day

It’s important as well that you plan some relax and chill comforting moments to enjoy with your family or alone. Use those moments to talk, write or think about your negative feelings, to binge watch series for half a day or a day and to eat everything you love (even if it’s not so good for your health). After this day or few hours it has to be over again. One blue day or bad mood day or.. whatever the way you will call it. A day during the which you have the right to feel as you have a bad day with a low mood and low expectation or no expectations at all. Of course, it doesn’t have to become a routine otherwise your motivation and mood could suffer from it.

6. Communicate

In this kind of situation with all the family at home or completely alone at home, it’s of huge importance to keep communicating all the time about the way you feel and experience the whole situation. This way you will be able to feel less alone and to feel supported by your family and friends. It’s important to build routines for this communication too. Try to plan some moments to communicate in family about your feelings and the situation when your are all stuck at home. When you are alone, also try to build some routines by communicating virtually systematically with family and friends. You can also find some psychological support groups online to help you express yourself and feel supported in a safe environment. By example: https://www.facebook.com/events/206984370378020/

7. Listen

As we just spoke about communicating, one of the most important things in such a situation is also to be able to listen carefully to the others. Active listening should become the new rule: asking questions, listening without thinking on what you will answer, trying to reformulate what the other just said, … are ways for the other person to feel listened to and to feel supported.

8. Mindfulness

Having a mind full of things or having a mindful mind? Mindfulness wil help you to improve your capacity of living in the moment, not being worried about the past or the future all the time. Accepting the way you feel and your emotions can be of great help to deal with them. Mindfulness is about the capacity of your attention not to be stuck on some thoughts but to be able to let them go. Mindfulness is also of great help when you feel anxious or stressed about the whole situation. You can of course also use some relaxation techniques in order to lower your anxiety and stress level. Discover what mindfulness is with this free workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/1058836074492384/

9. Gratefulness

In theses times with everything we read in the internet we tend to have a very negative image of the world and it has the tendency to fade on your self-image as well. It can sound a bit funny, but feeling grateful for all the things that are going well will help you to cope better with the situation. Complete the sentence: Despite this difficult situation, I feel grateful to…

10. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional mental/ psychological help

It’s normal that lot of us are going to feel unwell at a moment or another. These life conditions are not what we are used to. Due to the situation lots of us will have to face feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, … It’s than of huge importance to be accompanied in a professional way in order to take care of our mental health.

This list is of course not complete. Do you have some other tips to share? Don’t hesitate to write them in the comments of this article! I am curious to discover your ways to take care of your mental health during this particular period.

In need to talk? Want to be supported psychologically during this hard period? Don’t hesitate to contact me and to keep an eye on my Facebook page to follow all my online events during this special period.

Take care of yourself and of your beloved ones!

Why is it so important to demystify psychological help for expatriates?

I was surprised to discover the importance of the need of psychological support in the expat community. Unfortunately I was also surprised to discover how big the myths about this help still are.

Lots of expats or expats’s partners are going through several difficult life episodes emphasized by their lifestyle. Those difficult episodes are mainly due to culture shock, loss of purpose in work and life, the high uncertainty levels linked to the potential moves, the challenges to find a job for the partners, the challenge to adapt each time in a new environment, the energy needed to face all the small but oh so many changes in your daily life, the difficulty for the kids to adapt and for the parents to see their kids struggling, couple problems of all kinds, the lack of strong family and friends relations in the daily life and so on..

All of those particular topics are a drop of what the ocean of problems expats can live. From those situations can appear depression, extreme stress, chronic pain in some part or in the whole body, episodes of depression, exhaustion and burnout, generalised anxiety, feeling of loneliness, problems of identity, loss of self-confidence, loss of self-awareness, going through life in automatic mode…

Photo de Jopwell sur Pexels.com

It’s so important to find help to support you through all of those conditions because if you keep trying to cope on your own it, unfortunately, can become even worse, and as you maybe know the worst, the longest it takes to cure and the bigger the risk is to fall again in that condition no matter which condition it is…

Yes, but my status… or my husband/wife’s status… is the silent excuse often implicated in the non-searching of help when you feel bad. Or maybe is it.. I am a strong person and I don”t need any help to get through this, I already went through a lot worse. Going in consultation to a psychologist doesn’t mean you are sick, crazy or completely nut nut.. it just means you have taken the decision to seek help and this is a very smart and strong decision, it makes you even stronger actually because you show you are taking care of yourself. In addition, you can also consult a psychologist or a coach for purposes of self-development and prevention! Did you know that?

And, in between, who has to know? If you don’t wanna say it, it’s ok, till you will feel ready to talk about it to your family and friends or maybe not. This is up to you and this is OK. Your psychologist will never betray you as his code of ethics is very strict and guarantee your confidentiality, not only what you say but also who you are and the fact that you come to his consultation. If you are not sure about his code of ethics, even before the first appointment do not hesitate to ask, he/she will certainly be very open and happy to talk about it!